Shortly before the 62nd Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles the building was already reeling from the news that Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash Sunday.
Interim Recording Academy chief Harvey Mason Jr. began the non-televised Premiere Ceremony asking for a moment of silence for the former NBA star, “since we are in his house.”
The Staples Center was Bryant’s home for the entirety of his professional basketball career. Before retiring in 2016, Bryant had helped the Los Angeles Lakers win five NBA championships. The venue was even already at work on crafting a statue in his honor to stand in front of the entrance.
Mourners gathered outside the arena, where a tribute to Bryant is also being displayed.
While most presenters and winners at the Premiere Ceremony quietly pushed through despite the news, Homecoming producer Steve Pamon said “Rest in peace Kobe, we love you,” while accepting the award for Best Music Film.
As the night went on, the tributes to Bryant became bigger and more explicit, with the beginning and end of the official Grammy Red Carpet Live special dedicating time to eulogize the basketball icon.
Once the award show began, host Alicia Keys noted “earlier today Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero and we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house Kobe Bryant built,” and from then on the show found multiple ways, both subtle and massive, to tribute the fallen basketball player in the arena he called home.