A tribute is not a shout out. So before the masses jump on and point out Lizzo’s shout out before her opening performance, please note that was not a tribute… a tribute worthy of our prince… though it was nice.

What Alicia Keys did… heart clearly heavy… voice unusually cracky… started to turn our hearts with her sweet and authentic admission that tonight everyone is feeling, “crazy sad.”

Then the “On Fire” singer, started singing G.C. Cameron‘s turned Boyz II Men’s (but still Cooley High’s so it is still G.C. Cameron’s) “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”

Beautiful.

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Boyz II Men have a very special tie to Kobe, both being from Philly, the trio and the baller were hometown celebrants. So it was particularly touching to hear them join her.

She ended the segment by saying that they are all standing in the spirit of that one thing that could bring everyone together… “LOVE!”

Even when she returned, dipped in silver at the piano… she went back to share that we have to celebrate the night because Kobe really loved music.