Alicia Keys inspired by Kobe Bryant's 'fighting spirit' during 2020 Grammy Awards

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys channelled Kobe Bryant's "energy and fighting spirit" as she hosted the 2020 Grammy Awards on Sunday night.

Bryant, 41, and his teenage daughter, Gianna were travelling to one of her basketball games in his private helicopter when it crashed in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning. Both were among a reported nine people who lost their lives.

The news broke shortly before the prizegiving ceremony was due to take place in Los Angeles, with the Recording Academy's interim chief Harvey Mason, Jr. holding a "moment of silence" as he opened the ceremony.

Keys went on to oversee proceedings at the event and, speaking with Entertainment Tonight after the show, she reflected on how she managed to hold it together in spite of the heartbreaking news.

"This was a really hard night, and that's why I think it was a roller coaster," she said. "It was painful, it's painful right now. We lost a beloved, beloved hero to all of us. A person who is like a true example of brilliance and excellence."

The star, who performed a touching musical tribute to the National Basketball Association (NBA) player, added: "It's not easy to go forward with all of that weight. But I think that the energy that he always brought and that fighting spirit... is what brought us through tonight."

In addition, Keys was joined by Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men for a powerful performance of their 1991 hit, It's So Hard to Say Goodbye.

"I feel like he was just in all of our hearts and spirits and that's what made it feel good," the 39-year-old reflected.

Elsewhere, Lizzo honoured Bryant in her opening number, dedicating her performance and the awards ceremony to the sportsman.

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