Luke Bryan Has a 'Heavy Heart' After Kobe Bryant's Death

After Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning in California, tributes began pouring in for the iconic athlete from fans and celebrities alike. Luke Bryan was one of many stars to remember Bryant on social media, sharing a message on Twitter on Sunday night.

"Heavy heart as I get in bed," he wrote. "Praying for the Bryant family. Truly heartbroken."

Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, also died in the accident, and the two were survived by Bryant's wife, Vanessa, and the couple's three other daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.

A representative for Bryant told TMZ Sports that the helicopter was traveling to the Mamba Academy, which is located in Newbury Park, California. The other victims of the crash included Gianna's basketball teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, Altobelli's parents John and Keri Altobelli, Chester's mom Sarah Chester, girls' basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.

On Sunday evening, Bryant, Gianna and the other victims were honored at the Grammys with a moving speech by host Alicia Keys, who noted that the ceremony was taking place in "the house that Kobe Bryant built." Bryant spent his entire 20-season NBA career playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA Championships with the team.

"Here we are together, on music's biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you, we're all feeling crazy sadness right now," Keys began. "Because earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we're literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built."

"Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirit, they're in our hearts, they're in our prayers, they're in this building," she continued before asking the audience "to take a moment and just hold them inside of you."

"We never imagined in a million years we'd have to start the show like this. So we wanted to do something that could describe — a tiny bit — how we all feel right now," Keys said before she was joined on stage by Boyz II Men for a performance of the group's song "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday."

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Bryant joined the Lakers at age 18 straight out of high school, soon becoming one of the most prolific players in the history of the NBA. Along with his five championships, Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and the league's third all-time leading scorer. He also helped lead the United States to two gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Photo Credit: Getty / Andrew D. Bernstein