John Legend, Meek Mill & More Pay Tribute to Nipsey Hussle at the 2020 Grammys

YG, John Legend, Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, and Roddy Ricch
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

YG, John Legend, Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, and Roddy Ricch perform onstage during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2020 in Los Angeles.

When it came time to pay tribute to the late great Nipsey Hussle at the 2020 Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy called upon a series of artists for a major collaborative performance.  

With an introduction from Ava DuVernay, the performance began with a verse from Meek Mill, where he directly addressed Hussle, rapping about the pain his death has caused himself and the hip-hop community at large. "Damn, I wish I could have seen it coming," he said.   

The stage quicky opened up, revealing DJ Khaled and John Legend, who launched into their track "Higher," featuring Hussle, accompanied by a full choir. When Nipsey's verse was called for, they cut to a video clip of the late icon performing it.

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As the performance continued, more stars continuedd to come in and fill in for Hussle, including Roddy Rich, Kirk Franklin and YG, all of whom offered up personaized lyrics dedicated to Nipsey. 

At the end of the number, Khaled pointed backstage, where a photo of Hussle appeared, alongside a photo of Kobe Bryant, who died earlier in the day in a helicopter crash. "Long live Nipsey, long live Kobe," Khaled proclaimed. 

Earlier in the day, Hussle received a posthumous Grammy for his track "Racks in the Middle," and his family accepted the award. "I wanted to thank all of you for showing all the love that I have felt for him all of his life, and will always live in my heart," his grandmother said. "So thank you, thank you, thank you."

2020 Grammy Awards