The piano on which 5-year-old Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, wrote her first song is going up on the auction block. The singer-songwriter’s childhood instrument is estimated to be worth about $200,000. Billboard reports that it will be auctioned off at Julien Auctions’ “Music Icons” memorabilia sale at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York on Saturday, May 21.
The piano, made by Everett Piano Co., was previously on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, as part of a 2011-2012 “Women Who Rock” exhibition. It was originally purchased in 1966 by Gaga’s paternal grandparents for $780. They then gave it to young Stefani’s parents, who got her taking piano lessons when she was 4. A year later, the future pop superstar composed her first song, Dollar Bills, a tune that was inspired by Pink Floyd’s Money. Years later, when she turned 13, Gaga received her first grand piano from her parents.
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A portion of the proceeds from the piano’s sale will go to Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, which she created in 2012. According to the website, the foundation “… is committed to supporting the wellness of young people, and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world.”
“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,” Gaga’s mother, Cynthia Germanotta, said. “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.”
“Values continue to increase due to the collectability of Western pop culture globally,” said Darren Julian, owner of Julien’s Auctions. “Rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia is the new art market.” He also said that investors and collectors look to this type of offering to be diversify their portfolios and collections.