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Gianna “Gigi” Bryant should have been celebrating her 17th birthday today, in the way any teenage girl would celebrate: surrounded by friends and family, laughter, and lots of cake. But her life was tragically cut short on January 26th, 2020, when she was killed in a helicopter crash alongside her father, Kobe Bryant, and seven others. Instead of current celebratory photos, there are only memorial tributes on this special day — and perhaps the most emotional come from Gigi’s mom, Vanessa Bryant.
“Happy 17th birthday, baby girl. I love you and miss you so much, sweet Angel,” Bryant wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of Gigi. In the photo, Gigi — who is riding a carousel — smiles from ear to ear with a happy, radiant glow on her face. She is just the epitome of joy, and she looks so much like her dad.
A second Instagram photo features Gigi with two of her sisters (Vanessa and Kobe Bryant share daughters Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri), and is captioned, “Happy birthday, sweet Gigi! We love you to the moon and back infinity +1. Forever & Always.”
The third is a sweet snapshot of Vanessa and three of the girls taken on what appears to be the same day as the first two, and Vanessa wrote, “Te Amo Mambacita ❤️ Happy birthday, baby girl. 😘❤️🎂❤️”