Beyonce Kicks Off LA Memorial For Kobe Bryant And Daughter

 

Beyonce kicked off a star-studded memorial ceremony in Los Angeles on Monday for basketball great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna who died along with seven others in a helicopter crash last month.

“I’m here because I love Kobe,” said the 70-time Grammy-nominated artist as she launched into one of Bryant’s favorite songs “XO,” dressed in a golden suit — the color of the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant’s team for two decades.

The public memorial — dubbed “A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant” — was being held at Staples Center, the arena where Bryant wowed fans for 17 years.

The 2/24 date for the memorial carries special significance as it coincides with Bryant’s jersey number — “24” — and Gianna’s “2” jersey number.

Fellow NBA legends Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell were among those attending the memorial along with Bryant family members and fans.

“It’s hard in a two-minute, five-minute time to say everything he meant to the world, to the NBA and to basketball fans. He’s bigger than life,” Johnson said on Sunday.

“And it will take years to get over his passing and his daughter and the seven other people who lost their lives as well.”

– ‘He was my everything’ –
Bryant’s widow Vanessa, paid a tearful tribute to her late husband and daughter, saying she could not fathom life without them.

“He was my everything,” she said, recalling meeting Bryant when she was 17 years old. “He was the most amazing husband.”

She spoke of her heartbreak at not being able to watch Gianna grow up and missing important moments of her life.

“I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day,” she said through tears. “I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy.”

A visibly shaken Jimmy Kimmel also spoke at the ceremony saying he saw Kobe and Gianna’s faces and jersey numbers everywhere in Los Angeles.

Among other celebrities attending the memorial were filmmaker Spike Lee — who was close friends with Bryant and directed a documentary on his life — and rapper Snoop Dogg, an avid Lakers fan.

Many of the fans lucky enough to nab one of the much sought-after 20,000 tickets for the memorial wore the gold and purple colors of the Lakers as they headed for the two-and-a-half hour ceremony being held amid tight security.

“Kobe meant everything for this city, for this team and for me,” said Karen Sanchez, 41, as she waited with friends to enter the arena. “I watched him play from the beginning.”

Marcos Rojas, 23, another ticketholder, said Bryant’s January 26 death near Los Angeles had been devastating to fans like him who worshipped the player.

“For me, it was like losing a friend,” said Rojas who wore a Lakers jersey with Kobe’s number.

“I always watched him playing with my friends,” he told AFP. “I always picked Kobe to play in my video games. I couldn’t leave home the day of his passing.”

Those attending the memorial were given a 24-page program with pictures of Bryant and his family as well as a pin and black T-shirt featuring images of Kobe and his daughter on the back.

Tearful Michael Jordan Commemorates Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan speaks during The Celebration of Life for Kobe & Gianna Bryant at Staples Center on February 24, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP

 

A tearful Michael Jordan on Monday commemorated his “little brother” Kobe Bryant at a star-filled memorial in Los Angeles for the basketball great and his daughter Gianna who died with seven others in a helicopter crash last month.

“When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died, and as I look in this arena, across the globe, a piece of you died,” the NBA legend said, tears streaming down his face.

“I promise you, from this day forward, I will live with the memories and knowing that I had a little brother,” Jordan, widely regarded as the greatest player in history, added.

“I tried to help in every way I could. Please rest in peace little brother.”

The public memorial — dubbed “A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant” — was being held at Staples Center, the arena where Bryant wowed fans for 17 years, known as “the house that Kobe built.”

The 2/24 date carries special significance as it coincides with Bryant’s jersey number — “24” — and Gianna’s “2” jersey number.

Another basketball great, Shaquille O’Neal, who won three NBA titles with Bryant, also spoke at the ceremony while several music stars, including Beyonce and Alicia Keys, performed.

“I’m here because I love Kobe,” said the 70-time Grammy-nominated Beyonce as she launched into one of Bryant’s favourite songs “XO,” dressed in a golden suit — the colour of the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant’s team for two decades.

