Beyoncé opened the packed Staples Center memorial for NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi on Monday with a soaring rendition of two of her most famous songs.
"I'm here because I love Kobe, and this was one of his favorite songs," said Beyoncé, as she began the song "XO" from her self-titled 2013 album.
"I want you to sing it so loud, they'll hear your love," she said, pointing up to the sky.
Beyoncé was introduced as "a very close friend of the Bryant family" and appeared to be singing directly to Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's widow and Gigi's mother, during much of the performance. They'd known each other for years; in 1999, Kobe had a cameo in the Destiny's Child video for "Bug-a-Boo."
Beyoncé also performed "Halo," from her 2008 album I Am... Sasha Fierce. Both songs were arranged to include a gospel choir, with Beyoncé repeating the lyrics "Halo, don't fade away."
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter died in a helicopter crash last month along with seven other people. Thousands have turned out for the memorial at the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, the team Bryant played for during the entirety of his 20-year NBA career.
Dressed in a gold suit and wearing purple jeweled rings — LA Lakers colors — Beyoncé's purple nails spelled out Kobe and Gigi's names.
At the end of the performance, she kissed her hand and held it up to the sky, before turning to Vanessa Bryant and saying, "I love you."