Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa fights her tears as she's seen for first time after helicopter crash [Image: AFP via Getty Images]

Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa cried when she was seen for the first time since the helicopter tragedy.

The mother lost her basketball player husband and their 13-year-old daughter Gigi in the helicopter smash which sent shockwaves through the showbiz circuit in January.

Vanessa struggled to hold back the tears when she spoke at the Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant service at Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles on Monday.

It was an emotional moment for the brave star who took to the stand to commemorate her late husband and their late daughter.

The mother lost her basketball player husband and their 13-year-old daughter Gigi in the helicopter smash which sent shockwaves through the showbiz circuit in January [Image: Getty Images]

The widow spoke affectionately of Kobe as she praised him for being the "most amazing husband" and for loving her unconditionally.

"I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his confidant and his protector," she said.

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"He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words."

Red roses were laid out perfectly in front of her stand and microphone while she gave her speech to the audience of around 20,000 people.

It was an emotional moment for the brave star who took to the stand to commemorate her late husband and their late daughter [Image: AFP via Getty Images]

Kobe, who was 41 when he died, and Gianna died along with seven others on January 26 when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed into the side of a mountain in Calabasas, California.

Kobe is survived by wife Vanessa, 37, and Gianna's sisters Natalia, 17, Bianka, three, and Capri, eight months.

READ ALSO: Vanessa Bryant reveals school retired Gianna’s jersey in heartbreaking posts

Today's memorial is expected to host around 20,000 people, nearly one month after the crash, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Kim Kardashian joined her husband Kayne West as well as her sister Khloe and mother Kris Jenner in leading the stars at the occasion.

Kobe is survived by wife Vanessa, 37, and Gianna's sisters Natalia, 17, Bianka, three, and Capri, eight months [Image: AFP via Getty Images]

Beyonce performed a soulful rendition of Kobe's favourite song XO to the crowd.

The Center is the home of the Los Angeles Lakers where Kobe played for a staggering 20 seasons and solidified his status as one of the world's greatest atheletes.

Some tickets were made available for the service, with more than 88,000 people applying so they could honour the icon, his daughter, and the others who died.

All proceeds from the service will go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, established following the crash.

Kobe's fellow basketball legends Michael Jordan and LeBron James were in attendance, along with a host of other celebrities wanting to pay their respects.