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Christina Aguilera's Rendition of "Ave Maria" Will Make You Cry

Her voice is so moving.

By Elizabeth Logan

In February 2020, former The Voice Coach Christina Aguilera lent her incredible voice to the chorus of celebrities and artists celebrating the lives of Kobe and Gianna "Gigi" Bryant during a ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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For the occasion, Aguilera sang "Ave Maria," a hymn praising the Virgin Mary and a traditional choice for funerals. Backed by musicians, Aguilera's voice filled the cavernous space and moved every listener.

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Retired basketball star Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who dreamed of making it to the WNBA, were among nine passengers who died during a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. "We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately," Bryant's wife, Vanessa, wrote in her first statement following the accident. "I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon."

"We really had an amazing love story. We loved each other with our whole beings, two perfectly imperfect people making a beautiful family and raising our sweet and amazing girls," Vanessa said in a speech at the public celebration of life, which came after a private funeral. "God knew they couldn't be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day."

Listen to Aguilera's version here. 

About "Ave Maria"

Austrian composer Franz Schubert wrote the original in 1825, with German lyrics based on a Sir Walter Scott poem, per Britannica. Franz Liszt arranged versions for the piano, and the song has been translated into many languages; the popular Italian version is the one Aguilera performs.

Christina Aguilera National Anthem3

The lyrics to "Ave Maria"

Ave Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Ave Ave Dominus
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus
Et benedictus fructus ventris
Ventris tui, Iesus
Ave Maria

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