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Kobe Bryant Tribute Fittingly Rendered In New Song

by Soraya Alcalá

On His Birthday, Heartfelt Kobe Bryant Tribute
Fittingly Rendered In Beautiful, Reverent New Song

Sunday, August 23rd, marks what would have been the 42nd birthday of NBA legend, humanitarian and father Kobe Bryant, and now there’s a new song ascending into the heavens above Hollywood’s horizon, crowning the many touching tributes paid to late and legendary basketball superstar, who sadly, and tragically transitioned this life on January 26th, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other souls.

The new musical track, titled “Mamba, We Love You,” co-composed by Annalea Diamond and Tony “Raheem” Thomas, both of Los Angeles, has been released for airing to radio and digital media nationwide. The song is beautifully crafted, artfully composed and lovingly performed, and everyone involved in bringing it to life view it as more than just their talents on display, but more so a divinely received gift.

Boasting masterful writing and performance touches by the acclaimed Thomas, whose body of work in the industry includes performing alongside such luminaries as Patrice Rushen, Donald Byrd & The Blackbyrds, Bobby Hutcherson and others, the track is beyond well-done and a fitting tribute to Bryant’s longstanding legacy of proud, unapologetic manhood. It also lifts up and celebrates his spirited example of sportsmanship, excellence and fatherhood on and off the court. So well done is it, in fact—and such a lush, beautiful track—that it just simply must be heard to be appreciated.


“Thinking ‘bout Kobe Bryant, strong like a mighty lion…

Mamba, we love you. Oh Mamba, we love you.

More than a basketball star, he was a family man.

You’ll always be near in our hearts, always and forever.

We celebrate you, miss you, and we’ll never forget you…”


–lyrics from “Mamba, We Love You,” © 2020 by Annalea Diamond and Tony Thomas

Continues Ms. Diamond: “He (Kobe Bryant) has just been a part of us Californians for many years. They call the Staples Center ’The House that Kobe Built.’ Also, being a parent myself…or anyone who’s a parent and has something so tragic like this happen to you—this just needed to be said. I’m thankful that the song came to, and through me. There are so many people hurting right now because of what happened.”

For his part as not just co-writer, but also arranger and keyboardist, Thomas drew upon a similar, higher source for his inspiration. “The way ‘Mamba, We Love You’ was formulated, I really just believed that it was a divine intervention,” he states. “When she brought to me what she had written, I didn’t have a bridge, and I didn’t know where she was going with it, but everything just started to present itself right before my eyes on the keyboard. To my surprise, the lyrics just matched everything that I put down.”

Ms. Diamond sang all lead vocals, while vocalist Leslie Cole, best-known for her work with the legendary Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting and production team of Motown Records fame, performed background. The track was recorded and produced by James Shifflett. Shifflett has recorded such artists as Barbara Streisand, Lou Rawls and The Brothers Johnson, contributing to each of their chart-topping success.

Kobe B. Bryant was an American professional basketball player, who played his entire 20-season career with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant nicknamed himself “Black Mamba” in the mid-2000s, and the epithet became widely adopted by Lakers fans, sports writers and enthusiasts and the general public.

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