JOSH GROBAN OPENS UP ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL, HIS BIG BREAK, AND FALLING IN LOVE WITH NEW YORK, ON THE BIG INTERVIEW AIRING TUES., MAY 5, AT 8pE
Dan Rather sits down with critically acclaimed crooner Josh Groban for an all-new episode of THE BIG INTERVIEW, premiering Tuesday, May 5, at 8pE. During the insightful hour-long discussion, the eloquent and personable Groban opens up about a multitude of topics and milestones that came together to mold him in to the superstar he is today.
Like many gifted performers, Groban admits he had a tough time in school, being “more interested in starting an improv class than joining the football team.” But, he also credits this formative time period with helping him to develop a thick skin and a sense of humor to combat the bullying, deal with his insecurities, and manage the stress of growing up. Looking back, Groban tells Rather he is thankful that he was able to take the time to be awkward, and forge his own identity.
Groban’s teenage years would prove to be extremely important, not only for his personal development, but for his music career, as well. Groban recalls that his introduction to singing came unexpectedly in the 7th grade, when his teacher pulled him out of the back of the choir and declared, “You’ve got a voice, and you’re going to sing this song”. The performance would be his first solo, George Gershwin’s “S’wonderful.” It would also be the first time that his parents would hear him sing. At the time, Groban had been focused on acting, but the rush he experienced, combined with the congratulations he received from his classmates, made him feel like singing was something he could do successfully.
Groban’s blossoming career received a monumental boost when, at just 17 years old, he caught the attention of legendary producer David Foster. Speaking with Rather, Groban fondly reflects on his hesitance to sign a record deal, given how fickle the business can be. But, Foster remained persistent. Three weeks later, the producer called Groban up and invited him to fill-in for opera icon Andrea Bocelli at a Grammy rehearsal with Celine Dion. Shaking and terrified, Groban remembers Dion taking his hand to calm him down as they sang the signature ballad “The Prayer.” While the absent Bochelli eventually showed up to perform the part himself, it would all come full circle 10 years later at the Grammys when Groban took the stage alongside Bocelli to perform their own rendition of “The Prayer.”
While his music has taken him across the globe to perform at some of the world’s top venues, Groban tells Rather that he has a special place in his heart for New York City. Overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the Big Apple when he first visited in his teens, Groban now feels drawn into the city’s culture because of the love and positive energy he’s received from the people there, even in the midst of the bright lights and giant skyscrapers. Los Angeles will always be home for him, but Groban is proud and humbled to be a part of the unprecedented New York theatre community.
To see more of this unforgettable episode, be sure to tune into THE BIG INTERVIEW on Tuesday, May 5 at 8pE, only on AXS TV.
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