Beyonce performed two moving songs at the memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant earlier today and according to an insider, photographers were not allowed to take pictures of the singer during her performance.
The singing icon had the honor of opening the Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California earlier today. Page Six reported that organizers of the live-streamed memorial told members of the Associated Press and Getty Images that they were prohibited from taking photos of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s children, and could also not photograph Beyonce.
An insider spoke to the publication about the photo ban and said the singer is extremely selective about which pictures of her performances get released. The source called it surprising and said there was no such ban at the memorial for other stars such as Michael Jackson.
“It is so offensive to Kobe’s family and the fans, Beyonce is so controlling of her image — she usually only allows approved selected images of her to be released,” the source told Page Six, “So no photographers at the Kobe memorial were allowed to take her picture,” the source added.
They allege that during Beyonce’s performance of her songs “XO” and “Halo,” a member of Staples Center staff was sent out to ensure that no photographers were taking her picture or had their cameras pointed in her direction.
Beyoncé opens Kobe & Gianna's Celebration of Life with one of his favorite songs.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 24, 2020
“A Staples Center staffer was dispatched to make sure not a single camera was focused on the stage,” the source said.
“The photographers couldn’t believe it.”
The person who spoke about the situation says this will only hurt her image and feels the Lemonade singer made the event about her instead of the Bryant family by making this demand. People still saw photos of her singing at the memorial but those screen grabs taken from a video.
“The only shots of Bey that did emerge were screen grabs from TV. None of the other artists at the memorial asked for this,” the insider said.
Alicia Keys performed a stirring rendition of “Moonlight Sonata” on piano, and Christina Aguilera sang “Ave Maria” at the memorial. The source said neither of them had issues being photographed while on stage. Along with the three performers, there were several other music superstars in attendance.
In addition to Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, the memorial honored the seven other people who died in the helicopter crash including Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan.