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Watch: Alicia Keys performs ‘Moonlight Sonata’ to honor Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said the song was one of Kobe Bryant’s favorites

Alicia Keys reacts after performing during a celebration of life for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Alicia Keys reacts after performing during a celebration of life for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka told a story about his former client Kobe Bryant at the memorial service to honor him, sharing how Bryant wanted to learn Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.”

  • Pelinka said Bryant was struggling with his time away from his wife Vanessa Bryant and young family because of his road schedule for the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • One night, Bryant was sitting at a piano under a moonlit sky and told Pelinka that he wanted to learn the song for his family.
  • Pelinka: “Kobe said he hadn’t been sleeping much because he was missing V and the girls. ... So at night he vowed to teach himself — by ear — to play the first movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata ... by the end of the week he had the entire piece mastered.”
  • The next time Bryant called Pelinka, he had learned the entire first movement of the piece.
  • Alicia Keys appeared at the memorial event to perform the song thereafter.