Oscar winner and American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson has been slated to open the 2020 NBA All-Star Game with an extra special tribute to Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the seven other people who tragically died in a helicopter crash last month.
Thursday, the league announced the performance on social media by tweeting out a picture of the artist and actress, along with the caption, “GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist and Academy Award-winning actress and Chicago native @IAMJHUD will perform a special tribute to the late Kobe Bryant ahead of player introductions for the 69th #NBAAllStar Game on Sunday, Feb. 16, airing live at 8:00pm/et @NBAonTNT.”
GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist and Academy Award-winning actress and Chicago native @IAMJHUD will perform a special tribute to the late Kobe Bryant ahead of player introductions for the 69th #NBAAllStar Game on Sunday, Feb. 16, airing live at 8:00pm/et @NBAonTNT. pic.twitter.com/NR1OIwtczH
— 2020 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 13, 2020
Aside from her powerhouse voice, Hudson’s connection to the windy city also makes her participation extra special given that the game will take place at Chicago’s United Center on Sunday, Feb. 16. During halftime, another Chicago native, Chance the Rapper, will perform alongside Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, and Quavo.
Rounding out the Chicago based line up are Common, will share “a moving narrative about what basketball means to the city” before tip-off at the All-Star Game, Chance’s brother, Taylor Bennett who will perform at halftime of the NBA Rising Stars game on Friday, February 14th. Music legend Chaka Khan, a proud Chicagoan who will be blessing attendees with her rendition of the national anthem at the start of the February 16th game.
During the game, players have also vowed to honor Kobe and Gianna by wearing their respective jersey numbers. Team LeBron will wear Gianna’s No. 2 while Team Giannis will wear Kobe’s No. 24.
The NBA All-Star game will air Sunday on TNT at 8 p.m. ET.
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