This Homeless Man Will Amaze You

Sarasota's Donald Gould becomes an Internet star on the piano
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2015 9:46 AM CDT

A homeless man in Florida is an Internet star after footage of him playing the piano went viral this week. But more than that, the newfound fame may give him a chance to stop being homeless, reports People. Donald Gould, 51, who has been living on the streets of Sarasota about seven years, plays one of the city's "public pianos" every day to earn money, reports the Telegraph. His profile increased dramatically when a woman uploaded a video of him playing Styx’s "Come Sail Away" on Facebook, which has now been viewed more than 5 million times. "Just took my breath away," wrote Aroar Natasha. "Wow."

The Marine vet says he formerly played in a symphonic band, and studied music education at Michigan’s Spring Arbor University, though he never got his degee. Gould says the death of his wife led to a downward spiral that included substance abuse and him losing custody of his young son. Now the video could be a way back. A GoFundMe account has been created to help Gould finish school, and to help buy him a home and a car. A local bar says it might hire him as a weekend piano player. "I was thinking I could just put my hat on the piano and make a couple dollars and get tips,” Gould tells WWSB. “I didn't expect it to jump out to this." (In Canada, a homeless man made headlines because of his generosity.)

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