Beyonce looked to the heavens as she honored her late friend Kobe Bryant by performing his favorite song XO, at the NBA star’s public memorial on Monday.
Taking to the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday, she opened the day’s proceedings in dignified yet passionate style, watched by a 20,000-strong crowd in the sold out stadium, and many more thousands at home.
But fans noticed a slight change to the lyrics as she delicately changed the words to XO, swapping ‘crashing into you’, for ‘laughing into you’.
And as she finished her second Halo, Beyonce spoke directly to Kobe’s widow. ‘I can feel it / He will be your / She will be your halo,’ sang the 38-year-old, again changing the lyrics.
Introduced as ‘a very close friend of the Bryant family’, Beyonce directed her song towards the spot where Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant sat with her family.
‘I’m here because I love Kobe and this was one of his favorite songs,’ Beyonce shared. Pointing up to the sky, she added: ‘I want you to sing it so loud, they’ll hear your love.’
Clearly emotional, she nonetheless managed to smile as she looked at Vanessa.
Beyonce had known Kobe and his wife since at least 1999, when he made a cameo appearance in Destiny’s Child’s video for Bug-a-Boo.