Ellen DeGeneres delivers tearful message to her viewers following Kobe Bryant's passing
On Sunday, the world was rocked by the news that basketball legend Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Sadly, the pain felt by his fans and loved ones only continued to grow, as it was later revealed that a total of nine lives were lost in the crash, including Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Following the devastating news, tributes flooded in for the victims, including that of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who issued the following statement about the LA Lakers star's death:
"The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.
"For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary.
"But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.
"He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna."
And now, viewers of the Ellen DeGeneres show have been moved by the heartwarming message the 62-year-old host provided in her opening monologue.
You can check out DeGeneres' opening monologue below:
On Sunday, Ellen was celebrating both her birthday and Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album, but she recalled how "everything changed in a second" following the news of Bryant's crash.
DeGeneres then battled through tears to remind her viewers to celebrate life and tell the people you love that you love them.
The beloved host then introduced the show's DJ and co-presenter tWitch (real name Stephen Boss), who not only successfully raised the mood of the studio audience, but also took the time to tell Ellen that he loved her.