Joshua Winslow "Josh" Groban (born February 27, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and record producer. His first four solo albums have been certified 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 the nation. To date, he has sold over 25 million records worldwide and is the top selling classical artist of the 2000s in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Groban originally studied acting, but moved to singing as his voice developed. Groban attended the Los Angeles High School for the Arts, a free public school where students received a conservatory-style education. His life changed 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, 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. Rosie O'Donnell immediately invited him to appear on her talk show. Foster asked him to sing at the California Governor's Gray Davis' 1999 inauguration. He was cast on Ally McBeal by the show's creator, David E. Kelley, performing "You're Still You" for the 2001 season finale.
Early life and education
Groban was born in Los Angeles, to Lindy (née Johnston), a school teacher and full-time mother, and Jack Groban, a businessman. He has a younger brother, Chris, who shares the same birthday, four years later. Groban's father was born Jewish, and is a descendant of Russian and Polish immigrants; he converted from Judaism to Christianity when marrying Groban's mother. Groban's mother's ancestry includes Norwegian (from Toten), German, and English; one of her own grandfathers had been Jewish. Groban's parents are Episcopalian.
Groban debuted as a singer in the fifth 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 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.