The piano has made a significant contribution to the world of music, having been employed widely in classical, traditional, jazz and popular music. Its benefits to the player are many and varied, and when it comes to enhancing the player’s neurological abilities, it is said to be superior to other instruments.

Most piano’s go through their lifespan without ever enjoying their moment in the spotlight. However, once in a while a piano will feature in the public eye and receive a lot of the attention. Here are three that have recently made their way to the headlines thanks to their celebrity owners.

1. Elvis Presley’s Piano

Elvis Presley was a self-taught pianist who bought his first piano for less than 300 dollars. In fact, be bought it at hire purchase, paying 50 dollars upfront and then paying the rest in the following 11 months. The piano, which Presley gave to his cook, is now expected to fetch 300,000 dollars at auction.

Elvis Presley Piano
The piano and bench were purchased by Presley aged 20 in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1955

A spokesman for auctioneers Julien’s said: “Elvis learned the piano when he was young but this was the first one he ever purchased.

“It’s a unique piece of rock and roll history and it still plays beautifully today.”

Original paperwork shows Elvis bought the piano for $281.75 from O.K. Houck Piano Company Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 30, 1955.

The piano made by Stroud in 1911 comes with the original bench Elvis sat on while playing. Via Mirror

2. Lady Gaga’s Piano

Another piano that enjoys celebrity status now is Lady Gaga’s childhood piano, which initially belonged to her grandparents. The piano is what she used to write her first song when she was just 5 years old.

Gaga’s paternal grandparents purchased the piano for $780 in 1966 and later gave it to her parents. Little Stefani Germanotta began taking piano lessons when she was 4 and wrote her first composition, “Dollar Bills,” a year later, a song inspired by Pink Floyd’s “Money.”

Lady Gaga Piano
This April 5, 2016 image taken from video shows a piano owned by singer Lady Gaga in Culver City, Calif. Julien’s Auctions is offering the instrument in its “Music Icons” memorabilia sale at the Hard Rock Cafe New York on May 21. (AP Photo/Rick Taber)

“When Stefani started to crawl, she would use the leg of the piano to pull herself up and stand, and in doing so, her fingers would eventually land on the keys,” her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, recalled once. “She would stay there and just keep pressing the keys to hear the sound. We would then start to hold her up or sit on the bench and let her tinker.” Via CP24

Like Presley’s Gaga’s piano is also going on the auction block and is expected to collect between 100,000 and 200,000 dollars. The proceeds will go towards youth empowerment activities facilitated by Gaga’s foundation.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the piano will benefit the Born This Way Foundation, launched by Gaga in 2012 to empower youth. The organization also addresses issues of bullying, poor body image, and acceptance and tolerance. Via CP24

3. Prince’s Purple Piano

Before his untimely death, Prince was preparing for his Prince, Piano and a Microphone tour. Just days before he died, he tweeted a photo of the custom-made purple piano that would have been the centerpiece of the tour. It’s acoustics were fine-tuned to the artist’s specifications.

“So the piano is an acoustical piano, but it also has a tone generation system internally that can go out to a secondary audio source that all the sounds internally are highly modified just for him,” Gero said. “They are EQed (equalized) a certain way. There were certain sounds that were made just specifically for him.” Via NBC News

The piano’s unique shade of purple was meant to match the color of a couch in Prince’s home. Despite not getting to go on the tour, Prince did get to unveil the piano to an audience at a show he held at his compound.

Prince Purple Piano
Customized purple piano for Prince. Ben James / Yamaha Entertainment Group

“It was really the last big performance he had done publicly in which he unveiled it and he was very proud of it,” Gero said.

He said the value of the piano now is unknown especially now that Prince has died, but he hopes it will end up in a place where fans can enjoy it. Via NBC News

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