Alicia Keys admitted hosting the Grammy Awards was ”hard” and ”painful”.
The 39-year-old singer fronted the ceremony on Sunday (26.01.20) and she admitted it was tough having to open the show hours after the tragic news broke that Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash along with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
She told ‘Entertainment Tonight’: ”This was a really hard night, and that’s why I think it was a roller coaster.
”It was painful, it’s painful right now. We lost a beloved, beloved hero to all of us. A person who is like a true example of brilliance and excellence.
”It’s not easy to go forward with all of that weight. But I think that the energy that he always brought and that fighting spirit… is what brought us through tonight.”
The ‘Girl on Fire’ singer opened the show with a surprise performance with Boyz II Men’s Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men of their 1991 hit ‘It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye’ to pay tribute to the basketball player and she was glad to do so.
She said: ”I feel like he was just in all of our hearts and spirits and that’s what made it feel good.”
Alicia’s husband, Swizz Beatz, praised his wife for the way she handled the emotional evening.
He said: ”This was a heavy night and she put the load on her shoulders and made people feel comfortable all around the world. It’s a blessing.”
Alicia also addressed Kobe’s passing while on stage at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
She said: ”Here we are together on music’s biggest night, celebrating our artists that do it best, but, to be honest with you were 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 family and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirits, in our hearts, in our prayers, they’re in this building.
”I would like everybody to take a moment and hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families.”
She later added: ”I know how much Kobe loved music, so we got to make this a celebration in his honour.”