Aventura are back, and they’re not taking that privilege lightly. On the first night of their Inmortal United States tour, the bachata kings — comprised of none other than Romeo Santos, Lenny Santos, Henry Santos and Max Agende Santos — took a moment during their Los Angeles show to mourn one of the city’s lost legends: Kobe Byrant.
Since news broke that Kobe Bryant, 41, died in a tragic helicopter accident late last month, Latinx artists and celebrities haven’t stopped delivering tributes to Mamba. Reggaetonero Bad Bunny released his own tribute track “6 Rings” under his San Benito moniker, whereas salsero Marc Anthony made an on-stage memorial to No. 24 during a Boston concert scheduled on the night of Bryant’s death. Now, Aventura’s reunion provided the supergroup a heartfelt opportunity to pay homage to the NBA star, too.
Their highly anticipated U.S. Inmortal tour just so happened to kick off in L.A. on Wednesday, February 5 — home to Bryant’s former team of the Lakers, his family and countless still-grieving fans. “It’s an honor to start our tour here in Los Angeles,” Romeo Santos said as the show kicked off, according to Billboard.com. Little did fans know that he had a touching surprise in store for them.
Midway through Aventura’s sprawling 30-song set, Romeo Santos left the stage and returned wearing Bryant’s jersey. His subtle tribute to the NBA legend brought up chants of “Kobe, Kobe Kobe” throughout the crowd, which can be heard on fan footage from the evening. Romeo also delivered a short eulogy for the star:
“I read somewhere that heroes have their seasons. That they come and go. And then there’s a phrase that follows about legends never dying. I respectfully wear this shirt in honor of that legend. May God have him, his daughter and all the other victims in his glory. We love you, Kobe,” he said, originally in Spanish.
But with fans already moved, Aventura still wasn’t done with their tributes. They also took the time to perform the late José José’s “Lágrimas” during their set. José José passed in 2019, and was another legend who Romeo Santos claimed to “admire so much” last night. “He’s probably singing this song to all the angels in heaven,” he said. And somewhere alongside Kobe Bryant, no less.