“Today is Monday. Yesterday was Sunday and it happened to be my birthday and the Grammy Awards. I was nominated. I didn’t win. Not the point,” she joked before breaking out into tears. “Yesterday was a celebratory day and we got tragic news about Kobe Bryant and everything changed in a second.”
“That’s what I want to talk about: Life is short and it’s fragile. And we don’t know how many birthdays we have,” Ellen, 62, continued. “We don’t have to have a birthday to celebrate. Just celebrate life. If you haven’t told someone you love them, do it now. Tell people you love them. Call your friends. Text your friends. Hug them. Kiss them.”
The audience remained quiet while Ellen gave her speech, but they did chuckle when the comedian referenced her wife, Portia de Rossi, and her 2020 Grammys snub.
“I know that I’m lucky to have a wife who loves me so much, even though I don’t have a Grammy,” she joked. “I get to come to work every single day with people who make me laugh. I love everybody I work with.”
On Sunday, January 26, news broke that Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna — among others — were killed in a helicopter crash. Hours later, the 62nd annual Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and host Alicia Keys started the event by paying tribute to the late basketball star.
“We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this,” she said. “To be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now 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.”
If there’s anything we can learn from Kobe’s death, it’s to live every day like it’s your last.