Kobe Bryant will be honored at the Super Bowl on Sunday

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira say they'll pay tribute to the late basketball star in the halftime show.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper

Kobe Bryant was one of nine people who died Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in California.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Sunday will mark one week since basketball star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Sunday is also the date of the Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. So it seems only natural that Bryant's memory be invoked at the year's biggest sporting event. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has now confirmed that the late athlete will indeed be honored there.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Goodell said that the league is planning a tribute to Bryant at the game, and will also honor former Minnesota Vikings Hall of Fame defensive end Chris Doleman, who died of cancer on Wednesday at age 58. 

Regular fans and famous politicians and athletes from around the world mourned Bryant and the others who died with him.

"I'm proud the way our league responded and the way the fans responded," Goodell said.

The commissioner didn't elaborate on how Bryant will be recognized. But musicians Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, who are performing at the halftime show, said they'll honor him.

"Life is so fragile. And that's why we have to live every moment as intensely as we can," Shakira said at a press conference Thursday. "And I think we'll all be remembering Kobe on Sunday. And we'll be celebrating life and celebrating diversity in this country. I'm sure he'll be very proud to see the message that we're going to try to convey onstage."