Queen Latifah honoured the late Kobe Bryant at her performance Saturday night during the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend at United Center in Chicago.
Ahead of the performance, reports E! News, Queen Latifah was introduced by retired NBA player Grant Hill, who paid tribute to Bryant and late NBA commissioner David Stern, who passed away in early January.
“David Stern turned the NBA into what it is today,” said Hill. “A league that uses the values of the game, like equality and respect, to bring people together.”
He added: “And like Kobe Bryant, David believed the power of our game to change lives… And while recognizing the tremendous loss we feel in our hearts, we know they would want us to keep our heads up and continue to play on. So, tonight, as we celebrate the game we all love, we’ll reflect and rise together as one NBA family. Here to perform a song with that message in mind is my friend, the great Queen Latifah.”
During her cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s in Need of Love Today”, she changed some lyrics to pay tribute the late NBA icon.
“Give love a shot,” she sang, “When you do say Kobe, 24 hours eight days a week, trophies.”
At the same time as the All-Star Weekend, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also announced that they would be renaming the MVP award in honour of Bryant.
“Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game. He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world,” Silver said in a statement.
It will now be called the Kia NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award and will be handed out during the All-Star Game on Sunday night.
During Byrant’s career, he won four All-Star MVP Awards and was an 18-time All-Star.
Fans took to Twitter to share their appreciation.