Jennifer Hudson to perform special Kobe tribute at NBA All-Star game
Singer/actress Jennifer Hudson performs with the Philly POPS BIG Band during Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on July 4, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Gilbert Carrasquillo | Getty Images
The NBA is planning an All-Star performance to honor Kobe Bryant, his daughter and the seven other victims of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash.
The league announced Thursday, that Jennifer Hudson will perform a special tribute to open All-Star night prior to player introductions on Sunday in Chicago.
Hudson’s tribute is one of the many ways the league will honor the passing of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who unexpectedly passed away with seven others after their helicopter crashed in the hills of Calabasas, California. At the time, the group was headed to a basketball tournament at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy.
Hudson is no stranger to tragedy. In 2008, an estranged family member killed her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. The Chicago-native and former American Idol singer has openly talked about the challenges of overcoming her own grief. When news broke about Bryant’s death, the Grammy winning singer reacted to the tragedy on Instagram.
Earlier this month, the NBA and Nike announced that the All-Star players will wear jerseys to pay their respects to the late Lakers star and his daughter. Team LeBron James will wear No. 2 in honor of Gianna. Giannis Antetokounmpo and his team will will wear No. 24 for Kobe. Both teams will also wear a patch on their jersey displaying nine stars, representing those that lost their lives in the crash.
Chicago natives Chance the Rapper and Common will also welcome fans to the Windy City with a performance and narrative about what basketball means to the city. The NBA says that five-time Grammy winner Lil Wanye and 2020 Grammy winner DJ Khaled will also take part in the star-studded halftime performance.
Fellow Chicago-native and 10-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan will singer the national anthem.
All-Star festivities kick off Friday night with the NBA Rising Stars game.