Toward the end of the performance-packed evening, the GRAMMYs paid tribute to the many music stars the world lost over the last year. Among those honored in the charged segment were Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer busbee, surf rock icon and legendary guitarist Dick Dale, and rapper Juice Wrld, who died of a drug overdose in December.
Groundbreaking musicians and influential artists Robert Hunter, Dr. John, Leon Redbone, Neil Peart and Keith Flint were also remembered during the emotional segment, as well as Doris Day, Ginger Lee and Eddie Money, to name just a few.
The video montage was followed by an upbeat performance from Trombone Shorty and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who honored those we've lost with a memorable number in the style of a New Orleans-esque celebration of their lives and legacies.
"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," Keys said, fighting back tears. "And we're standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built."
Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning. He was 41.
The "Girl on Fire" singer said of Bryant, his daughter, and the others who lost their lives, "They are in our hearts, they are in our spirits, they are in our prayers... I'd like to ask everyone to take a minute and hold them inside of you."
The singer explained that she and the producers never imagined they'd have to open the show this way, but wanted to do something special to honor Bryant's memory. To that end, Keys was joined by Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men for a powerful and meaningful performance of their 1991 hit, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday."