Ellen DeGeneres Tearfully Remembers Kobe Bryant In Heartfelt Tribute

By Paris Close

January 28, 2020

Ellen DeGeneres couldn’t hold back her tears as she paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.

The talk show host launched into Tuesday morning’s broadcast (January 28) of The Ellen DeGeneres Show with a touching, emotionally-charged opening monologue in famous athlete's honor in light of his tragic death. The loss was especially poignant for DeGeneres, whose 62nd birthday happened to fall on the same day (January 26) the NBA legend died at the age of 41 in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other passengers.

“Today is Monday. Yesterday was Sunday and it happened to be my birthday and the Grammy Awards. I was nominated. I didn’t win. Not the point,” DeGeneres quipped in the pre-taped episode, before choking up with tears. “Yesterday was a celebratory day and we got tragic news about Kobe Bryant and everything changed in a second. And that’s what I want to talk about.”

“Life is short, and it’s fragile, and we don’t know how many birthdays we have. So just — you don’t have to have a birthday to celebrate, just celebrate life,” she went on. “And if you haven’t told someone you love them, do it now. Do it. Tell people you love them. Call your friends. Text your friends. Hug them. Kiss them. Be nice to people at the DMV. They’re people. Be nice to them."

As previously reported, Kobe, Gianna, and seven other passengers were en route to a youth basketball game in a private helicopter when a fire reportedly broke out before the Sikorsky S-76B went down early Sunday morning.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, born in June 2019.

Photo: YouTube/The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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