Brandy spoke out on Kobe Bryant's death on Instagram on Friday, January 31. The singer went to prom with the NBA star back in 1996, and they were once very close and rumored to be dating. She expressed her total disbelief at his passing in her message, and she also extended her condolences to his wife Vanessa Bryant and all the other victims' families.
Kobe, Gianna, and seven others lost their lives when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed into a hillside and burst into flames in Calabasas, California on Sunday, January 26. There were no survivors and the crash investigation is ongoing.
Brandy is the latest star to pay tribute to the late Lakers legend. LeBron James got a new tattoo in Kobe's honor, while former teammate Shaquille O'Neal tearfully described what their friendship meant to him on the Inside The NBA special on TNT on Tuesday night. "Lost two grandmothers, lost a father, lost my sister ... and now I lost a little brother,” he said. He also revealed that when his son first told him the news, he thought it was a hoax.
Vanessa broke her silence on Kobe and Gianna's deaths on January 29 in a heartbreaking statement. "My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri," Vanessa wrote.
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She continued, "We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality."
Vanessa went on to urge people to donate to the fund set up to aid the other victims' families. "To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me," she concluded.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed on Thursday that he was helping to organize a public memorial service for Kobe, Gianna and the other victims. "There will absolutely be a memorial to mark the contributions of this incredible man and not only him, but to commemorate the loss of his daughter and all the other families that were there. We don’t have that date finalized but we’ve been talking every day to the Lakers, and most importantly, to Kobe’s widow, Vanessa as well," Mayor Garcetti said, according to KTLA.