 ‘He was my everything’ 

Bryant’s widow Vanessa paid a tearful tribute to her late husband and daughter, saying she could not fathom life without them.

“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other,” Bryant said in her first public remarks since the January 26 crash. “He had to bring them home together.”

She spoke of her heartbreak at not being able to watch Gianna, who was 13, grow up and missing important moments of her life.

“I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day,” she said through tears, receiving a standing ovation for the tribute.

“I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy.”

A visibly shaken Jimmy Kimmel — the comedian officiated at the ceremony — said he saw Kobe and Gianna’s faces and jersey numbers everywhere in Los Angeles and beyond.

“All we can do is to be grateful for the time we had with them,” the late night talk show host said.

Among other celebrities attending the memorial were filmmaker Spike Lee — who was close friends with Bryant and directed a documentary on his life — and rapper Snoop Dogg, an avid Lakers fan.

Many of the fans lucky enough to nab one of the much sought-after 20,000 tickets for the memorial wore the gold and purple colours of the Lakers as they headed for the two-and-a-half-hour ceremony being held amid tight security.

“Kobe meant everything for this city, for this team and for me,” said Karen Sanchez, 41, as she waited with friends to enter the arena. “I watched him play from the beginning.”

Marcos Rojas, 23, another ticketholder, said Bryant’s January 26 death near Los Angeles had been devastating to fans like him who worshipped the player.

“For me, it was like losing a friend,” said Rojas who wore a Lakers jersey with Kobe’s number.

“I always watched him playing with my friends,” he told AFP. “I always picked Kobe to play in my video games. I couldn’t leave home the day of his passing.”

Those attending the memorial were given a 24-page program with pictures of Bryant and his family as well as a pin and a black T-shirt featuring images of Kobe and his daughter on the back.

AFP

Bryant’s Widow Sues Helicopter Company Over Fatal Crash

In this file photo taken on November 21, 2015 Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the Lakers NBA match up with the Toronto Raptors,at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  Robyn BECK / AFP

 

Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa filed a lawsuit on Monday against the operators of the helicopter that crashed on January 26, killing the NBA icon and eight others.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on the same day that Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the other seven crash victims were memorialized in a public ceremony at the Staples Center.

The lawsuit names Island Express Helicopters, Island Express Holding Corp. and the estate of the helicopter’s pilot, Ara Zobayan, who was among the victims.

Gianna Bryant’s basketball teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, Altobelli’s parents John and Keri, Payton’s mother Sarah and basketball coach Christina Mauser were also killed.

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the exact cause of the crash, although preliminary findings showed no sign of mechanical failure.

Monday’s lawsuit faults the company for allowing the helicopter to fly in “heavy fog and low clouds” that Sunday morning, conditions which prompted “law enforcement agencies and tour companies” to ground their helicopters.

“On information and belief, Island Express Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration operating certificate limited its pilots to flying only under visual flight rules,” the lawsuit says.

“The subject helicopter was not licensed or certified to be flown into instrument conditions. On information and belief, the pilot-in-command, Ara George Zobayan, was required to fly only in conditions that he could navigate visually.

“Ara George Zobayan attempted to manoeuvre the helicopter up and forward to clear the clouds, then entered a turn sending the helicopter into steep terrain at approximately 180 mph,” according to the suit. “Witnesses on the ground reported seeing the helicopter flying through a layer of clouds and fog before the helicopter crashed.”

The lawsuit notes that in 2015 Zobayan was cited by the FAA for violating the visual flight rules minimums by “flying into the airspace of reduced visibility from weather conditions.”

Island Express did not immediately comment on the suit, which seeks unspecified general, economic and punitive damages.

