Heartbroken in the House That Kobe Built: Alicia Keys, Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Lizzo, Honor Kobe at Grammys.

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

We all hoped it was a hoax. It seemed too awful to be real, having just arrived at Staples Center for today’s Grammys, where Kobe and The Lakers lived. Outside are immense metal sculpures of all the legendary Lakers in action. Across the street in the L.A. Plaza, fans already started to gather around a large flowered wreath. Within twenty minutes, there were thousands. In tears. Shocked silence. Kobe died in a helicopter crash with his daughter Gianna and seven others in Calabasas, California.

Staples Center Today. January 26, 2020.

Yet the show must go on, as it did on February 12, 2012, the day after Whitney Houston died at the Beverly Hilton hotel. Yet a deep darkness descended over the ceremony then as it did today, leaving us in sad, stunned shadows all day. Inside and out of Staples were tears, shock and few words.

Lizzo, who opened the show this year was the first to make a tribute, dedicating her song “Cuz I Love You” with the words, “Tonight is for Kobe.”

Alicia Keys, recognizing that it had to be spoken of from the very start, opened this Grammys by acknowledging the surreal horror of this moment in time and place:

“Here we are together on music’s biggest night celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you, we all are feeling crazy sadness right now. Because earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero.”

We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.

Kobe and Gianna. When told that Kobe needed a son to carry his torch, she would say, “I’ve got this.” Her father loved that. Photo by Ethan Miller.

“We are literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” she said. “Right now Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirit, they’re in our hearts, they’re in our prayers, they’re in this building.”

Then, recognizing there was much to express that was beyond words, she turned to the reason we were assembled here in his house: song. Asking for silence in honor of Kobe, Gianna and the seven others who perished, she lifted her voice in poignant perfect four-part harmony with Boyz II Men to sing, a capella, their beautiful song “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” written by Christine and Frederick Perren.

Doing so, they transported us with the undeniable force of music itself from an immense commercial entertainment event to church, to the sacred realm of soulful song.

https://youtu.be/-NqLJGLiLn0

“It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday”

How do I say goodbye to what we had?
The good times that made us laugh
Outweigh the bad

I thought we’d get to see forever
But forever’s gone away
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

I don’t know where this road
Is going to lead
All I know is where we’ve been
And what we’ve been through

If we get to see tomorrow
I hope it’s worth all the wait
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

And I’ll take with me the memories
To be my sunshine after the rain
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

And I’ll take with me the memories
To be my sunshine after the rain
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

From ” “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday”
By Christine Yarian Perren & Frederick Perren.

Leave a Reply

GRAMMY Awards 2020: Elvis Costello on Writing with Carole King, Burt Bacharach at the Same Time

Hailey Whitters Talks About Living ‘The Dream’ in New Album