Cabello performed “First Man,” from her sophomore studio album, at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. Old home movies played on the screen as Cabello sang the touching song dedicated to her father, who was in the audience. She later walked down the stage to where her dad was sitting in the front row to grab his hand, bringing him and the rest of the audience (including Gwen Stefani) to tears.
Before the show, Cabello paid tribute to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died earlier on Sunday.
“At my weakest moments I would channel a different person like [Kobe] he did, because when I felt broken and lost offstage, he taught me how to use my own pain,” Cabello wrote on Instagram. “He is a hero to me forever.”
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I’ve never been much of a sports fan but Kobe Bryant was a hero to me and it was his words and way of thinking and living that lifted me up during times where I felt like I couldn’t get off the ground. When I was 16 and going through what felt like an excruciatingly painful period in my life, I first saw Kobe’s MUSE documentary, and the mamba mentality is the only thing got me through every single performance. He was fighting inner demons, and so was I, and the way he used them to fuel his game on the court made me feel like I could use them to fuel me onstage. At my weakest moments I would channel a different person like he did, because when I felt broken and lost offstage, he taught me how to use my own pain, he taught me how to access strength I didn’t know I had, because on my worst days, I thought of Kobe and suddenly I could do things I didn’t think I could do. I watched every interview, I read every quote of his, and I wish that he knew how many times he saved me, how many times he helped me access a champion in myself that I couldn’t have seen on my own, how many times he helped me use my own demons, how many times he taught me how to use pain to make me a better person, how many times he taught me by example about life by the way he carried himself and the way he saw things…. and I never got the chance to tell him this in person. I’ve watched only two basketball games in my life, but what Kobe did for me changed the course of my life. I can’t imagine how many people he did this for. His legacy will live on in the lives and minds and souls that he touched, he made his mark not only in the game, but in humanity itself. He is a hero to me forever. Mamba forever.
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The singer-songwriter is nominated for pop duo/group performance, alongside boyfriend Shawn Mendes, for their hit song “Senorita.”
“If Shawn and I win the Grammy, we will walk onstage in our underwear like Twenty One Pilots did. That’s a promise,” she told Radio.com earlier this week, referring to the band’s attire in 2017 when accepting the same Grammy that she and Mendes are up for. “Just kidding. It’s not. I gotta work out before I do that.”
The 22-year-old released her second album, “Romance,” in December. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, after selling 600,000 album-equivalent units in approximately a month. “Romance,” which shows off her trademark combination of traditional pop with Latin styles, garnered over 770 million streams and 315 million video views with singles like “Shameless,” “Cry for Me,” “Liar” and “My Oh My,” featuring 2019 breakout artist DaBaby.
Cabello opened last year’s ceremony with a performance of her mega-hit “Havana,” alongside Ricky Martin, Arturo Sandoval, J Balvin and Young Thug.