KEY POINTS

  • Jennifer Hudson to perform Kobe Bryant tribute in All-Star game
  • Damian Lillard plans to continue music performance 
  • DJ Khaled, Quavo, Chance the Rapper among performers

Jennifer Hudson is tapped to perform a Kobe Bryant tribute at the NBA All-Star festivities in her homeland in Chicago this weekend. The Academy and Grammy Award winner headlines the parade of music performers for this year’s version of the league’s annual gathering of stars, with Damian Lillard – an artist part of the show’s list – hoping to continue with his performance despite sustaining a groin injury on Wednesday.

Hudson is scheduled to take the stage as a curtain-raiser before the player introductions on Sunday’s main event whilst DJ Khaled, Quavo, Lil Wayne and another Chicago-native Chance the Rapper is set to perform during the halftime show. Queen Latifah will perform along with Chicago youth during Saturday’s events; the Chicago Children’s Choir is lined up before the Rising Stars game on Friday.

Although he is no longer participating in both the 3-point contest and the All-Star game, Lillard - more popularly known as Dame D.O.L.L.A. in the rap industry – will still fly over to Chicago with his fingers crossed as he bared his plans of performing alongside some prominent names in the hip-hop industry on Saturday.

“We just kind of started going over what we could do to make it count, tried to figure out Chicago artists who could be part of it,” Lillard said per Kurt Helin of NBC Sports. “Jeremih is going to be on stage with me and he’s from Chicago, he’s on one of my biggest songs on my current album. And then also, I’m going to be doing a song on my previous album and that’s one of my biggest songs with Lil Wayne, too, so it’s going to be a pretty good deal.”

The Portland Trail Blazers star point guard was in the midst of a scorching stretch when the unfortunate injury occurred in Wednesday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. At post-game, Lillard suggested that Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker be his replacement in both events which the NBA then granted.

Lillard has carved his own name in the music industry from the ground up, earning respect with his artistic craft in the same way he gets homage in the manner he torments defenders on the hardcourt.