AFP

Thousands Attend LA Memorial For Kobe Bryant, Daughter

People arrive to attend the “Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant” service at Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles on February 24, 2020. – Kobe Bryant, 41, and 13-year-old Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in the rugged hills west of Los Angeles on January 26. Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

 

Thousands of celebrities, athletes, family members and fans poured into the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday to honor basketball great Kobe Bryant, who died last month in a helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

The public memorial — dubbed “A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant” — is being held in the arena where Bryant wowed fans for nearly two decades while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 2/24 date for the memorial carries special significance as it coincides with Bryant’s jersey number — “24” — and Gianna’s “2” jersey number.

Fellow Laker legend Magic Johnson was among those attending the memorial, which is taking place just hours after the Lakers 114-112 win over the Boston Celtics at Staples Center on Sunday.

“It’s hard in a two-minute, five-minute time to say everything he meant to the world, to the NBA and to basketball fans. He’s bigger than life,” Johnson said ahead of the game on Sunday. “And it will take years to get over his passing and his daughter and the seven other people who lost their lives as well.”

Among other celebrities attending were filmmaker Spike Lee — who was close friends with Bryant and directed a documentary on his life — and rapper Snoop Dogg, an avid Lakers fan.

Many of the fans lucky enough to nab one of the much-sought after 20,000 tickets for the memorial wore the gold and purple colors of the Lakers as they headed for the two-and-a-half hour ceremony scheduled to start at 10 am (1800 GMT) amid tight security.

“Kobe meant everything for this city, for this team and for me,” said Karen Sanchez, 41, as she waited with friends to enter the arena. “I watched him play from the beginning.”

Marcos Rojas, 23, another ticketholder, said Bryant’s January 26 death near Los Angeles had been devastating to fans like him who worshipped the player.

“For me, it was like losing a friend,” said Rojas who wore a Lakers jersey with Kobe’s number.

“I always watched him playing with my friends,” he told AFP. “I always picked Kobe to play in my video games. I couldn’t leave home the day of his passing.”

Those attending the memorial were being given a 24-page program with pictures of Bryant and his family as well as a pin and black T-shirt featuring images of Kobe and his daughter on the back.

Some of the fans paid up to $224 a ticket.

AFP

NBA Names All-Star Award To Honour Kobe Bryant

In this file photo taken on November 21, 2015 Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the Lakers NBA match up with the Toronto Raptors, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  Robyn BECK / AFP

 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the All-Star Game MVP award will now be called the Kobe Bryant Award as players lined up to pay tribute to the late NBA icon on Saturday.

“Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA all-star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game,” Silver said. “He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world.”

Bryant and his daughter, Gigi, were buried in private funeral service in southern California last week after they were among nine people who perished in a horrific helicopter crash on January 26.

The uniforms for Sunday’s all-star game in Chicago will also honour Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter with LeBron James’ team wearing the No. 2 for the basketball-playing Gigi and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s team wearing No. 24 in a tribute to Bryant.

Antetokounmpo was one of several all-stars who also spoke Saturday about their memories and the legacy that Bryant left behind.

“The format is amazing,” Antetokounmpo said. “It makes you want to play hard and compete against one another. Each quarter you have the opportunity to win, and it makes it way more competitive.

“But wearing 24 and LeBron wearing number two, it’s a big honour. I wouldn’t want it any other way representing Kobe and Gigi in tomorrow night’s game.”

Antetokounmpo described the four-time All-Star Game MVP Bryant as the “Michael Jordan of our generation.”

“A guy that mentored me in the last few years of my career, a guy that was always there for me,” Antetokounmpo said. “In the regular season, the playoffs, a guy that told me that whenever I need something, I could just reach out to him, and he was literally always there. If I needed something, he would text me back, call me.

“Growing up, he was my idol. He was one of those guys that gave back to the game so much, gave back to the players. A lot of people when they’re so great, they don’t do that.”

Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker said this is an emotional time for the NBA family not only because of the death of Bryant but also former commissioner David Stern, who died on New Year’s Day.

“With the tragic death of Kobe and Gigi and the rest of the families on the plane and David Stern, it’s definitely going to be a very emotional weekend, and we’re going to celebrate those guys and everyone else as best as we can,” Walker said.

