Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna are among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.
Bryant, 41, and Gianna, 13, were travelling in a private helicopter when it came down and burst into flames.
Also in the helicopter was a college baseball coach and his wife and daughter.
The LA county sheriff said there were no survivors.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, played for the LA Lakers throughout his 20-years career before retiring in 2016 and is considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history.
TMZ first reported on the heartbreaking news before other news outlets like CNN, BBC, Sky News and others confirmed it.
Tributes from celebrities and fellow sports stars have been pouring in, many expressing shock at his sudden death.
Moments of silence were observed at basketball games across the NBA.
Bryant was also a longtime helicopter passenger, famously flying from his Orange County home to Lakers games at the Staples Center in Los Angeles during his career.
Bryant has also been remembered at the Grammy Awards which are being held at the Los Angeles Lakers’ stadium.
Grammys host Alicia Keys along with Boyz II Men honored Kobe Bryant with a rendition of “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday”
Before the rendition she came on stage and addressed Kobe Bryant’s death saying, “We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
The NBA issued a statement saying it was “devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna”.
“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” it said.
The sports legend was in the news on Saturday as Lakers’ player LeBron James surpassed Bryant as no. 3 all-time NBA scorer. Bryant remains the fourth-highest career NBA scorer. In a tweet the night before his death, he congratulated James. “Continuing to move the game forward,” he said of James.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Bryant also won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2018 for Dear Basketball, which he wrote and narrated.
Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant. They had four children together.