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Alicia Keys on keeping herself together during emotional Grammys hosting

Alicia Keys shares how she managed to pull herself together during this year’s gloomy Grammy Awards celebration at the Staples Center.

On Sunday, what’s supposed to be a lively celebration of music filled with excitement became a somber event amid news of Kobe Bryant’s shocking death. As the ceremony’s host, Keys had a heavy assignment on her hands, having to navigate through the bereavement in the “house that Kobe Bryant built.”

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight backstage after the show, Keys shared how she was able to pull through the distressing turn of events at the time.

“This was a really hard night, and that’s why I think it was a roller coaster,” the singer reflected. “It was painful, it’s painful right now. We lost a beloved, beloved hero to all of us. A person who is like a true example of brilliance and excellence,” she added referring to Bryant.

“It’s not easy to go forward with all of that weight,” she confessed. “But I think that the energy that he always brought and that fighting spirit… is what brought us through tonight.”

The R&B artist kicked off the show with a heartwarming musical tribute to the Lakers icon. Bryant died with his daughter Gianna and seven others after the helicopter they were riding crashed in Calabasas, California that day.

“I feel like he was just in all of our hearts and spirits and that’s what made it feel good,” she said.

Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa and three daughters — with his youngest at only seven months old.