“They meant so much to our game. They grew the game so much. We all just have a lot of respect for them.”

 Memorial service 

A public memorial service for Bryant will be held February 24 at Staples Center arena in downtown Los Angeles.

Also, Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones captured the Slam Dunk Contest by beating out Orlando Magic big man Aaron Gordon in a six-dunk display.

“It was great, a great competition,” said Jones, who won by one point.

Jones ran from the opposite three-point line and jumped from 13 feet and slammed in a left-handed dunk for his narrow victory.

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield won the Three-Point Contest and Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo defeated Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis in the Skills Challenge.

AFP

Tributes Pour In For Kobe Bryant At NBA All-Star Game

 

Tributes to the late Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend who died last month in a helicopter crash, will play a major role in Sunday’s 69th NBA All-Star Game.

This year’s annual showcase of league talent will be played in Chicago and feature numerous nods to Bryant, a five-time NBA champion who also matched a league record with four NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player awards.

Bryant, an 18-time NBA All-Star, died at age 41 on January 26 in a crash near Los Angeles that also took the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

All-Star teams guided by LeBron James of the Lakers and Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will compete to win each of the first three quarters, which will all start 0-0 and last 12 minutes.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the clock will be turned off and a final target score will be established by taking the leading club’s cumulative score through the first three quarters and adding 24 points — the number representing the jersey number worn by Bryant for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career.

The first team to reach the cumulative target score will win the NBA All-Star Game.

All-Star Game jerseys will also honor Bryant and his daughter.

Team Giannis players will wear jersey number 24 in tribute to Kobe while Team LeBron players will wear jersey number two, the number his daughter wore when playing youth basketball.

Both teams will wear jersey patches displaying nine stars, representing the nine people who were killed in the crash.

Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson, a Chicago native, will perform a special tribute to Bryant, his daughter and the others who were killed in the crash. Her performance will begin the night ahead of the player introductions.

James and Antetokounmpo each chose their squads from available starters and reserves voted and selected to the All-Star contest.

Team LeBron starters will include James, his Lakers teammate Anthony Davis, NBA scoring leader James Harden of Houston, Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers and Slovenian guard Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Team Giannis starters include the Greek big man, Cameroon stars Joel Embiid of Philadelphia and Pascal Siakam of Toronto and guards Kemba Walker of Boston and Trae Young of Atlanta.

A record eight All-Star Game players from outside the United States also include Frenchman Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz on Team Giannis and Team LeBron reserves Ben Simmons of Australia and the Philadelphia 76ers, Lithuanian Domantas Sabonis of Indiana and Serbian Nikola Jokic of Denver.

AFP

Snoop Dogg Apologises for Attacking Gayle King Over Kobe Bryant Rape Allegation

 

Almost a week after creating a firestorm by insulting Gayle King and telling her to beware “before we come to get you,” Snoop Dogg took to his Instagram account again on Wednesday, this time to formally apologise to the anchor.

The rapper’s apology to King came after attacking her over her interview with former basketball star Lisa Leslie about the late Kobe Bryant.

“Two wrongs don’t make no right. When you’re wrong, you gotta fix it,” Snoop Dogg posted.

He added that “So with that being said, Gayle King, I publicly tore you down by coming at you in a derogatory manner based on emotions of me being angry at a question you asked. Overreacted.

“I should have handled it way different than that, I was raised way better than that, so I would like to apologise publicly for the language that I used and calling you out your name and just being disrespectful.”

 

Snoop Dogg earlier insulted the “CBS This Morning” anchor after she brought up rape allegations from Bryant’s past in her interview with Leslie, a friend of Bryant.

Snoop Dogg then went on Instagram and called King crude and unprintable names.

King herself was angry at CBS News for promoting a snippet of what was a wide-ranging interview on social media, which drew snappy reactions and accusations online where she was accused of crossing the line.

