2020 BET Awards: Lil Wayne Pays Tribute to Kobe Bryant

The rapper added new verses to his 2009 mixtape song "Kobe Bryant" to honor the NBA legend, who died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in January.
By Allison Crist Jun 29, 2020 2:05 AMTags
Lil Wayne Celina Kenyon

A touching tribute.

The 2020 BET Awards were brought to a standstill when rapper Lil Wayne paid homage to the late NBA legend, Kobe Bryant by singing "Kobe Bryant" from his mixtape Tear Drop Tune 2.

Following a touching in memoriam segment that remembered stars who have passed such as Huey, Juice WRLD and more, Lil Wayne stood in front of a glowing number 24 (Bryant's jersey number) to sing, adding new verses to his 2009 song that shouted out the BET Awards and offering support to Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant with new lyrics, "Heart goes out to Vanessa and the whole Black Mamba family."

The tribute came just five months after the 41-year-old icon and retired Los Angeles Laker was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with his daughter, 13-year-old Gianna Bryant—who Lil Wayne also paid tribute to in his new verse—and seven other people.

A Lakers superfan, Lil Wayne has found numerous ways to pay tribute to Kobe in the months following his death. On the rapper's latest studio album Funeral, he left a 24-second-long silence to honor the basketball superstar's number when he played for the Los Angeles team. 

Watch
Vanessa Bryant Remembers Kobe & Gianna on Mamba Day

Lil Wayne also shared a throwback photo of himself and Kobe after news of his death first broke, writing, "Forever love. 824." 

Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Last week marked the first Father's Day the Bryant family has celebrated without Kobe, though Vanessa Bryant posted a heartwarming message in his honor. 

"Happy Father's Day to the BEST daddy in the world," Vanessa captioned her post on Instagram. "We miss you so much. We love you forever and always."

"Love, Nani, Gigi, BB, Koko and VB," the 38-year-old mom added.

Vanessa is continually keeping both Kobe and Gianna's legacies alive; most recently urging lawmakers to pass a helicopter safety bill named in their honor.

For more on the 2020 BET Awards—which also celebrated Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Little Richard, who passed away in May—CLICK HERE.