Grammys Pre-Ceremony Opens With Moment of Silence for Kobe Bryant, As Fans Call for Awards Show to Be Cancelled

The 62nd annual Grammys Awards pre-ceremony opened with a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant, who was killed along with his daughter, Gianna, and several other people earlier Sunday in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California.

Meanwhile, fans of the retired NBA star took to Twitter to call for the Grammys to be canceled or postponed as police began telling people not to gather outside Staples Center--where Bryant played most of his home basketball games as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers--to make space for the awards show.

"As most of you may know, we lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter accident today," interim Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said as he opened the Grammys pre-ceremony. "Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence." Dozens of Grammys were then handed out before the main event.

As the ceremony got underway, hundreds of Bryant fans fathered outside Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, where the basketball legend spent his entire 20-year career playing home games.

Shortly after, local outlets reported that state officials had been advising fans not to gather outside Staples Center because of tonight's Grammys, which prompted anger from fans and calls for the music awards ceremony to be postponed or canceled.

"Apparently officials don't know how much Kobe meant to LA," one fan wrote on Twitter.

Apparently officials don’t know how much Kobe meant to LA

— Josh (@Jiiggzz) January 26, 2020

"Well you tell the Grammys that THEY DONT MATTER TODAY !! And if folks want to gather at Staples, they should gather !!," Twitter user @KingGarrnett72 wrote.

"Reschedule the Grammys," Twitter user @mackenziehunt said. "They don't matter today. Today we all mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna 'Gigi' Bryant. If people want to gather at the Staples Center, they should be allowed to do that."

"No one cares about the Grammys. Don't they know the Staples Center was the place where Kobe wrote his own history," another fan added. "I have no words. Cancel the whole award show QUICKLY."

According to various reports, the Recording Academy, the host of the Grammys, has quickly updated the ceremony agenda to include a last-minute tribute to Bryant and his family. Despite their efforts, some fans don't think the gesture is sufficient in the wake of his death.

"No one wants to see some half a** tribute dedicated to Kobe nor his daughter tonight A three second moment of silence before y'all go back to kissing your own a** isn't needed tonight either cancel all together or reschedule," Twitter user @DeepSpaceYonce wrote.

The Grammys have indicated they will continue with tonight's scheduling,starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Kobe Bryant
Lakers fans gather as they react to the news that former NBA player Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash, outside the Staples Center January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty