85-year-old ‘Piano Grandad’ finds TikTok fame playing performances in his wife’s memory

85-year-old pianist new found fame on tiktok PA
Alan lost his wife Pat in 2006 and has been playing in her honour ever since (Picture: PA)

An 85-year-old man has become a TikTok sensation playing piano in memory of his late wife.

Alan Melinek, from Watford, north-west London, says he has been ‘blown away’ by the incredible response to his videos on the social media platform – which have been viewed hundreds of thousand of times.

The grandad has since gained an incredible 25,000 followers on the app, and he delights his followers with classical, pop and jazz tunes.

Alan – also known as Piano Grandad – is doing it all for his wife, Pat. Pat sadly died with ovarian cancer in 2006, and since then Alan has raising money for Cancer Research UK with monthly concerts.

Music has always been a hugely important part of Alan’s life, he even met Pat in a jazz club in Soho, and he loved the piano from a very young age.

Undated handout photo issued by Cancer Research UK of Alan Melinek playing the piano, the 85-year-old whose piano playing has been viewed hundreds of thousand of times on TikTok has said he is ?blown away? by the new-found attention he?s received. Issue date: Thursday April 8, 2021. PA Photo. Alan Melinek, from Watford in north-west London, has accrued 25,000 followers on the video sharing social network, with people tuning in to hear his renditions of classical, pop and jazz tunes. Mr Melinek ? who also goes by Piano Grandad ? fell in love with the piano from an early age and met his wife Pat in a jazz club in Soho. See PA story SOCIAL Grandad. Photo credit should read: Cancer Research UK/pianograndad.com/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Alan first met his wife in a jazz club in Soho. (Picture: PA)

The pandemic put a stop to his monthly fundraising concerts, but Alan’s granddaughter Bella came to the rescue by suggesting he show off his skills on TikTok instead.

So far, his musical videos have received more than a quarter of a million likes.

‘Somehow I seem to have gone viral and to say I am overwhelmed is an understatement indeed,’ he says.

Undated handout photo issued by Cancer Research UK of Alan Melinek playing the piano with his granddaughter Bella, the 85-year-old whose piano playing has been viewed hundreds of thousand of times on TikTok has said he is ?blown away? by the new-found attention he?s received. Issue date: Thursday April 8, 2021. PA Photo. Alan Melinek, from Watford in north-west London, has accrued 25,000 followers on the video sharing social network, with people tuning in to hear his renditions of classical, pop and jazz tunes. Mr Melinek ? who also goes by Piano Grandad ? fell in love with the piano from an early age and met his wife Pat in a jazz club in Soho. See PA story SOCIAL Grandad. Photo credit should read: Cancer Research UK/pianograndad.com/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Alan with his grandaughter Bella (Picture: PA)

‘I don’t quite know how it has happened or what we have unleashed but I am completely bemused. I am also blown away by people’s generosity in helping raise money for such an important cause that is so dear to my heart.’

Alan’s website pianograndad.com directs people either to TikTok or YouTube to watch him play, while there is also a link to his Cancer Research UK fundraising page, where he has already raised more than £1,000.

‘He’s got this incredible talent and I knew it would go down well,’ says Bella, 22.

‘I am so proud of him. I have wanted him to be famous for his piano playing and am so happy to see tens of thousands of people are now enjoying it as much as we do.’

You can find out more about Alan’s musical talents and donate on his fundraising page.

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Get in touch: metrolifestyleteam@metro.co.uk.


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