King, in her own Instagram message, said she could see why people might be upset if they only saw a brief portion of what was discussed.

Snoop Dogg, a friend of Bryant and a Lakers fan, was hardly the only one angry at King for her questioning — LeBron James and even Bill Cosby were among her critics.

His comments were however among the most inflammatory and seen as a threat. King’s best friend, Oprah Winfrey, said that King was “not doing well” and getting death threats because of the interview.

Kobe Bryant’s Memorial Set For Feb 24

In this file photo taken on November 21, 2015 Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the Lakers NBA match up with the Toronto Raptors,at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  Robyn BECK / AFP

 

Los Angeles will host a public memorial on February 24 at Staples Center for NBA icon Kobe Bryant and eight others killed last month in a helicopter crash, US media reported Thursday.

The Los Angeles Times, citing two unnamed sources, and CNN, citing a source close to the Bryant family, were among the outlets reporting the event, which had not been officially announced.

The Los Angeles Lakers — the club where Bryant starred for 20 seasons — Staples Center, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office did not immediately confirm the event was planned.

The “2-24” date would carry some symbolism — Bryant wore the No. 24 jersey in the later stages of his career and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who also died in the crash, wore No. 2 for her school basketball team.

Gianna’s teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, Alyssa’s parents John and Keri Altobelli, Payton’s mother Sarah Chester, basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan also died in the January 26 crash, the cause of which remains under investigation.

Staples Center, the home arena of both the Lakers and the rival Los Angeles Clippers, as well as a concert venue, has hosted memorials for recording artists Michael Jackson and Nipsey Hussle.

The Lakers themselves paid emotional tribute to Bryant there in their first game after the club legend’s death, when they hosted the Portland Trail Blazers.

Fans mourning Bryant had made the area outside Staples a spontaneous shrine, leaving mountains of flowers along with basketballs, jerseys, stuffed animals and other mementoes.

Those items have been cleared away, with Staples Center officials saying the spent flowers would be used as mulch in plantings around the venue. Thousands of other items were packed up and sent to Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, at her request.

The February 24 date, a Monday, falls the day between two Lakers home games, and reports indicated it would take place early enough in the day to allow a Clippers to host a scheduled home game against the Memphis Grizzlies that evening.

AFP

US Broadcaster Slams Snoop Dogg, Others Over Kobe Bryant Threats

 In this file photo taken on November 20, 2019 Gayle King speaks during the 62nd Grammy Awards Nominations Conference at CBS Broadcast Center in New York City. Angela Weiss / AFP
In this file photo taken on November 20, 2019 Gayle King speaks during the 62nd Grammy Awards Nominations Conference at CBS Broadcast Center in New York City. Angela Weiss / AFP

 

The president of CBS News on Sunday denounced as “reprehensible” a comment by famed rapper Snoop Dogg that appeared to threaten a news anchor over an interview about late basketball star Kobe Bryant.

Bryant died, along with his daughter and seven other people, in a helicopter crash on January 26 in California. Since then, references to a 2003 sexual abuse allegation against him have drawn a furious reaction from fans.

Snoop Dogg’s harangue on social media followed an interview that Gayle King, anchor of “CBS This Morning,” had about Bryant with Lisa Leslie, a former star player in women’s professional basketball.

In it, King seemed to press Leslie about the 2003 case, while Leslie repeatedly portrayed her friend as someone who “was never like that” and who would “never do something to violate a woman.”

A seething Snoop Dogg then posted an obscenity-laced video online, calling King a “funky dog-head bitch.”

He added, ominously, “Respect the family and back off, bitch, before we come and get you.”

CBS President Susan Zirinsky called the remarks “reprehensible,” adding in a statement to The Hill news website, “We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist.”

Multiple death threats

In the wake of the exchange, King has received multiple death threats, according to her good friend, media mega-star Oprah Winfrey.

“She is not doing well,” Winfrey said Friday on NBC, adding, “She has now death threats, and now has to travel with security, and she’s feeling very much attacked.”

