Beyonce has paid tribute to Kobe Bryant after the retired basketball star was killed in a helicopter crash alongside his teenage daughter and seven others.
Bryant, one of the sport’s biggest names, died on Sunday when the aircraft he was flying in crashed in foggy weather in Calabasas, near Los Angeles.
His 13-year-old daughter Gianna, also known as Gigi, was among the dead.
Beyonce has now paid tribute, sharing a series of pictures to Instagram and promising to pray for the athlete’s wife and three daughters.
Alongside an image of Bryant kissing a smiling Gigi on the head, she wrote: “I will continue to diligently pray for your Queens. You are deeply missed beloved Kobe.”
Beyonce also posted a childhood picture of Bryant, 41, and a photograph of Gigi.
Her tribute came after the retired NBA star’s devastated wife spoke publicly for the first time since losing her husband and daughter.
Vanessa Bryant, who would have celebrated her 19th wedding anniversary in April, had four daughters with Bryant.
She thanked fans for the global outpouring of support and announced the creation of a fund to help support the other families affected by the crash.
“Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them,” Mrs Bryant, 37, said.
“We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe – the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna – a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
“We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.”
Funeral or memorial plans for Kobe and Gianna are yet to be announced.
Mrs Bryant asked for a continued respect of her family’s privacy as they begin to “navigate this new reality”.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner has identified all nine victims of Sunday’s crash.
As well as the Bryants, John Altobelli, 56, Keri Altobelli, 46, and 13-year-old Alyssa Altobelli were killed.
Christina Mauser, 38, was on board as was the 50-year-old pilot Ara Zobayan.
Mother and daughter Sarah Chester, 45, and Payton Chester, 13, were also killed.