The 50-year-old singer spoke at a press conference in Miami on Thursday, ahead of her and Shakira's highly anticipated Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show on Sunday. At one point, she was asked about the legendary NBA star and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who both died in a helicopter crash over the weekend. Lopez and her fiance, Alex Rodriguez, were close friends with Bryant and his wife, Vanessa.
Recalling what the past few days have been like for her and Rodriguez after hearing the news, Lopez said it's been heartbreaking and devastating.
"Alex came to me with tears in his eyes, and he's like, 'You're not going to believe what happened.' He was devastated. He knew Kobe really well," she explained. "They kind of came up together, entered sports around the same time, and he was just devasted. I knew Kobe and Vanessa more in passing. He had come to my last show in Vegas -- the both of them -- as a date night and we had a beautiful night that night."
"I think it's affecting everybody so much because it's just reminding us, again, how fragile life is and how we have to appreciate every single moment and how we have to love people while they're here and not wait. And how we don't get the opportunity -- it can be taken away from us so easily."
She continued on, telling the crowd that she can't stop thinking about "Vanessa as a mom, and losing her best friend and partner and losing her child." Bryant shared three other kids with his wife: Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
"I think of how awful that must be for her right now. I've just been praying that God guides her through every moment because she has three more babies to take care of," Lopez said. "And just wishing that the nightmare was over but it's not going to be. That's life and we have to carry on. But at the same time, it affects us and it will affect us forever."
"Hopefully we'll remember this moment. We're trying to spread love and kindness and bring everybody together," Lopez added, of her and Shakira's upcoming halftime performance. "This week, this happening, has a sound around the world. We have to love each other, we have to be together and support each other. We can't be so at odds all the time. I think that's a part of our mission and our message too."
Shakira also remembered Bryant, saying that she thinks he would "be very proud" of the message she and Lopez are trying to convey onstage on Sunday.
"I can't imagine the pain his family must be going through right now. Life is so fragile and that's why we have to try to live every moment as intensely as we can," she said. "I think we will all be remembering Kobe on Sunday. We'll be celebrating life, and celebrating diversity in this country."
"I'm sure he would be very proud of the message we're going to be trying to convey on stage that day," she added. "I think it's very important for our community, the Latino community in this country."