Who Is Josh Groban?
Josh Groban is an American singer, songwriter, actor and producer. 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. His albums, including Closer and Awake, have sold more than 35 million copies around the world.
Groban was born in Los Angeles, California, 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 events were not typical for beginners, including the inauguration of California governor Grey Davis and the Grammy Awards. Foster was also instrumental in helping Groban land a recording contract with Warner Bros. through his own 143 label. After signing with Warner Bros., Groban put his education on hold at Carnegie Mellon University, a decision that quickly paid off.
Albums and Songs
'Josh Groban' Debut Album
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 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 released 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, and a subsequent live album. It would be three years until Groban’s next studio album, 2006's Awake, was released, but fans didn’t have to wait long for more music to follow including the Christmas project Noel. Each album sold millions of copies and cemented Groban’s reputation as both a vocal talent for the ages and as a bestselling artist.
'All That Echoes,' 'Stages,' 'Bridges'
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 album, Stages, featuring his versions of hits from Broadway musicals, appeared in 2015, before the crooner returned with a mix of original songs and covers with 2018's Bridges.
Broadway Debut: 'The Great Comet'
In October 2016, Groban wowed critics and audiences alike, making his Broadway debut in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, a musical created by Dave Malloy which is based on Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. Groban plays Pierre, a role which earned him a Tony nomination.
His other acting roles include appearing in the films Crazy, Stupid Love (2011) and The Muppets Most Wanted (2015) and making cameos in television shows including It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Office, The Crazy Ones and Parks and Recreation. In 2018, he co-starred with Tony Danza for one season of the Netflix comedy-drama The Good Cop.
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. In 2020, he began hosting weekly screenings of his concerts on YouTube to raise money for coronavirus-related charities.
Groban dated Mad Men’s January Jones for more than two years but the two split in 2006. In 2014, Groban began dating actress Kat Dennings, the star of the TV show Two Broke Girls, before they called it quits in 2016. The singer later went public with his relationship with actress Schuyler Helford at the 2018 Tony Awards.
On October 31, 2017, Groban tweeted his firsthand account of a scary incident in which a driver rammed into pedestrians into lower Manhattan, killing eight people, before the driver was shot by police. Out walking his dog around 3 p.m., the singer tweeted that he "heard 8-10 quick rounds," later noting that he had planned to have coffee right where police confronted the driver before his dog pulled him somewhere else.
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