Kobe Bryant Dead at 41: Flea, Gene Simmons and More Rock Stars Pay Tribute

Kobe Bryant
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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

NBA legend Kobe Bryant, 41, was one of the nine passengers killed Sunday (Jan. 26) in a devastating helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, CNN reports. Investigation of the chopper's crash remains ongoing. 

With news of Bryant's death, countless rock stars, including Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Kiss' Gene Simmons, Billy Idol, David Coverdale and more, took to social media to pay their respects and reminisce on their memories of the beloved basketball superstar.

The tragic news came just one day after LeBron James surpassed the five-time NBA champion to become the third-leading scorer in NBA history. Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers, named the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2008, throughout his iconic 20-year career before announcing his retirement in 2016. 

Flea, who performed a solo bass rendition of the National Anthem before Bryant's final game in 2016, tweeted "I love you Kobe," followed by "...was humbled in his presence." He also described the Lakers champion as a "master of his craft," comparing Bryant's court moves to that of iconic musicians like "Charlie Parker or John Coltrane or Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix" in a 2016 Rolling Stone interview.

“I've watched, listened to or at least read about pretty much every game that Kobe Bryant played his entire career," he said. "And I see someone who put a lot of stock in discipline and work ethic and nurturing his creativity. I just have always respected him so much – even when he was young and arrogant and foolish and you know, arguably self-centered. He's always meant so much to me."

"Today we lost a legend," tweeted an emotional Kiss' Gene Simmons. "My condolences to his family and loved ones." He tweeted shortly after, "My condolences as well to the family and loved ones of the other souls lost in today's crash." 

See more rock stars pay their tributes below.

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