The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards kicked off tonight at Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center. Once again, Alicia Keys hosted the ceremony. At last year’s awards, she began the evening joined on stage by Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, and J. Lo. During her monologue tonight, Keys paid tribute to late basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died earlier today in a helicopter crash. She also sang “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men, who joined her on stage.
“Here we are together, on music’s biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best. But to be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now. Because earlier today—Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we’re 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, in our heats, in our prayers, in this building — and I’d like to ask everybody to take a moment and just hold them inside of you, and share our strength and our support with their families. We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this. So we wanted to do something that could describe a tiny bit how we feel right now.”
Follow all of Pitchfork’s coverage of this year’s Grammy Awards.