Kobe and Gianna Bryant's Memorial: "He Was the Most Amazing Husband," Says Vanessa Bryant

A tearful Jimmy Kimmel was the first to speak at the gathering.

There didn't appear to be a dry eye in sight Monday as some 20,000 people packed into Los Angeles' Staples Center to mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. 

The pair were among nine people who were killed Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash. 

Beyoncé opened the service, singing "XO" backed with a large choir and orchestra. A tribute video was shown afterwards, chronicling Bryant's impressive, history-making NBA career. 

Jimmy Kimmel was the first to speak at the memorial. The late-night host was a friend of Bryant's and had him on his show numerous times over the years. Kimmel's voice broke multiple times while he talked about how much Bryant meant to Los Angeles and the NBA. 

Bryant's wife Vanessa spoke next. She was at a loss for words for a few moments as she began to cry, then the audience began to cheer her on, which is when she started her speech. She first spoke of her daughter Gianna and how she was the apple of her eye. Calling Bryant her "soulmate," Vanessa recalled their life together. "He was the most amazing husband," she said. "We balanced each other out. He was loving, adoring and romantic." 

She closed, "May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven. Until we meet again. Love you always." 

Among those who also spoke included Oregon Ducks basketball star and Bryant friend Sabrina Ionescu. WNBA star Diana Taurasi, aka "the White Mamba," also spoke of her friend and how much Bryant inspired her to be a great athlete and person. Los Angeles Lakers executive and Bryant's best friend Rob Pelinka said Bryant was texting him while on the helicopter that fateful day, asking for information to help a child who was looking for an internship, noting Brant's last human act was selflessness. 

Alicia Keys then performed Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," which Pelinka said Bryant learned to play by ear for Vanessa years ago as a show of love. 

The entire Lakers team and numerous current and former NBA stars were in attendance, including Bill Russell, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. 

Jordan spoke during the memorial and had a hard time holding back tears. He said he loved Bryant and the two were close. He also noted that Bryant would call him all the time when he got into the NBA because he wanted every pointer and tip about the game that he could get. "When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died," said Jordan. "Please, rest in peace, little brother." 

Jordan also brought down the house, joking that now there is a new "Crying Jordan" meme, which Bryant would find hilarious.

Shaquille O'Neal, Bryant's former teammate and friend, said the duo liked to push each other and sometimes, in the press, it seemed like they did not get along. He said that was not the case. They loved and respected each other, which meant pushing one another to be better. 

O'Neal also dropped an F-bomb while telling an anecdote about the time he told Bryant he needed to pass the ball more. “I told Kobe, 'there’s no 'I' in team," and he said, 'I know, but there’s a 'M-E' in that motherfucker.'"

Christina Aguilera then sang "Ave Maria," which was followed by a showing of Bryant's Oscar-winning short film, Dear Basketball.

Kimmel concluded the memorial, telling everyone to work as hard as Bryant did in life and pray for the families of the victims. Chants of "Kobe!" then broke out.

Lee Zeidman, president of Staples Center, Microsoft Theatre and L.A. Live, would not give any details beforehand as to who would speak and perform during the service, but he did tell local news they were expecting a number of entourages and that the building was filled with 35,000 roses. 

Watch the live stream of the memorial below.