With his sixth album being released this coming Monday and more than a combined 20 million records sold, Josh Groban has become one of the biggest recording artists of the last decades.
Not that you’d know it from the amount of press attached to the Californian, who seemingly avoids the spotlight with consummate ease.
But how did Groban wrack up his impressive collection of platinum records? Well that’s what we’re about to find out.
While Groban got his big break on TV, it wasn’t through one of the talent shows that have become so prevalent over the last few years. Instead, it came in the form of a guest part on Ally McBeal, when the show’s creator David E Kelly gave him a singing part on the show after acting as a stand in for Andrea Bocelli at a Grammy rehearsal.
After his two appearances on the show, the second only coming after the Ally McBeal production office was inundated with messages requesting his return, Groban was given a deal by Waner Bros, despite massive reservations on their part. Reservations that were totally justified, as they weren’t too sure if he would work on radio, a valid concert when you look at any truly alternative style of singer.
Quickly they got Groban out on the road with opera superstar Sarah Brightman to boost the teenagers profile, and started playing at big charity events and the TV shows. That was when the ball really started rolling. While record execs had been nervous about his ability to perform on radio, TV was a completely different matter.
The camera loved him. A young, good looking lad that could pull of opera with ease was immediately loved by audiences and his performances over the next year on the bigger chat shows across America (including Oprah) got him not only a slot performing at the 2002 Winter Olympics but also making his debut, self-titled album filled with Italian classical music, go double platinum in the US.
From here, the only way was up, as he started playing the biggest classical shows around, earning him an army of fans. They were to be rewarded when in 2003 he launched his second album, once again a mix of English and foreign language classical songs. This time, it went straight into the charts at number four, although this was only the start of the album’s success.
Two weeks after the album was released, the album’s standout track would make Groban bigger than he ever had been before. His version of ’You Raise Me Up’ got Groban on the Super Bowl, performing at Oprah’s 50th bash and made him a truly international name.
Since then, he’s started bridging the gap between the classical and the contemporary, doing more and more to cement himself as a modern recording artist, not just a peddler of classical operatic tunes.
It took until his fifth album though for Groban to start inputting onto a writing side of the music production. This has only grown with Groban’s latest collection of songs, which sees him go further into the reaches of pop than he ever has before. This can only be a good sign, as this has seen more and more of Groban’s personality imposed onto the music than we’ve ever seen before.
Along with his voice, it’s that personality that’s made Groban the success he has been. Effusive and bright during interviews and always cracking a smile, Groban has always been a very likeable performer. Being rather easy on the eye doesn’t hurt either.
With Groban leaning more and more into this, while still not completely neglecting his classical roots, it looks as if an artist who’s already managed to sell over 20 million records might just be setting himself up for long term security.
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