Nicki Minaj joined the many, many people who posted a tribute to Kobe Bryant this weekend. The rapper took to Instagram with a few sentences about Bryant's legacy, encouraging him to "rest now" after doing so much for pop culture. Fans were teary-eyed all over again when they saw the post.
Minaj shared a photo of from the Los Angeles Lakers' first game after Bryant's passing, which was on Friday. It showed two seats left empty for Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who died in the same helicopter crash that took his life.
The court-side seats were draped with Bryant and Gianna's jerseys — his the number 24 in the Lakers, and hers the number 2 in the Mamba academy. The seats were also occupied with flowers in their honor.
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🙏🏾 We will always love you, Kobe. May God grant your wife & family peace, strength and understanding. You were a star among stars. An icon among icons. The best even in the midst of the best. You supported artists, athletes, children... You made us proud. You shined. You did it. You win. You can rest now, King. 💛
Minaj's post picked up nearly 2.3 million likes on Instagram, and many comments as well. Other celebrities and performers responded with hearts, prayer-hands and crying emojis, symbolizing their own feelings on Bryant's untimely death.
"Beautiful and the most sincere piercing tribute I have read," one fan wrote.
"You're so sweet mama," added another.
"He had a beautiful soul!" commented a third.
Bryant and Gianna were killed on Sunday, Jan. 26 when their helicopter went down in Calabasas, California. They were flying from Orange County to Los Angeles, where there was a basketball tournament that day at Bryant's Mamba Academy.
The aircraft fell in an unpopulated area, without damaging any buildings or roadways. However, it landed in a swath of dry brush, starting a wildfire on impact. First responders had to fight through about a quarter of an acre of fire to get to the crash. Once there they found no survivors.
Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant and three other daughters. Their youngest, Capri, was born just this past June. After a few days of shock, Vanessa took to Instagram for public tributes and commentary as well.
"I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it's impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way," she wrote. "Our love for them is endless — and that's to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever."