Farewell to a legend.
The celebration of life for the beloved Lakers player was held on Monday, February 24 at 10 am PST from downtown Los Angeles to a crowd of 20,000 gathered to say goodbye.
Vanessa Bryant bravely took the stage and spoke lovingly through tears about Gianna and Kobe.
"Gianna Bryant is an amazing sweet and gentle soul. She was always thoughtful and kissed me goodnight and kissed me in the morning," Vanessa said through tears.
"She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me.
"She was daddy’s girl but I know she loved her mama," she said in her tearful speech.
Kobe's Oscar winning movie, Dear Basketball, played for the audience and his daughter Natalia was sobbing. Her mom Vanessa took her face in her hands and caressed Natalia’s face. Vanessa then put her daughters face next to hers and hugged her tightly.
Joe and Pamela Bryant were in the front row of the stage surrounded by red roses. When Shaquille O'Neal entered the arena he went straight to them and hugged them.
Kobe and his daughter Gigi were among the nine victims killed in the tragic helicopter crash on January 26 and his family and friends gathered to celebrate their lives.
Kobe, 41, and Gigi, 13, were in the chopper that crashed into the mountains in Calabasas along with John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Payton and Sarah Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Stay with RadarOnline.com for live updates from the Kobe Bryant Memorial service.
Touch Of Love
Beyonce comforted Vanessa during the emotional memorial.
"She was so full of life and had so much more to offer this world," Vanessa said about Gianna during her speech.
"I cannot imagine life without her. I will miss your sweet handmade cards, your sweet kisses, your gorgeous smile.
"I miss you everyday. All of you. I love you."
Vanessa Bryant’s Emotional Speech
"God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together," Vanessa said through tears during her emotional speech.
"Babe, you take care of our Gigi.
"We love and miss you BooBoo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you forever and always. Mommy."
Vanessa shared the story that Kobe gave her the blue dress that Rachel McAdams wore in the romantic movie The Notebook, telling her it was because that was when her character came back to the man she loves.
Xtina sang a beautiful version of Ava Maria to the audience. The floor of the Staples Center was covered in red light except for Kobe’s two retired Jerseys, which were lit with a purple light.
Shaq told a story about playing on the Lakers with Kobe.
"The guys were complaining, Kobe’s not passing. I said I would talk to him. I said, “Kobe, there’s no ‘I’ in team and Kobe said, ‘I know, but there’s an ‘M-E’ in that mother**ker," and the crowd laughed.
"Now rise from anguish and begin with the healing," Shaq told the audience. "Mamba you were taken away from us way too soon."
Michael Jordan was crying as he ended his emotional tribute to his "little brother," joking that he was going to inspire another meme.
"Kobe gave every last ounce of himself to whatever he was doing. After basketball he showed a creative side to himself. In retirement he seemed so happy. He found new passions and he continued to give back as a coach.
"More importantly he was an amazing dad. Amazing husband. Who dedicated himself to his family and who loved his daughters with all his heart.
"When Kobe Bryant died a piece of me died," Jordan said while crying.
"I promise you from this day forward I will live with the memories that I had a little brother that I tried to help in every way forward. Please. Rest in peace little brother."
Vanessa was crying as Alicia Keys played Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
All The Love
Kobe learned to play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as a Valentine's Day gift for Vanessa. Keys wore a sparkling purple suit during her performance.
Kobe’s Last Text Message
Kobe's former agent Rob Pelinka told the story of Kobe's last text messages, sent in the minutes before he was killed in the helicopter crash on January 26.
"For the last two decades Kobe and I texted or talked everyday. Because that is what best friends do," Pelinka said.
He revealed Kobe asked him to help a friend's daughter with an internship with a baseball agent shortly after 9:30 a.m.
"I text Kobe right back and said I would put a plan in motion to help him get that done. A handful of minutes later Kobe and Gianna and seven other beautiful souls ascended into heaven," Pelinka sadly said.
The girl Kobe was trying to help was Lexy Altobelli, whose father, mother and sister were killed on the helicopter.
All The Love
Jennifer Lopez was in tears as Vanessa spoke about her devastating loss.
"Gigi would have become the best player in the WNBA," Vanessa said.
"She would have made a huge difference for women’s basketball. She made a difference to everyone she met in the 13 years she was here.
"She was so full of life and had so much more to offer this world. I cannot imagine life without her."
Beyonce, wearing a gold pantsuit opened the ceremony.
"I’m here because I love Kobe and this is one of his favorite songs," she said as she sang "Halo" and asked the audience to sing along.
Vanessa and Natalia Bryant were "wiping tears from their face," as Beyonce sang.
Jimmy Kimmel struggled to hold back tears as he began the tribute by reading the names of those killed on the helicopter crash.
Photos of Kobe flashed on the jumbotron during the ceremony.
A Celebration of Life program was handed out at the memorial.
The jumbotron played videos of Kobe and Gigi before the ceremony.
Red roses flanked the stage inside the Staples Center for the Kobe memorial.
Fans gathered outside the Staples Center to honor Kobe.
Vanessa Bryant shared heartbreaking messages on her Instagram account after losing her husband and daughter, opening up about her devastating losses.
“It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me,” the grieving mother wrote. “It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad.”
Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John Altobelli
John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli were honored with a memorial at the Anaheim Angels stadium.
Payton and Sarah Chester
The mother and daughter were together on the helicopter when it crashed.
Coach Christina left behind her husband and young children when she was killed in the crash.
Ara Zobayan was flying the helicopter that crashed and killed all nine people aboard.