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SALT LAKE CITY — Five Utah fathers who are a web sensation now have a contract with the Sony Masterworks label.
The Piano Guys have 16 — almost 17 — kids between the five of them, and more than 30 videos and 130 million views on YouTube together. They also scored a major record label deal and are set to release their first album Oct. 2.
The men met about five years ago in a piano store in St. George, Utah. Tel Stewart, a videographer and editor, was working as a piano mover for Paul Anderson, who acts as the producer and videographer in the group. It grew from there.
"The cardinal rule is: if you're gonna start a group called The Piano Guys, the first thing you do is you go out and you get a cellist," said cellist Steven Sharp Nelson.
Their 'personality plus' approach to making music is perhaps what is most engaging about their performance. But they're also passionate about introducing others to music.
"People are being inspired to play piano or being inspired to play cello, so, all of the sudden it went from trying to advertise pianos to now, it's like that's what we wanted more than anything," Anderson said.
The Piano Guys now have appearances booked on "The Tonight Show," "The Today Show," "Katie" and a PBS special that will air in December.