Also coming to King’s defense was former national security adviser Susan Rice, who bluntly warned Snoop Dogg in a tweet to “back the fuck off,” adding, “You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty.”

King herself posted two videos saying the interview had been edited in a way that misrepresented its actual tone.

“I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I would be extremely angry with me too,” she said in one video. “I am mortified. I’m embarrassed and I am very angry.”

The video, she went on, was “totally taken out of context.”

A fuller interview

King said that in the full interview she had spent much more time talking about Bryant’s career, his mentorship of younger people and his sense of humor.

A statement from CBS appeared to concede problems in the editing process.

“Gayle conducted a thoughtful, wide-ranging interview,” it said. “We are addressing the internal process that led to this, and changes have already been made.”

Earlier, the Washington Post briefly suspended reporter Felicia Sonmez after she posted a link, the day of Bryant’s death, that called attention to the 2003 allegations.

She said she received thousands of angry emails, including death threats.

Senior editors at the Post told her she had shown poor judgment, though other journalists at the Post rallied around her.

Bryant was arrested in 2003 after a woman in Colorado said he had sexually assaulted her in his hotel room there.

He insisted he had believed the encounter was consensual, but later reached an undisclosed settlement with the accuser.

 

AFP

Remembering Kobe, Shakira’s Magic – Five Key Moments From The Super Bowl

Shakira performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP
Shakira performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP

 

Despite standing only five-seven, Shakira occupied the Hard Rock Stadium like the NFL giants during the half-time spectacle on Sunday. Here are some of the most memorable moments — with Donald Trump, Kobe Bryant and Jennifier Lopez — of the 2020 Super Bowl show.

Kobe remembered

The death of the legendary basketballer transcended the NBA, and a week to the day of the accident, the NFL made a tribute to him. Before the presentation of the teams, the Chiefs and the 49ers positioned themselves on the 24 yard line, a nod to Kobe Bryant’s jersey number before the entire stadium observed a minute of silence. Amid the sea of Kansas City and San Francisco jerseys in the stands were some fans in Lakers tunics with the number eight — the number Bryant debuted with at the start of his career — or 24. Several Super Bowl players wrote “Black Mamba” — Bryant’s nickname — on their shoes in memory of the player.

Half-time Latina fever

Expected to give a Latino flare to this year’s Super Bowl — held in Miami, the city with the largest Latino population in the US — Shakira and Jennifer Lopez did not disappoint. The Colombian began with a medley of her notable hits, such as “Whenever, Wherever,” and “Hips Don’t Lie,” before she was joined by the Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny. New Yorker Jennifier Lopez took up the baton, keeping the pace fast and fun. J-Lo responded to Shakira’s famous dance moves with a spectacular pole-dance sequence, straight out of her recent film “Hustlers”. Everything combined to conjure the atmosphere of a Miami club. But judging by the reaction in the stadium and online, Shakira won hands down.

Trump and Bloomberg ads

Celebrities, bonkers stunts, and innovations called up by companies to make their mark were eclipsed by Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg — the first presidential candidates to offer Americans nationwide Super Bowl ads. They avoided attacking each other and instead addressed black voters. The president claimed he had reformed the country’s justice system, embodied by a black woman, who was granted early release. The message was met — unsurprisingly — with skepticism on Twitter. Bloomberg’s spot, concentrating on gun violence, showed another black woman, the mother of a young man shot dead. The head of National Rifle Association immediately counter-attacked, warning that gun owners would not be deprived of their arms.

Tom Brady’s hoax

A photo of the New England Patriots quarterback, at the entrance to a football stadium, caused a stir with some seeing it as a retirement announcement. “They say all good things come to an end,” said Tom Brady at the start of the Super Bowl spot. But it was a hoax and the end in question was that of traditional television, promoted by online service Hulu. The man — considered by many the best player of all time — ended the commercial by telling fans: “I’m not going anywhere.” Brady is expected to return next year and has not excluded joining a club other than his lifelong team, the Patriots, with whom he has won six Super Bowls.

