Alicia Keys 'freaked out' ahead of Kobe Bryant Grammys tribute

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys "freaked out" as she tried to prepare a fitting tribute to Kobe Bryant at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night.

The Fallin' star hosted the star-studded awards ceremony, which took place at Los Angeles' Staples Center just hours after news broke that the basketball star and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash.

The fact that the awards were taking place at the Staples Center, where Kobe had played so many games with his team, the Los Angeles Lakers, added extra pressure on Alicia - who took every step she could to ensure the tribute was powerful enough to honour the sporting legend.

"We were all freaking out because obviously hearing the news about Kobe and his daughter was so tragic," Alicia said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "None of us can still believe it now, to this day. It was definitely a crazy feeling because literally minutes before we were going to do something else and we had to really figure out how could we properly honour him in his house on this night.

"I was backstage, I put on my meditation music, I was just thinking, and I called some of my closest people who help me really find the truth in the moment."

In the end, Alicia was joined by Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men for a moving performance of their 1991 hit, It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.

"It just so happened Boyz II Men was there already that night," Alicia continued. "It was like that magic that happens when it's necessary. Like, whoa whoa whoa! It was so much, but I was so honoured to be able to share that with all of us - the entire world - that we together could go through something that hurt so bad together. And I feel really honoured to have been able to be there with you in that time."

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