Vanessa Bryant will love Kobe Bryant always and forever. On what would’ve been the basketball legend’s 45th birthday, Vanessa shared a touching tribute in his honor on social media. Alongside a series of photos featuring the couple throughout the years shared to Instagram Aug. 23, she wrote, “Happy birthday, baby. I love you always & forever.”
The 41-year-old’s carousel of photos included a glimpse of the pair side-by-side during various occasions, including when Kobe won an Academy Award in 2018 for Best Animated Short Film.
Her dedication to the NBA star comes a little more than three years after he and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant died in a tragic January 2020 helicopter crash.
Since then, Vanessa—who is also mom to Natalia, 20, Bianka, 6, and Capri, 4—has made sure to keep her husband close, especially during important milestones. In fact, her tribute comes just one day after Vanessa sent her eldest daughter a floral bouquet, signed by Kobe, to mark the first day of Natalia’s junior year at the University of Southern California.Not to mention, Vanessa has also kept Kobe’s legacy close to her chest during notable occasions, with the most recent being for one of Taylor Swift’s concerts in Los Angeles
In fact, Vanessa included a large silkscreen of Kobe and the pop star on the back of her Eras Tour jacket, which she donned during the singer’s Aug. 3 concert at SoFi Stadium.
The image, as seen in photos posted on her Instagram Stories, was taken in 2015 when Kobe helped honor Taylor for setting the record for most sold-out shows at Staples Center. But that’s not all, as Vanessa also had a heart-shaped patch sporting the words “say you’ll remember me” (a lyric from Taylor’s song “Wildest Dreams”) sewn onto the front of her jacket.
After learning of the tragedy that killed Kobe, Gigi and seven others, the Grammy winner took to social media to pay tribute at the time.
“My heart is in pieces hearing the news of this unimaginable tragedy,” Taylor wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, in January 2020. “I can’t fathom what the families are going through. Kobe meant so much to me and to us all. Sending my prayers, love, and endless condolences to Vanessa and the family and anyone who lost someone on that flight