Stars including Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera and Jimmy Kimmel joined the family and friends of the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at a celebration of their lives at Los Angeles' Staples Center on Monday.

Forty-one-year-old Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna or 'Gigi' and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in California on January 26. 

Monday's public memorial at the home of his former team the Los Angeles Lakers opened with Beyoncé - wearing Lakers' gold - performing her track XO.

"I'm here because I love Kobe and this was one of his favourite songs," she told those in attendance, many of whom were dressed in purple - another one of the Lakers' colours. She then proceeded to sing Halo before taking her seat behind Kobe Bryant's widow and Gianna's mother Vanessa, whom she comforted throughout.

Beyoncé performing some of Kobe Bryant's favourite songs Screengrab: ABC News

In her tribute, Vanessa Bryant said: "I couldn't see him as a celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player. He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was my - he was my everything."

She said her late husband was "the kind of man that wanted to teach the future generations to be better and keep them from making his own mistakes".

"Gigi was motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports," she said of her daughter.  "She wrote papers in school defending women and wrote about how the unequal pay difference for the NBA [National Basketball Association] and WNBA [Women's National Basketball Association] leagues wasn't fair."

"Gigi would have most likely become the best player in the WNBA," Vanessa Bryant told the audience to huge applause.

Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel paid a tearful tribute to father and daughter, with basketball icons Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant's former Lakers teammate Shaquille O'Neal also delivering emotional eulogies.

"It seems to me that all we can do is be grateful for the time we had with them and for the time we have left with each other," Kimmel said.

Dressed in purple, Alicia Keys performed Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on a purple piano. It is reported that Kobe Bryant once learned to play the piece by ear for his wife. 

At the end of the memorial Christina Aguilera sang Ave Maria in Italian.