Ellen DeGeneres began yesterday's episode of her show on a more serious note than usual. In her opening monologue, which she noted had been taped on Monday, DeGeneres talked about how the day before had been both her birthday and the GRAMMY awards ("I didn't win", she joked).

However, she went on to explain that after learning the news of Kobe Bryant's tragic passing, the day completely changed its trajectory.  "Yesterday was a celebratory day and we got tragic news about Kobe Bryant and everything changed in a second," she said, while fighting back tears.

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Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres attend the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 05, 2020.

Ellen's important message to her audience

DeGeneres continued on, emotional as she talked about the importance of valuing life and celebrating the moment while being alive to do so. "“We don’t have to have a birthday to celebrate," she said. "Just celebrate life.”

She then urged her audience and viewers to do everything they can to show their appreciation for the loved ones in their lives while they're still around. "Tell people you love them. Call your friends. Text your friends. Hug them. Kiss them."

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DeGeneres finished her heartfelt monologue by expressing her love and gratitude for her wife Portia de Rossi, as well as her audience and the crew of her show. 

Watch Ellen DeGeneres' emotional show opening from Tuesday's episode right here!