Joshua Winslow "Josh" Groban (born February 27, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, actor, and record producer. His four solo albums have been certified at least multi-platinum, and in 2007, he was charted as the number one best selling artist in the United States with over 21 million records in this country.To date, he has sold over 27 million albums worldwide.
Groban originally studied acting but as his voice changed, it developed into a "significant instrument". The event that changed Groban's life was when his vocal coach, Seth Riggs, submitted a tape of Josh singing, "All I Ask of You", from The Phantom of the Opera, to Riggs' friend, renowned producer, composer and arranger David Foster. Foster called him to stand in for an ailing Andrea Bocelli to rehearse a duet, "The Prayer," with Celine Dion at the rehearsal for the Grammy Awards in 1998.Groban, being shy, reluctantly agreed. Rosie O'Donnell was so impressed that she immediately invited him to appear on her daytime talk show.He got another big break when Foster asked him to sing at the California Governor's Gray Davis' 1999 inauguration.His name and career soared with the public recognition he received, after being cast on Ally McBeal by the show's creator David E. Kelley, who asked him to perform "You're Still You" for the show's 2001 season finale.
arly life and education
Groban was born in Los Angeles to Lindy, a school teacher and full time mother,and Jack Groban, a businessman. His father is of Jewish background and a descendant of Russian and Polish immigrants.His mother is Norwegian American, the daughter of immigrants from the eastern Norwegian district of Toten.His parents joined the Episcopal Church after his father's conversion from Judaism to Christianity.Chris, his younger brother, shares the same birthday, four years later.
Groban debuted as a singer in the seventh grade. His music teacher chose him to sing a solo of "S'wonderful" at the school's Cabaret Night, where he sang alone on stage for the first time. At this time, he was more focused on theatrical arts.He transferred from a traditional school to Bridges Academy because, he explains, "I didn't feel that I was getting enough creative input. So I went to Bridges Academy to get my grades up to straight A's." There he was permitted to take regular classes from 9 AM to 1 PM, and attend theater classes in the afternoon. In the summers of 1997 and 1998, he also attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts Camp in Michigan, majoring in music theatre, and began taking vocal lessons. Groban went on to attend the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts as a theatre major and graduated in 1999. He was admitted to Carnegie Mellon University, intending to study drama, but he left four months into his first semester. Offered a recording contract, he decided to pursue his singing career.
In late 1998, the 17-year-old Groban was introduced by his vocal coach to Grammy-winning producer/arranger David Foster and future manager Brian Avnet. At the time Groban had no recording experience and was preparing to begin studying at Carnegie Institute of Technology.Groban worked for David Foster as a rehearsal singer on a series of high-profile events, including the January 1999 inauguration of Gray Davis as Governor of California and the 1999 Grammy Awards where — as a stand-in for Andrea Bocelli — he rehearsed Foster's "The Prayer" with Céline Dion. According to manager Avnet, Groban was very nervous about standing in for Bocelli and had to be talked into it, but his performance prompted the show hostess, Rosie O'Donnell, to ask him to appear on her show the following week, which then led to an appearance on the Ally McBeal show. David E. Kelley, creator of the television series Ally McBeal, created a character, Malcolm Wyatt, for Groban in the season finale aired in May 2001. The character of Malcolm Wyatt was so popular, prompting 8,000 emails from viewers, that Groban was asked to return the next season to reprise his role and perform "To Where You Are." Avnet claims this sequence of events effectively got Groban's career off the ground.
Groban was offered a recording contract at Warner Bros. Records through Foster's 143 Records imprint. Avnet told HitQuarters that Warner initially proved resistant to the deal because, "They were afraid they wouldn’t be able to get a voice like that on radio."Explaining his reasons for signing the artist Foster said: "I love his natural ability in the pop and rock arena, but I love his sense of classics even more. He's a true musical force to be reckoned with." Under Foster's influence, Groban's first album focused more on classics such as "Gira Con Me Questa Notte" and "Alla Luce Del Sole."
Groban performed "There For Me" with Sarah Brightman on her 2000–01 La Luna World Tour, and was featured on her "La Luna" concert DVD. He recorded "For Always" with Lara Fabian on the movie soundtrack to A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001). Groban performed in many benefit shows, including: "The Andre Agassi Grand Slam Event For Children," singing alongside Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Don Henley, and Robin Williams; "Muhammad Ali's Fight Night Foundation" which honored Michael J. Fox and others; "The Family Celebration" (2001), which was co-hosted by President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and David E. Kelley and his wife, Michelle Pfeiffer; and Michael Milken's CapCure event, which raises funds for cancer research.
The singer's self-titled debut album Josh Groban was released on November 20, 2001. Over the next year, it went from gold to double-platinum.
On February 24, 2002, Groban performed "The Prayer" with Charlotte Church at the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and by November, he had his own PBS special, "Josh Groban In Concert" (2002). In December 2002, he performed "To Where You Are" and sang "The Prayer" in a duet with Sissel Kyrkjebø at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway. He joined The Corrs, Ronan Keating, Sting, Lionel Richie, and others for a Christmas performance at the Vatican in Rome, Italy. In 2003, Groban performed at the David Foster concert for World Children's Day, singing "The Prayer" with Celine Dion and the finale song, "Aren't They All Our Children?" with artists including Yolanda Adams, Nick Carter, Enrique Iglesias, and Celine Dion.
Notable performancesOn April 14, 2007, Groban joined Idina Menzel for a PBS Soundstage taping. The next day, he held his own taping for the same PBS TV series at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall at Jazz in New York City.
In June 2007, Groban recorded a Christmas album in London with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Magdalen College Choir, which he discussed on the DVD from "The Making of Noël". It was released on October 9, 2007 and is titled Noël.The album has been highly successful in the US breaking numerous records for a Christmas album, as well as becoming the best selling album of 2007 in only its tenth week of release, at sales of 3.6 million.
On July 1, 2007, Groban performed with Sarah Brightman at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium; it was broadcast to over 500 million homes in 140 countries.
On August 23, 2007, Groban performed "You Raise Me Up" on Episode 14 of the talent show Last Choir Standing.
Groban was nominated for the 2008 Juno Award for International Album of the Year for Noël. In collaboration with French legend Charles Aznavour, he recorded Aznavour's signature song La Bohème as a duet in English and French. It is due to be released on Aznavour's next album, titled Duets.
On February 10, 2008, Groban performed at the 2008 Grammy Awards with Andrea Bocelli in a tribute to Luciano Pavarotti.
On May 12 and 13, 2008, Groban performed as Anatoly Sergievsky in "Chess in Concert" at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
On July 15, 2008, Groban performed "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at the 79th All-Star Game in New York City at Yankee Stadium.
On August 29, 2008, Groban appeared on the final episode of The Charlotte Church Show for a brief interview. The show ended as Groban performed "The Prayer" with host Charlotte Church.
On September 21, 2008, Groban performed a comical medley of well-known TV theme songs at the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
In December 2008, Groban appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He performed a duet with Only Men Aloud! at the Royal Variety Show at the London Palladium for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
On January 18, 2009, Groban performed as part of the Presidential Inauguration ceremonies, performing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" in duet with Heather Headley.
On January, 19. 2009, Groban performed with Herbie Hancock as part of Feeding America's Rally Against Hunger in Washington DC. The event was also attended by Martin Luther King III and actor Ben Affleck.
On January 20, 2009, Groban performed at the Warner Theatre - Heroes Red, White & Blue Inaugural Ball, Washington, DC
On March 28, 2009, Groban performed a duet of "Bridge over Troubled Water" with Jordin Sparks for the charity event Celebrity Fight Night.
In March 2009, Groban covered the hits of the late Casey Tatum and his brother on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!.
On September 14, 2009, Groban appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and surprised an audience member.
Two days later he made the first of two appearances on Glee, playing himself. His second appearance was in the Season 1 finale Journey to Regionals.
Groban was featured in Nelly Furtado's song "Silencio", which was released on September 1, 2009. This song is from Nelly's first full length Spanish album Mi Plan.
At the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, he performed the Star Spangled Banner on Jan. 7, 2010 with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, at the historic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.
On November 30, 2010, Groban performed at the New York Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting.
On December 18, 2010, Groban performed at the Carols in the Domain in Sydney, Australia.
On December 21, 2010, Groban returned to BBC Two's Never Mind the Buzzcocks, this time as guest host and ending the show duetting with Michael Ball in a version of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables.
On March 4, 2011, Groban filled in for Regis Philbin on Live with Regis and Kelly, where he interviewed Heather Locklear and LaToya Jackson and performed "Higher Window" from his latest CD "Illuminations".
On April 15, 2011, Groban performed on The Late Late Show in Ireland, which is the longest running chat show in the world.
Various music critics have described Groban's voice in different ways, with some referring to him as a tenor and others as a baritone. In performance, Groban's music goes as low as G2 (as in the song "To Where You Are") and extends up to at least B♭4(as heard in "You Raise Me Up" or "February Song"). This places his voice lower than the tenor range on the low end, and just short of Tenor C, and therefore above the baritone range, on the high end. There is currently no authoritative system of voice classification in non-classical music. The problem lies in the fact that classical terms are used to describe not merely various vocal ranges, but specific vocal timbres each unique to those respective ranges, and produced by the classical training techniques with which most popular singers are not intimately familiar and which are not universally employed by the few that are. In a 2002 New York Times article, Groban described himself as a "tenor in training".
Under the guidance of his mentor David Foster, Groban performed for many charity events that included VH1 Save the Music (2005), Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope (2005), Fifth Adopt-A-Annual Minefield concert (2005), 2nd Annual Grammy Jam (2005), Live 8 (2005), The Heart Foundation Gala (2005), and David Foster and Friends Charity Gala (2006). He also sang a solo on the recording of We Are The World 25 for Haiti (2010). Inspired by a visit with Nelson Mandela during a 2004 trip to South Africa, he established the Josh Groban Foundation to help children in need through education, healthcare and the arts. Mandela appointed Groban as an Official Ambassador for Mandela's Project 46664, a campaign to help raise Global awareness of HIV/AIDS in Africa. On April 25, 2007, Josh Groban performed with the African Children's Choir on American Idol's "Idol Gives Back" episode. Also on September 2, 2007, Groban donated $150,000 to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to fund music education. On February 28, 2008, he appeared in One Night Live at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada with Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden and RyanDan in aid of the Sunnybrook Hospital Women and Babies Program. In honor of his 27th birthday, his fans set out to raise $27,000 in a project called "Raise 27". They ended up raising a total of $44,227 for the Josh Groban Foundation, to benefit the Noah's Ark children's orphanage called Siyawela in South Africa. Groban has since referred to this donation as "the best birthday present ever".For those who could afford the $1500 ticket, Josh Groban performed at the The Angel Ball on October 21, 2010. Proceeds went to the Gabrielles Angel Foundation for cancer research