Chiefs delight gamblers

By coming from behind at the very end of the match to win 31-20, Kansas City made more than one gambler happy, not to mention the bookies, who had made the Chiefs the favorite. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), some 26 million Americans planned to bet on the Super Bowl — totaling an estimated $6.8 billion. On the losing side, according to Darren Rovell, of the specialized site Action Network, two people bet, and lost, a million dollars each on the match, opting for the 49ers.

Vibez EP 6: Burna Boy’s Shine, Kobe’s Exit And More Peruzzi Drama

 

The past week was one filled with all sorts of emotions – thrills, anticipation, and unfortunately losses.

Vibez brings you a quick rundown of the moments and stories that stood out.

5. Dr Sid, Wife Head For Divorce

Love is indeed a beautiful thing but sometimes like they say, it’s just not enough.

Trending at number 5 is a love story gone sour, of popular singer, Dr Sid and his estranged wife, Simi Esiri.

Simi who is the founder and editor-in-chief of Schick magazine, confirmed her separation from the singer, saying they are heading for a divorce.

She said this while reacting to allegations that she was violent in the marriage.

Simi and Dr Sid tied the knot in 2014 and they have two beautiful daughters together. The singer is, however, yet to comment on the matter.

4. Peruzzi Accused of Defrauding, Sexually Assaulting Singer

Taking the number 4 spot, is Peruzzi’s controversial start to 2020 which has continued with another accusation and this time it’s from a London-based singer who claims to have been defrauded and sexually molested by him.

The UK-based singer identified as Daffy Blanco, called Peruzzi out on Instagram, alleging that she had paid him about 15million naira for a songwriting service that was never rendered.

She further alleged that Perruzi had also attempted to rape her and subsequently, inflicted physical injuries on her.

But the singer who is still embroiled in a contract renegade situation with his former manager, appears to have laughed off the accusation via a post of his own on social media.

3. Ernest Asuzu Allegedly Ill With Stroke

At number three is the controversial story of Nollywood actor, Ernest Asuzu, who is reportedly down with a stroke.

Asuzu who has in the past featured in many Nollywood hits with the likes of Jim Iyke was said to have had a stroke in 2016 but was later healed by a pastor who also allegedly gifted him a jeep and some money to revive his career.

However, news that his situation has taken a turn for the worse recently surfaced after a video of him allegedly roaming the streets and begging for help, went viral.

A man who claimed to have spotted the actor by a shopping mall, was seen appealing to fellow actors in Nollywood to come to Asuzu’s rescue.

2. NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, Daughter Die In Helicopter Crash

At number 2 is the shocking death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

The basketballer died on Sunday when a helicopter he was flying in crashed and burst into flames in thick fog, killing all nine people on board including his teenage daughter, Gianna.

Bryant is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history and the news of his death did not only plunge the sports world into mourning but it also cast a shadow across the globe.

He is survived by his wife and three children and tributes have continued to pour in both for him and the others who died in the crash.

1. Grammys 2020: Burna Boy, Agelique Kidjo Stir Social Media

And finally, topping our list is the 2020 Grammy awards, where a lot of Nigerians and Afrobeats lovers had been rooting for Burna Boy to pick up the prize in the Best World Music Category.

The hopes of thousands of Nigerian music fans for a second Grammy for the country, were, however, dashed as serial winner Angelique Kidjo who was also a nominee in the category, took home the prize for the fourth time.

Kidjo who sings in more than five languages and whose career has spanned almost four decades was gracious in receiving the award and dedicated it to Burna boy.

While some fans took to social media to express their disappointment, others continued to congratulate him.

One of those who particularly stood out, was south African rapper, A.K.A worldwide, who had been engaged in a social media brawl with Burna, months ago.

