- The Oscars paid tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who both died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26.
- For the In Memoriam, Billie Eilish gave a moving performance of "Yesterday."
As the stars gather at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles to celebrate some of the biggest movies this year, the Oscars paused to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant, who lost his life in a helicopter crash two weeks ago.
Since the January 26 accident, many have held memorials and tributes in honor of the nine victims who lost their lives. Tonight, after Oscar winner Matthew A. Cherry dedicated his Hair Love win to the late athlete and after Spike Lee wore a Kobe-themed purple and gold suit, Billie Eilish sang The Beatles' "Yesterday" as part of the In Memoriam segment. Kobe, who won an Oscar in 2018 for Dear Basketball, was the first image to appear on screen and was met with a round of applause.
This isn't the first televised tribute for Kobe. During the Grammys, Alicia Keys and Boys II Men sang "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" before the show began. Several NBA players have worn Kobe's retired numbers and jerseys before going on the court to play, many cities lit their most popular buildings in the Lakers' purple and gold team colors, and Jennifer Lopez and Shakira gave a quick nod to the legend during their Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Following her husband and daughter's tragic deaths, Vanessa Bryant thanked fans for their outpouring of support and the many tributes. She took to Instagram to write, "Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us...Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me."
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