The 2020 Grammys premiere ceremony started with a moment’s silence in memory of late basketball star Kobe Bryant.
The awards ceremony is traditionally held at the Staples Centre in LA, which is home to the Lakers – Bryant’s former team.
The premiere ceremony, which happens before the televised one, Interim Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. opened the ceremony where dozens of Grammys are handed out before the main event.
He told attendees: “As most of you may know, we lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter accident today.
“Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence.”
Fans have paid tribute outside the Staples Centre, filling the entrance with floral decorations. Footage has emerged on social media that shows crowds gathering around the venue that the sportsman once trained at.
News of the sporting legend’s death broke within the last few hours.
The 41-year-old was travelling in his private helicopter when a fire broke out.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call for a downed helicopter at around 10am local time this morning. Emergency services attended the scene and put out the fire, with police going on to confirm to the media that all nine people on board died in the crash, including eight passengers plus the pilot.
As of yet, the cause of the crash is not known.
Writing on Twitter, comedian Kevin Hart said: “This honestly doesn’t make sense….I just saw you man. This hurts my heart. God please place your hands on his family and help guide them thru this unbearable time. We love you forever man…Legends never die!!!!…”
Since his death was announced, there has been an outpouring of emotion from stars in the world of sports and entertainment.
The tragic news comes only hours after he toasted fellow NBA icon and current Laker LeBron James for passing him to third place on the league’s all-time scoring list.
After taking the record from him, Bryant congratulated his former opponent, writing: “Continuing to move the game forward
@KingJames. Much respect my brother.”