Vanessa Bryant Honors Kobe and Gianna During TIME's Person of the Year In Memoriam Presentation

Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to her late husband Kobe Bryant and other famous lives lost in 2020 as she presented the TIME Person of the Year presentation's "In Memoriam" segment.

By Corinne Heller Dec 11, 2020 6:30 PMTags
Watch: Vanessa Bryant Honors Kobe On What Would've Been His 42nd Birthday

Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to her late husband Kobe Bryant and other famous lives lost in 2020.

The 41-year-old NBA icon was killed in a helicopter crash in January along with 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, six other passengers and the pilot. Kobe's passing was one of many shocking deaths this year, weeks before the start of a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 290,000 people in the United States and 1.59 million worldwide.

"Words cannot do justice to the grief we felt this year," Vanessa said on Thursday, Dec. 10 during TIME's Person of the Year presentation. "At every level of human connection, from across the world to across the table, we experienced profound loss. We said goodbye to husbands, daughters, wives, sons, grandparents, friends, and national heroes. And we continue to count the lives surrendered to this cruel pandemic, which has claimed well over a million souls worldwide."

She continued, "Tonight, we mourn the people we all knew and the many we never will. May our collective grief unite us on the path forward."

Kobe Bryant's Family Album

TIME's presentation included a montage set to a performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" performed by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott

Matt Baron/Shutterstock

"Everything is a game seven," Kobe is heard saying in a voiceover, taken from a 2019 appearance on ESPN's SportsCenter. "When you approach every practice, every game with that kind of mentality, it bleeds into the rest of the guys."

Vanessa Bryant / Instagram

The montage also honored legendary James Bond actor Sean ConneryBlack Panther star Chadwick Bosemaniconic TV host Regis Philbinsoul singer Bill Witherscountry star Kenny RogersBonnie Pointer of the R&B group The Pointer Sisters, veteran actor and comedian Carl Reineractress Kelly PrestonJohn Travolta's wife, and actor Jerry StillerBen Stiller's dad.

Look back and remember the lives of other stars we lost in 2020.