Beyoncé performs “XO” at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service

“This was one of his favorite songs.”

Beyoncé led the memorial event for the late Kobe and Gianna Bryant on Monday night at the Los Angeles Staples Center with a touching musical tribute.

The singer opened her emotional performance with a few words in honor of the basketball legend. “I’m here because I love Kobe, and this was one of his favorite songs,” she said after singing the first line of “XO.” “So, I want to start that over, but I want us to do it all together and I want you to sing it so loud they hear your love.”

Beyoncé, who was backed by a full choir, also changed the song’s lyrics out of respect for the Bryants. She swapped “crashing into you” to “laughing into you,” as well as replacing “kill” during the bridge with “kiss.”

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She later transitioned into an angelic rendition of “Halo,” which featured a new lyric which Beyoncé sang straight to Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant: “He will be your, she will be your halo,” in reference to both Kobe and Gianna.

Both Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z were longtime friends of Kobe’s, who passed away last month in a tragic helicopter accident. His memorial service took place at the Los Angeles Staples Center, where Kobe carried out his legendary 20-season NBA career.

Watch Beyoncé’s moving performance below:

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