Family, friends and fans show up in thousands for Kobe Bryant and Gianna memorial

Photo / Getty

Photo / Getty

The lives of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna - who tragically died along with seven other victims in a helicopter crash earlier this year - were celebrated today.

In a Celebration of Life memorial held at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, family, friends and fans gathered to remember those who lost their lives, especially the basketball legend and his daughter.

Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant spoke at the event, describing her late husband as "the MVP of girl dads", calling him a "doting" father "that was hands-on and present".

Speaking about her daughter, Vanessa said: "She was competitive like her dad but Gianna had a sweet grace. Her smile was like sunshine."

Singer Beyonce performed a surprise tribute, performing her song XO, which she revealed was one of Kobe’s favourite songs. She then followed the song with her 2008 hit song Halo.

"I’m here because I love Kobe," Beyonce said.

The other victims of the helicopter crash included baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their basketball-playing daughter Alyssa; mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester; Mamba Academy basketball coach Christina Mauser; and pilot Ara Zobayan.

A private funeral was held on February 7 for Kobe and Gianna.