Groban, Josh


Groban, Josh
▪ 2009
Joshua Winslow Groban 
born Feb. 27, 1981, Los Angeles, Calif.

 Just eight years after putting his dream of a college theatre degree on hold so that he could try his hand at a recording career, American singer Josh Groban began 2008 on a professional high. His 2007 release of Christmas songs, Noël, was the top-selling album of 2007 in the U.S., with almost 3.7 million copies sold, and had received a nomination for the international album of the year award at Canada's 2008 Juno Awards. Shortly afterward, during the annual Grammy Awards television broadcast on February 10, Groban sang a duet with Italian opera-pop superstar Andrea Bocelli in a tribute to the late Luciano Pavarotti. The performance was particularly noteworthy because in 1999 Groban—then an unknown teenaged stand-in hired by the Grammy-winning producer David Foster—had taken the ailing Bocelli's place in rehearsing the same duet with Canadian pop diva Céline Dion for the Grammy ceremony. In May 2008 Groban's CD/DVD Awake Live debuted in the top 10 on Billboard's album chart, the fifth of his seven albums to make the top 10. The same month, the rising superstar headlined a star-studded revival of the 1980s musical Chess at London's Royal Albert Hall.

      Groban did not study voice seriously until his teens, when he became active in musical theatre at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. In late 1998 his voice instructor introduced him to Foster, who hired Groban to sing at a number of events, including the January 1999 inauguration of California Gov. Gray Davis. Groban's work with Foster soon led to a recording contract offer from Warner Brothers. Concerned that radio stations and retail stores might overlook Groban because his singing—often in Italian—defied easy categorization, his promoters organized a series of performances on TV news and talk shows, as well as two guest spots on the popular series Ally McBeal. The appearances, which capitalized on the singer's unaffected onstage magnetism, fueled sales of two million copies of his first album, Josh Groban (2001). Produced by Foster, the album blended contemporary pop with classic songs that showcased Groban's rich baritone voice and romantic sensibility. Performances at high-profile media events, including the closing ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, extended his international appeal and added to the legions of fans known as Grobanites. The CD/DVD Josh Groban in Concert (2002) was recorded live during an appearance on the public TV series Great Performances. Closer (2003) featured more original compositions, as well as performances by such guest artists as classical violinist Joshua Bell. Despite mixed reviews, the album sold two million copies within eight weeks of its release. Awake (2006), which also went double-platinum, included collaborations with the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and jazz pianist Herbie Hancock.

Janet Moredock

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Noël (Josh Groban album) — Noël Studio album by Josh Groban Released October 9, 2007 …   Wikipedia


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