Lakers fans gathered outside Staples Center. Doc Rivers cried as he spoke to reporters. Athletes shared tributes widely online.

Against the backdrop of the glitzy Grammy Awards’ ceremony Sunday, many across the nation were mourning the loss of former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who was killed earlier in the day in a helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

On the red carpet, many musical stars memorialized the NBA player outside the same Los Angeles venue where he played.

So when it came time to kick off the nationally televised Grammy ceremonies at 8 p.m., Lizzo took the stage in an elaborate off-the-shoulder gown, directing a brass band that played the powerful opening notes of “Cuz I Love You,” as the pop sensation declared: “Tonight is for Kobe.”


“I’m cryin’ cuz I love you,” she crooned.

After holding a note at the end of the song for several seconds, a troupe of ballet dancers in lit-up tutus provided an interlude before Lizzo reappeared in a sassy corset outfit, kicking off her popular hit, “Truth Hurts.”

And, it being Lizzo, you just know she had to bust out a flute solo.

Lizzo played the flute during her performance at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday.
Lizzo played the flute during her performance at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday.Matt Sayles/Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Lizzo went on to have a pretty good night at the Grammys, edging out Billie Eilish in the first televised award of the night for best pop solo performance.

Afterward, Grammys host Alicia Keys also paid emotional tribute to Bryant, singing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” with Boyz II Men.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss