As the annual event kicked off, the audience was met with a teary-eyed Keys, 39, who was hesitant to address the tragedy that had occurred earlier that day.
She said: “Earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
Boyz II Men, the iconic American R&B trio, then joined the Girl On Fire singer onstage for an emotional rendition of their 1991 cover of It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.
Along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other victims, the two-time NBA finalist died in a tragic helicopter crash in Los Angeles. He was 41.
Before their gripping performance, Keys added, “We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this…”
“We wanted to do something that could describe, a tiny bit, how we all feel right now,” she added.
The 62nd annual Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, Calif., which was the longtime home to the former Los Angeles Laker player throughout his highly successful career (1996-2016).