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Vanessa Bryant Eulogizes her husband Kobe Bryant and Daughter Gigi

Vanessa Bryant



It was a somber bittersweet day in the Staples Center in Los Angeles when 20,000 mourners packed into the indoor stadium that the late NBA Player Kobe Bryant built to bid him and his 13-year old daughter Gianna farewell.

His widow Vanessa Bryant, a celebrity mom covered often on the blog, gave a heart breaking but still beautiful eulogy of her husband and daughter. As USA Today summarized in its coverage:

She mourned the loss of her “baby girl” Gianna, “a sweet and gentle soul” and preternaturally talented athlete who she said was destined for WNBA greatness. She remembered her husband as a soulful romantic with a “tender heart” and a “doting” father for whom family always came first.

“They were funny, happy, silly, and they loved life,” Vanessa said of Kobe and Gianna, adding: “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together.”

Beyonce Knowles Carter opened the event performing one of her hits, “XO” which she said was one of Kobe’s favorite song with lyrics that go, “In the darkest hour / I’ll search through the crowd / Your face is all I can see / I’ll give you everything.” She later burst into a soulful rendition of her song, “Halo

Alicia Keys moved the crowd by playing Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” a piece she said was favored by Kobe and Vanessa.

Keys had previously paid tribute to Kobe and Gianna on the night they died, performing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” alongside Boyz II Men at the Grammy Awards last month.

At various points throughout the event, the crowd broke out in chants of “Kobe! Kobe!”

Retired NBA stars Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade, and Tim Duncan along with entertainer Jennifer Lopez and her fiance retired baseball player Alex Rodriguez and late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel were all in attendance for the ceremony, along with other celebs like friends of the Bryant family Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West.

The date chosen for the memorial — Feb. 24, or 2/24/20 — is a combination of their jersey numbers. Gianna wore No. 2 and her dad wore No. 24 in the latter part of his 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Tickets went for variations of 2 and 4, $24.24 or $224 for two.

Several NBA legends like former teammates  Shaquille O’Neal and Jordon gave rousing speeches by my fave was by University of Oregon player Sabrina Ionesco who gave a wonderful speech and tribute to girls sports too in honor of GiGi .

Proceeds will go to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation which raises money to provide sports education and training services for young women. The foundation was originally established as the Mamba Sports Academy, but Bryant’s widow announced that the name was changed to honor their daughter.

Kobe Bryant gave himself the moniker “Black Mamba” after a character in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill.

“Because there is no #24 without #2, we have updated the Mamba Sports Foundation to now be called the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation,” Vanessa Bryant wrote on her Instagram page announcing the name change.

The two were headed to a game during a basketball tournament at a sports arena in Thousand Oaks, California named for Mamba when the helicopter they were riding in crashed killing them along with Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56, his wife Keri Altobelli, 46, and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Sarah Chester, 45, and her daughter Payton Chester, 13; as well as Mamba Sports Academy coach Christina Mauser, 38; and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.

Also from a NBCNews report:

Bryant and his daughter were traveling to Gigi’s basketball game in a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, when it crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26. All eight passengers and the pilot were killed.

The Bryants were laid to rest in a private ceremony in Southern California on Feb. 7.

Before the public ceremony got underway, the Los Angeles Times reported Vanessa Bryant has filed a lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters, the company that operated the chopper. NPR later confirmed the lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board said in its investigative update this month that the chopper’s rotors were both powered and turning at the time of impact, which it said indicates “the engines showed no evidences of uncontained or catastrophic internal failure.”

Photos taken shortly after the crash show conditions were foggy in the hills above Calabasas, but as NPR’s Russell Lewis has reported, the final investigative findings are not expected for at least a year.

photos: Getty

Report: Kendrick Lamar and Fiance Whitney Alford Are Expecting First Child

Kendrick Lamar and his high school sweetheart and fiance Whitney Alford are reportedly expecting their first child together, The Shade Room reported back in July.

The couple got engaged back in 2015 but  have been together for over 10 years and the multi-platinum, Grammy Award -winning artist calls her his

“best friend”.

“I wouldn’t even call her my girl,” Lamar told Billboard magazine .  “That’s my best friend. I don’t even like the term that society has put in the world as far as being a companion — she’s somebody I can tell my fears to.”

Alford is mos’ definitely one of his “Day 1”, a term for the friends and close acquaintances who have been around a now-famous person from the days before they were famous. Check out the pics from this collage of images collected by Media Take Out and Bossip from when the two were much much younger.

Congrats, if true! Neither have confirmed the news publicly and while Lamar has had several appearances and performances since the news, he has not appeared with his fiance in any public photos since then so who knows really?!

photo:Starcast/Getty/Instagram

Queens Beyonce and Adele Rule the Grammy Awards Already (PHOTOS)


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Tonight is the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California and it kicked off brilliantly with our Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum, Adele, singing her hit song, “Hello“.

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The singer-songwriter has already won two awards during the early presentations that went on before the prime time TV airing.

Adele nabbed the award for “Pop Solo Performance”  for “Hello” and “Pop Vocal Album”  for her album “25”.

Meanwhile, Beyonce won for Best Video for “Formation” — Beyoncé.

It will be a battle between the two Queens because going into the evening, Beyonce led the leader board with nine nominations (followed hi Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West with eight nominations each)

Adele’s 25 earned five, including Record of the Year.

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Another one of our alums, Carrie Underwood, performed “The Fighter” with Keith Urban.

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On the red carpet, Adele looked fab in a green custom Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci and Lorraine Schwartz jewels.

Underwood was a stunner in an Elie Madi dress, Nigaam and EFFY jewels, and Jimmy Choo heels.

Keep watching! It’s getting better!

Insider: Janet Jackson’s Son Eissa Looks Just Like His Mama

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Insiders report that pop star Janet Jackson is “totally in love” with being a new mom.

After welcoming her son Eissa Al Mana with her Quatar businessman husband Wissam Al Mana on January 3, Jackson is really into her new role

 

Janet is getting her strength back and feeling well,” a source told E! News. “She has so much help around her, so that has alleviated stress. She just feels so blessed everything went well and her baby is healthy. It was not an easy pregnancy at all.”

Given that she was 50 during most of her pregnancy, and felt “sluggish” during her pregnancy. she remained under doctor’s orders to rest, as sources previously told E! News, Jackson managed to have a “stress-free, healthy delivery” thanks to her doctors.

“She has some of the best doctors that helped her through it,” the insider added.

The source also shared that Eissa looks just like his famous mom.

“The baby looks like Janet in so many ways with a touch of her man,” the insider noted. “She is totally in love. She is taking time to just be with her baby at this time and that’s all she really wants.”

Some of Janet and husband Wissam Al Mana‘s family and friends have met the baby, but still many others are eager to get their first introductions to the newborn.

This has been a life-long dream of the 5-time Grammy winner.

“This was always her wish to have a child,” the source said. “She is so excited to watch her baby grow.”

Kelly Clarkson gives Birth to Second Child, son Remington Alexander

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Congratulations to singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson on the birth of her new son with husband Brandon Blackstock this week April 12.

The multi-platinum selling Grammy Award-winning recording artist tweeted out the new on Thursday.

“Our little baby boy has arrived!! Remington Alexander Blackstock was born 4/12/16 & he is healthy & we couldn’t be happier or more in love!” the former American Idol winner wrote.

The couple are parents to 22-month-old daughter River. Blackstok also has a daughter, Savannah, and a son, Seth, from a previous marriage.

Congrats!