Ellen DeGeneres teared up and reminded her audience to “celebrate life” on Monday in a speech addressing the recent tragic passing of former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant.
“Life is short and it’s fragile, and we don’t know how many birthdays we get so just — you don’t have to have a birthday to celebrate — just celebrate life,” she said, as her eyes filled with tears. “And if you haven’t told someone you love them, do it now … Call your friends, text your friends, kiss them, be nice to the people at the DMV.”
DeGeneres went on to thank the audience and the show’s staff for making every day at work a joy for her.
“I get to come to work every single day with people who make me laugh, I love everybody I work with,” she said.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others died when the helicopter they were in crashed near Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning. In the days and hours that followed, celebrities and Lakers fans have taken to posting heartfelt tributes to the late basketball superstar.
The Lakers were supposed to play Tuesday night in Los Angeles, but the game was postponed to allow the team to grieve, the NBA said in a statement.