Why Taylor Swift’s Response to Kobe Bryant Was So Personal
"Kobe meant so much to me and to us all," she wrote on Twitter hours after news broke that Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were two of nine people killed in a helicopter crash west of Los Angeles. "Sending my prayers, love, and endless condolences to Vanessa and the family and anyone who lost someone on that flight."
The friendship between Bryant and Swift goes back 4-and-a-half years, to when she sold out her record 16th show at the Staples Center in L.A., home to Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers (he retired in 2016).
During the show, Bryant surprised Swift by first admitting he was a fan, then presenting her with a banner in the rafters. It was an emotional moment that included hugs and probably a few tears. Bryant talked about being a Swift fan as recently as September 2019 when he was a guest on the Jordan Harbinger Show.
Keith Urban, Chris Young, Chase Rice, Scotty McCreeery and Mitchell Tenpenny were among the first country singers to respond to news Bryant had died at the age of 41. The basketball star's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was one of four daughters he and wife Vanessa had together.
Jason Aldean is another artist who gave a touching tribute to the legend on social media.
Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016 as the third all-time leading scorer, a mark surpassed by LeBron James earlier this week. The other victims of the helicopter crash have not been identified.
Country Stars React to Kobe Bryant's Death:
See Country Stars Who've Died In Plane + Helicopter Crashes: