Alicia Keys opened the 2020 Grammys with a thoughtful dedication to Kobe Bryant
After a show-stopping opening number by Lizzo, Alicia Keys ascended to the Grammys stage for her second consecutive year of hosting. There, in the Laker's home of the Staples Center, Keys began the night with tribute to Kobe Bryant, who died hours before the ceremony in a helicopter crash:
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. Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirit, in our hearts, in our prayers, and they’re in this building. I would like to ask everyone to take this moment and hold them inside of you. … We never in a million years thought we’d have to start the show like this. Never, never, never. So we wanted to do something that described how we feel.
At that point, Keys was joined by Boyz II Men to sing an a cappella version of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." After finishing the short tribute, she finished:
We're gonna sing together. We're gonna laugh together. We're gonna dance together. ... There's one thing that has the power to bring us all together, and that's music. It's the most healing thing in the world, so let us get some healing going on right now with two beautiful people who want to share their love with all of us.
Keys followed the commercial break with a musical number that was a bit lighter, highlighting some of the night's nominees and concluded with another mention to Bryant, promising that her company would help keep the tone supportive through the show.