Music

Stadium sits quietly during Usher's solemn cover of "Amazing Grace" for Kobe Bryant

May 20th, 2021

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since we lost one of the greatest sports stars in the world. One year ago on the 26th of January, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna lost their lives in a helicopter crash.

Call it gut-punching, heartbreaking or tear-jerking – Kobe’s death brought the world of sports to tears. For years, we’d all watched the Black Mamba tear up the basketball stadium.

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YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights Source: YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights

Kobe’s shooting guard and defense game was strong, and it was his skill with those two roles that cemented Bryant as an NBA legend.

The NBA postponed an upcoming game between the Lakers and Clippers after news of Kobe’s tragic passing. Naturally so, I can’t imagine anyone would go about their day like usual when something like this happens.

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YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights Source: YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights

With such a legacy behind him, he only deserves the most solemn and appropriate tribute. This man’s accomplishments are one long list, and being the only player to ever spend 20 years with one team is just one of his achievements.

The NBA delivered on that front, and here to sing the most heartfelt and solemn rendition of “Amazing Grace” was none other than Usher.

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YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights Source: YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights

Kobe’s tribute was spectacle after spectacle, which is only fair. The man himself gave all basketball fans the as much spectacle as they could want during his games.

He inspired whole generations of kids, and made his way into everyday language. How many times have you heard someone pretending to shoot a ball while shouting “Kobe!”?

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YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights Source: YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights

No man could have made the numbers 8 and 24 as iconic as Kobe did. Those yellow numbers aren’t just numbers anymore.

Usher is dead focused. He knows just as well as anyone else how loved Kobe Bryant was. The pop and R&B singer pours his heart and soul into the song.

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YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights Source: YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights

All around him, various players from the NBA can be seen with tears in their eyes. Kobe may have been a teammate, rival and colleague to them – but he was a friend above everything else.

Not only did the world lose a spectacular athlete, it also lost a husband and a father.

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YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights Source: YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights

An R&B and pop background helps Usher’s performance a good deal. The subtle control over his chest registers is paramount for a heartfelt, bittersweet song of mourning. Surprisingly, he doesn’t give in to tears like everyone else in the stadium.

When it’s all over, there’s just as much applause as there are tears. Kobe and Gianna Bryant may have passed on, but no one’s forgetting them anytime soon.

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YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights Source: YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights

His legacy and memory is still alive and well inside everyone’s hearts, and a little bit of him lives on every time a kid throws a ball and shouts “Kobe”.

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YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights Source: YouTube screenshot - MLG Highlights

Life can be short, and every now and then, we get treated with some pretty harsh wake-up calls about exactly that. When you’re gone, the only thing that’ll stay behind is the parts of you that people remember. So keep that in mind when you wake up in the morning.

Head down below to watch Usher’s full tribute performance to Kobe Bryant, and remember to give this article a nice big share too!

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Source: MLG Highlights on YouTube, Kobe Bryant on Wikipedia, NBC Sports

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