Airport pianist earns $60k in a day

Airport pianist earns $60k in a day


norman lebrecht

July 25, 2021

Stuck between flights in Atlanta airport, Carlos Whittaker of Nashville got talking to the waiting-area pianist, known as Tonee.

Turns out he’s a nightly dialysis patient who plays the airport every day.


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A post shared by Carlos Whittaker (@loswhit)

Carlos, an Instagram ‘influencer’ with 200,000 followers, posted Tonee’s story online. Donations reached $10,000 in an hour, $60,000 in a day.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Carlos Whittaker (@loswhit)




  • 9 hours of dialysis… every day? Is that new?

    I’ve known three people on dialysis. They were doing it three times a week.

  • BigSir says:

    Very cool and uplifting!

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Wonderful there are some good people in this world.

  • fflambeau says:

    This is a great story.

  • CRogers says:

    As a professional acquaintance of mine said to me: ‘I look around at the world and see corruption, financial and emotional, that just seems very depressing, etc etc. Then I meet individuals who choose to do something constructive which shares, which includes and gives hope……’ Here’s to individuals and societies that foster such values.

  • Matt Sales says:

    Because we live in a cruel, exploitative system that leaves millions in despair, people can go around playing “King For A Day” and do a kindness to this or that randomly chosen beneficiary, and everyone rejoices, while the rest of the neglected slip beneath the waves and drown, unnoticed. That’s what I got from this article.

    • Stupid says:

      Indeed. Suddenly this Carlos Whitaker is to be lauded as some great humanitarian or something? Please. The wealth disparity writ large – and not only in cash but in “followers”. From everything I can see, the pianist is the one who deserves to have the followers in this case – but then he isn’t an “influencer”. Garbage society, hollow story, and to the degree that its feel-good effect could have come from any one of a million other deserving beneficiaries, it’s arbitrary.

      • BRUCEB says:

        Nevertheless. In the heartless system within which we live, people helped make a difference for this individual.

        One can make a decision to adopt the point of view that while the system is terrible, the people laboring under it are not, and take hope from that observation.

        Or not.

  • Nick says:

    What a guy! What a story!!