India Arie pays tribute to Kobe Bryant on the 2020 Grammys red carpet: ‘I cried my eyes out’

Many stars arrived at the 2020 Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles with heavy hearts as they reeled in the tragic news surrounding the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others after the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in Calabasas, Calif.

R&B singer India Arie shared her own sentiments on the red carpet ahead of the show and told Fox News that she felt particularly saddened by the news, given that her father Ralph Simpson enjoyed a 10-year NBA and ABA career that spanned from 1970 to 1980.

"Kobe's father played, my father played in the NBA and the ABA so it's like family energy,” Arie, 44, said about the news.

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“I didn't know him like that. We weren't like, ‘Hey’ calling, but it's my father's son … my father's friend's son and so, I'm still processing why it feels so incredibly sad," she continued, adding that she "called a friend and cried my eyes out so I wouldn't cry when I got [to the Grammys].

"And then I still cried twice," the 23-time Grammy-nominated songstress said.

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Arie’s father started in the ABA in October 1970 and played for the Denver Rockets until the two leagues merged in 1976 and the Rockets became the Denver Nuggets. He made his NBA debut in 1976 just two years before Bryant’s birth.

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On Sunday, the Grammys opened with a tribute to the late NBA legend Bryant, which was sung by host Alicia Keys and the band Boyz II Men.

Fox News’ Ashley Dvorkin contributed to this report.