Taking to the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday, she opened the day’s proceedings in a dignified yet passionate style, watched by a 20,000-strong crowd in the sold out stadium, and many more thousands at home via video link.
But photographers documenting the proceedings were asked not to take any shots of the pop superstar, who is notoriously protective of her public image.
When asked where the expected Beyonce images were, agencies filing from the event, including Associated Press and Getty Images, told Page Six their photographers had been ordered not to shoot. Requests for comment by DailyMail.com were not immediately answered.
Celebration of life: Beyonce looks to the heavens as she honors her late friend Kobe Bryant at his public memorial in Los Angeles on Monday; she is seen on television
If confirmed, the move does not come as a total surprise – Beyonce generally skips any red carpet appearance and instead releases her own, edited images from events, via her website and social media,
This has been her policy since 2013, when the singer’s publicist asked agencies or websites to remove ‘unflattering’ photos of Beyonce taken during her energetic performance at the Super Bowl.
After the shots were published in an otherwise complimentary article, Beyoncé’s publicist wrote to one website ‘respectfully asking’ the author to ‘change’ them. ‘I am certain you will be able to find some better photos,’ she wrote.
To open Monday’s emotional memorial, Beyonce wore a golden suit as she gave stirring performances of her hits XO and Halo, supported by dozens of back up musicians.
Powerful: Taking to the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, she opened proceedings
Tribute: The pop star wore a golden suit as she gave passionate performances of her hits XO and Halo, supported by dozens of back up musicians
Introduced as ‘a very close friend of the Bryant family’, Beyonce directed her song towards the spot where Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant sat with her family.
‘I’m here because I love Kobe and this was one of his favorite songs,’ Beyonce shared.
Pointing up to the sky, she added: ‘I want you to sing it so loud, they’ll hear your love.’
Beyonce had known Kobe since at least 1999, when he made a cameo appearance in Destiny’s Child’s video for Bug-a-Boo.
Looking skyward: Beyonce gave a powerful performance
The sold-out service took place at the downtown arena where Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 17 seasons of his two-decade NBA career
After Kobe’s death, Beyonce shared her own tribute on social media, writing: ‘I will continue to diligently pray for your Queens. You are deeply missed beloved Kobe.’
The sold-out service took place at the downtown arena where Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 17 seasons of his two-decade NBA career. Bryant and his daughter were among nine people killed January 26 in a helicopter crash.
Vanessa Bryant offered a poignant portrait of her NBA superstar husband and their adored daughter at the sold-out service.
Speaking at times through tears, the 37-year-old praised her husband’s devotion as she addressed the thousands of fans gathered at Staples Center to remember Bryant and 13-year-old Gianna.
‘God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other,’ Vanessa Bryant said. ‘He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi.’
Moving: Vanessa Bryant honored her daughter Gianna and husband Kobe in a speech
After Jimmy Kimmel welcomed the crowd, Vanessa Bryant remembered the family’s life with Gianna and her three siblings and then eulogized her husband. They had been together since 1999.
‘He was the most amazing husband,’ she said.
‘Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. I was fire. He was ice. Vice versa at times. … He was my everything.’
Powerful: Looking skyward as she sang, she blew kisses into the crowd, where Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant sat with her family
Remembered: Beyonce had ‘Gigi’ and ‘Kobe’ painted on her nails
Fundraiser: Money from ticket sales was for the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation
Farewell: Beyonce was a personal friend of Kobe’
The mourners included Lakers greats such as Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Pau Gasol. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver joined Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson and dozens of current NBA players, including Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and Los Angeles natives James Harden, Russell Westbrook and DeMar DeRozan. Celebrities such as Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez also attended.
Vanessa was followed on the podium by basketball stars Diana Taurasi and Sabrina Ionescu. Kobe was a passionate advocate for women’s basketball, and Gigi was a promising young player.
‘If I represented the present of the women’s game, Gigi represented the future, and Kobe knew it,’ said Ionescu, the Oregon star who was mentored by Bryant.
In loving memory: Alicia Keys performed an emotional rendition of the Beethoven classic Moonlight Sonata during a tribute to the late basketball star’s life held in LA on Monday
The goodbye: Christina Aguilera was the last performer at the celebration of life ceremony for Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna held inside the Staple Center in Los Angeles on Monday
Somber look: The 39-year-old Genie In A Bottle singer had her long blonde hair worn down and parted in the middle. And the star added deep red lipstick as she sang Ave Maria
University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma was followed by Rob Pelinka, Bryant’s longtime agent before he became the Lakers’ general manager in 2017. Pelinka was Gigi Bryant’s godfather, and their families were close.
Pelinka referred to the day of the crash as ‘when the axis of the world seemed to shift forever, for all of us.’
He also revealed that Bryant had texted him only moments before the crash, asking for help in securing an internship with a baseball agent for teenager Alexis Altobelli, who lost her parents and younger sister in the crash moments later.
The service began just hours after Vanessa sued the owner of the helicopter that crashed in the fog last month. The wrongful-death lawsuit claimed that the pilot, Ara Zobayan, was careless and negligent by flying in cloudy conditions.
Support: Beyonce sat at Vanessa’s side to support her as they mourned Kobe
Packed: There was not an empty seat in the sold out stadium
Public ceremony: A private funeral was held for Kobe and Gianna Bryant in Orange County on February 7
At the arena, fans were given a program containing photos, a purple KB pin and a T-shirt with photos of the father and daughter. The concourse was a sea of purple, gold and black clothing.
Money from ticket sales was to be given to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which supports youth sports programs in underserved communities and teaches sports to girls and women.
A private funeral was held for Kobe and Gianna Bryant in Orange County on February 7.
Much missed: Kanye West, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, and Kris Jenner sit in the crowd
Tearful: Jennifer Lopez watches her friend Vanessa speak
Famous friends: Paula Abdul was among those remembering Kobe
Fellow sportsmen: Michael Phelps and his wife, former Miss California, Nicole Johnson
Snoop Dogg sits in the crowd, lit by purple light in honor of Kobe