Alicia Keys on learning news hours before the Grammys

Alicia Keys on learning news hours before the Grammys

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Alicia Keys didn’t have long to process tragic news ahead of Sunday’s Grammys.

Speaking on Wednesday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Keys opened up about learning the news that Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna had tragically died in a helicopter crash that day, just hours before she was supposed to host the show.

“We were all freaking out, because obviously hearing the news about Kobe and his daughter was so tragic. None of us can still believe it right now to this day,” Keys said. “So I think that it was definitely a crazy feeling, because literally minutes before, we were going to do something else and we had to really figure out how we could properly honor him in his house on this night.”

Grammys host Alicia Keys is joined by Boyz II Men to honor Kobe Bryant and all the lives lost in Sunday's helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.

Keys, 39, recalled meditating backstage in the aftermath, thinking and calling “some of my closest people that helped me really find the truth in the moment.” They arrived on a performance of Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” early in the show. The R&B group was already scheduled to perform that night.

“We wanted to do something special: Create just something that felt like it was the right thing,” she said. “And we pulled it together and it was just beautiful. It was like that magic that happens when it’s necessary.”

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