Kobe Bryant Tribute In Song Released 18 Years Ago Is ‘Hitting Hard’ Today

by : Julia Banim on : 27 Jan 2020 13:53
Kobe Bryant Tribute In Song Released 18 Years Ago Is 'Hitting Hard' TodayKobe Bryant Tribute In Song Released 18 Years Ago Is 'Hitting Hard' TodayPA

People across the world are still trying to process the tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who died in a helicopter crash along with seven other people.


The devastating loss of so much life and potential – with three young girls among the victims – has hit hard. And one song in particular is resonating with those currently coming to terms with this horrific incident.

Kelly Rowland’s 2002 single Stole follows the stories of three young people, whose promising futures are taken from them in different ways.

Bryant tributeBryant tributePA images

One of the characters in the song is Greg, a talented young basketball player who has the potential to soar to superstardom. However, his life is cut short after he is shot by a jealous rival.


While recounting Greg’s sad fate, Rowland makes a reference to Bryant, remarking that his death will mean his classmates will never see him achieve fame and renown, ‘flyin’ as high as Kobe can’.

According to the poignant lyrics:

Greg was always getting net from 20 feet away
He had a tryout with the sixahs, couldn’t wait for Saturday;
Now we’re never gonna see him slam
Flyin’ as high as Kobe can;
His life was stole Oh! Oh! Now we’ll never know

Ya their lives were stole;
Now we’ll never know
We were here, all together yesterday.

You can listen to Stole for yourself below:

The sorrowful lyrics about stolen futures combined with the reference to Kobe’s legendary skills on the basketball court have taken on new meaning following this tragedy.

Many fans have taken to social media to speak about how haunting they find the lyrics in retrospect, with talented basketball player Gianna having lost her life before she could follow in her father’s footsteps.

One person tweeted:


Kobe was referenced in Kelly Rowland’s song Stole from 2002, a song about people who could grow up to be great but their chances were taken from them, the lyrics read ‘now we’re never gonna see him slam flying high as Kobe can’. Kobe showed greatness Gianna never got the chance.

Another said:

Since the Kobe and his daughter, Gianni’s incident, I have been playing Stole by Kelly Rowland in my head.

A 13-year-old lady with a dream to become a WNBA star. Life was stolen from her.

Our thoughts are with the families of all those who died in the helicopter crash at this unimaginably sad time.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Music, Gianna Bryant, Kelly Rowland, Kobe Bryant, Stole


Kelly Rowland/YouTube
  1. Kelly Rowland/YouTube

    Kelly Rowland - Stole