Kobe Bryant’s Death Evokes Emotional Response From Country Stars
Kobe Bryant's death has rocked the country music community. Singers who grew up fans of the NBA legend joined with artists who could simply relate as parents in extending sympathies after Bryant and his daughter died in a helicopter crash on Sunday (Jan. 26).
Bryant was 41 years old. His daughter Gianna, nicknamed Gigi, was one of the other eight passengers onboard the private helicopter when it crashed in Calabasas, Calif., an area west of Los Angeles. There were no survivors.
TMZ was was first to break the news of the crash, while People was first to reveal Bryant's 13-year-old daughter was on the copter. His other three daughters and his wife, Vanessa, were not believed to be on board.
Bryant is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time and certainly one of the Top 5 for a generation that includes country singers like Chris Young, Chase Rice, Scotty McCreeery and Mitchell Tenpenny. They were among the first to react with shock, sadness or a combination of both. LeAnn Rimes, Thompson Square, Darius Rucker and Jana Kramer are a few others who commented on Bryant's untimely death.
Taylor Swift's Response Was Much More Personal:
The former Los Angeles Laker played all of his home games at the Staples Center, the venue for Sunday night's Grammy Awards. At the beginning of the pre-show premiere ceremony, the audience took a moment of silence before handing out awards.
Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016 as the third all-time leading scorer, a mark surpassed by LeBron James earlier this week.
This story was updated to reflect news that nine were killed in the crash, not five as previously reported.
Country Stars React to Kobe Bryant's Death:
See Country Stars Who've Died In Plane + Helicopter Crashes: