"This was a really hard night, and that's why I think it was a roller coaster," Keys shared. "It was painful, it's painful right now. We lost a beloved, beloved hero to all of us. A person who is like a true example of brilliance and excellence."
"It's not easy to go forward with all of that weight," she admitted. "But I think that the energy that he always brought and that fighting spirit... is what brought us through tonight."
Keys was joined by Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and 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," that honored Bryant's memory and reflected the emotions of nearly everyone in the audience.
"I feel like he was just in all of our hearts and spirits and that's what made it feel good," Keys explained after the show.
The songstress was joined backstage by her children and her husband, DJ and producer Swizz Beatz, and he had nothing but admiration for how his wife handled her difficult responsibility.
"This was a heavy night and she put the load on her shoulders and made people feel comfortable all around the world," he marveled. "It's a blessing."
After Keys hosted the GRAMMYs in 2019, she said she would only be doing so once, so it was a surprise when she agreed to host again this time around. Now, Keys isn't being quite as quick to say she won't come back for a third outing.
When asked if she'd consider hosting in 2021, Keys played coy, and simply explained, "I'm gonna leave that one unanswered."