US artist Alicia Keys performs during a concert. (IANS/EFE/Marcelo Sayao). Image Source: IANS News

Los Angeles, Jan 27 : Singer Alicia Keys opened the Grammy Awards ceremony here on Sunday by paying homage to basketball star Kobe Bryant, who was killed earlier on Sunday along with his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash.

Keys, dressed in a silvery gown, said: "Here we are together on music's biggest night celebrating the artistes that do it best but to be honest with you we're all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero." "We're literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built," she said, referring to the Lakers' home at the Staples Center, reports billboard.com.

"Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all those tragically lost today are in our spirits, in our hearts, in our prayers, and they're in this building. I would like to ask everybody to take a moment and just hold them inside of you and share our strength and support with their families.

"We never imagined in a million years we'd have to start the show like this, so we wanted to do something...describe a tiny bit how we feel right now." Group Boyz II Men then joined Keys for an impromptu performance of their 1991 version of the classic "It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday".

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-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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