Los Angeles, CA – Alicia Keys performed a special song as part of the public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant on Monday (February 24). The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter played Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on the piano after Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka told a story about Kobe learning to play the famous sonata for his wife Vanessa.
“Vanessa brought out Kobe’s romantic side like nobody else in the world could,” Pelinka said. “While he was away, he wanted to live in his love for Vanessa so at night under the moonlit sky, he vowed to teach himself by ear to play the first movement of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata.’”
According to Pelinka, Kobe mastered the song within a week.
After performing “Moonlight Sonata” at the service, Keys wrote about discussing the song’s meaning with Vanessa. Keys also shared a clip of her performance at the memorial.
“Vanessa, when you told me the Moonlight Sonata is such a beautiful part of your love story bc Kobe vowed to learn it for you, I was speechless,” she shared Twitter. “I felt the depth of your love for each other & your girls with every note I played today. The love between u lights up the world.”
Vanessa, when you told me the Moonlight Sonata is such a beautiful part of your love story bc Kobe vowed to learn it for you, I was speechless… I felt the depth of your love for each other & your girls with every note I played today. The love between u lights up the world. pic.twitter.com/NeVOggET3k
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) February 24, 2020
A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant was held at the Staples Center, the home arena of the Los Angeles Lakers. In addition to Keys’ rendition of “Moonlight Sonata,” Beyoncé performed “XO” and “Halo” as part of the memorial.
Vanessa Bryant, NBA legend Michael Jordan, Kobe’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal and WNBA star Diana Taurasi were among the speakers at the event.
Watch Keys perform “Moonlight Sonata” above.