Josh Groban Biography

Songwriter, Singer(1981–)
Josh Groban is a multiplatinum-selling recording artist and songwriter whose fans have scooped up more than 25 million albums.

Synopsis

Josh Groban was born on February 27, 1981, in Los Angeles. A naturally gifted singer, Groban dropped out of college after only a few months to pursue a recording career. The move paid off: His first solo album came out in 2001 and went on to sell nearly four million copies. Several studio releases later, among them Closer and Awake, Groban is one of the most popular singers on the planet. His fans have gobbled up each offering with verve, with Groban's albums selling more than 25 million combined copies.

Early Years

Josh Groban was born in Los Angeles on February 27, 1981, into a musical family. One of his grandmothers could play piano by the age of three and attended Juilliard, and Groban’s businessman father was an accomplished pianist. Growing up, Groban’s parents encouraged him to listen to a variety of musical styles and he took their advice to heart, absorbing everything from opera to pop. A trait echoed in his own music years later, Groban has said that he was drawn to musicians "who decided not to settle into one particular musical style.”

Working With David Foster

Groban began singing in 7th grade and later enrolled in the Interlochen Arts Program to concentrate on his voice. As fate would have it, his vocal coach was friends with David Foster, a well-known producer, writer and arranger, and in 1998 Groban and Foster began working together. 

At first, Groban served as a rehearsal singer, but the scale of the events wasn’t anything typical beginners could begin to imagine, such as the inauguration of California governor Grey Davis and the Grammy Awards. Foster would also be instrumental in landing Groban a recording contract with Warner Bros. through his own 143 label. The decision to sign with Warner Bros. put Groban’s education on hold at Carnegie Mellon University, but it was a decision that quickly paid off.

From Recording Artist to Superstar

Groban made his recording debut on the soundtrack for the 2001 Steven Spielberg movie A.I.: Artificial Intelligence with the song "For Always," which he performed with Lara Fabian. In November 2001, his eponymous debut album was released, and Groban spent the next year riding a wave of success. In quick succession, the album went double platinum (eventually selling in the neighborhood of four million copies), Groban signed on for his own PBS special and he performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway. Another notable appearance of this period was a duet Groban performed with Charlotte Church at the closing ceremonies of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

Two years after his debut album hit, Groban put out Closer, which quickly climbed to the top of the Billboard album charts. The release prompted Groban’s first world tour, tickets for which sold out immediately upon availability, and a subsequent live album (his second). It would be three years until Groban’s next studio album, 2006's Awake, came out, but fans didn’t have to wait long for more music after that one, as the Christmas project Noel was hot on its heels. Each album sold millions of copies and cemented Groban’s reputation as both a vocal talent for the ages and as a bestselling artist.

In 2010, Groban brought legendary producer Rick Rubin into the studio for his fifth studio album, Illuminations, and in 2012, Groban released All That Echoes. A new record, Stages, is slated for 2015.

Charity Work and Personal Life

When Groban isn’t onstage or in the studio, he keeps busy with charitable causes such as his own Find Your Light Foundation, which supports children’s artistic, cultural and educational aspirations, and the Global Poverty Project.

Groban dated Mad Men’s January Jones for more than two years but the two split in 2006. More recently the crooner has been romantically linked to Two Broke Girls’ Kat Dennings.

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Josh Groban at the Los Angeles premiere of "Muppets Most Wanted" in 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com)

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