A.k.A, however, appeared to be letting bygones be bygones in a tweet, where he described Burna Boy as a champion for his Grammy nomination.

Other big winners included teenage goth-pop artiste, Billie Eilish with a total of five golden statuettes, including the award for album of the year, Tyler, the Creator, Lizzo and Lil Nas X.

Meanwhile, the Grammys opened with a tribute to the late basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, with many stars at the event paying homage to him.

Music

Sauti Sol Signs Major Recording Deal With Universal Music Africa

Staying with music from the international scene, Kenyan afro-pop band, Sauti Sol has signed a major recording deal with universal music Africa, a division of the universal music group.

The deal comes just as the group is preparing to drop its 5th studio album titled ‘midnight train’, following their successful 2019 album, ‘Afrikan Sauce’ which featured the likes of Patoranking, Tiwa Savage and Burna Boy.

Sauti Sol announced the news on social media and thanked fans for their support and patience with their upcoming album.

Movies

Mercy Eke, Davido, Cohbams Asuquo, Others Feature In ‘Fate of Alakada

And in moviedom, Nollywood actress and producer Toyin Abraham, appears to be pushing the boat out on the new installment of her comedy film ‘Alakada’.

The new movie which is titled: ‘the fate of Alakada’ will include appearances from the top shelf of the Nigerian showbiz circle such as singers Davido, Cobhams, Orezi.

BbNaija reality stars, Mercy, Khafi, Khloe and Anto as well as fashion icon, Toyin Lawani are also expected to feature in the film.

Fashion

Who wore what at the 2020 Grammys

The Grammy Award has come and gone but we certainly won’t be leaving you without sharing some of our most unforgettable looks.

In addition to receiving six nominations, Billie Eilish shook the red carpet with her neon green crystal-embroidered Gucci suit while Billy Porter was also on brand with his shimmery blue suit and fringe hat.

Priyanka Chopra was spotted looking ravishing in a navel bearing gown, while Lizzo, Ariana Grande and Lil Nas X, were equally nothing short of show-stopping.

James Vows To Carry On Bryant’s Legacy

 

LeBron James vowed Friday that he and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates would continue the legacy of club icon Kobe Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash.

James, his voice fraught with emotion, addressed the Staples Center crowd before the Lakers returned to NBA action for the first time since Bryant’s death.

Flinging away his prepared notes, James said to cheers he would speak from the heart, calling on all present to celebrate Bryant’s life and a career that included five NBA titles in 20 years with the Lakers.

“I know at some point we will have a memorial for Kobe,” he said. “But I look at this as a celebration tonight.

“This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken-down body, the getting up, sitting down to everything, the countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be.

“Tonight we celebrate the kid who came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years.

“The fact that I’m here now means so much to me,” James said. “I’m going to continue with my teammates to continue his legacy not only for this year but as long as we can continue to play the game of basketball that we love, because that’s what Kobe Bryant would want.”

After the game, James said he decided to deviate from his notes “pretty much when I went up there.

“I wanted to make sure I acknowledged all the lives that were lost Sunday morning and I didn’t want to mess that up so I looked at the names on a paper,” James said.

He movingly pronounced the names of all nine people who died in the crash, a somber list that included Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

“But when I kind of looked at the notecards I had or that was kind of being insisted on — and some of it was what I wanted to talk about — I decided for me personally just letting the words flow right from the heart and whatever comes out they’re pure – there’s truth to it.”

One truth he’d come to realize, James said, was that the ruthlessly competitive Bryant had blossomed since retiring in 2016 as he focused on creative pursuits and life with his wife, Vanessa, and their four daughters.

“Seeing Kobe play the game of basketball 20 years for the Lakers since he was 18 to 38, and I was like you know it’s crazy, these last three years, out of all the success he had, five rings, multiple MVPs, All-Star Game MVP, first-league everything, all-life, all-world all-basketball — it felt like these last three years was the happiest I’ve ever seen him,” James said.