Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Kanye West have added their tributes to Kobe Bryant following the basketball legend's death on Sunday (26Jan20).
The retired Los Angeles Lakers star, 41, and his teenage daughter, Gianna, 13, were among a reported nine people who lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, and the stars poured out their hearts throughout the day, with Reese Witherspoon, Khloe Kardashian, and Ellen DeGeneres among the first celebrities to comment.
As word spread through the music world as stars prepared for the Grammys, celebrities like Swift, Gomez and West offered up their thoughts.
Selena tweeted: "So devastated to hear the news about Kobe Bryant today. What I remember most about him is how kind and gracious he was to my family. He even held my godson saying he would teach him how to shoot jump shots."
Her pal Swift added: "My heart is in pieces hearing the news of this unimaginable tragedy. I can’t fathom what the families are going through. Kobe meant so much to me and to us all. Sending my prayers, love, and endless condolences to Vanessa and the family and anyone who lost someone on that flight."
And Kanye tweeted: "Kobe, We love you brother. We’re praying for your family and appreciate the life you’ve lived and all the inspiration you gave."
There were also tributes from Mariah Carey, Rick Ross, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, 50 Cent and Meek Mill, while Kobe's fellow basketball legend Michael Jordan released a statement, which read: "I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling.
"I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply – and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball."
Shaquille O'Neal, another basketball legend who played alongside Bryant for the LA Lakers, tweeted: "There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW (sic)."
In a second tweet, O'Neal added that Bryant was "so much more than an athlete, he was a family man" and this was what the pair had "most in common". He also noted that his "baby girl Gigi (Gianna) was born on the same day" as his "youngest daughter Me’Arah".
Former President Barack Obama, meanwhile, tweeted: "Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day."
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