Happy December CTT-ers! That can only mean one thing: the holidays are just around the corner. It also means, for many of you, a switchover from your standards to some old- school Christmas classics. Regardless of who your favorite artist is, Christmas music can put you in the mood to celebrate with friends and family—but if you’re not familiar with today’s featured artist, ‘tis the perfect season to give him a listen.
Josh Groban was born in Los Angeles in 1981. Dad was a businessman and mom was a school teacher. Josh and his younger brother Chris were born on the same day, four years apart. Josh began singing at a fairly young age and started showing some real talent. In the seventh grade, he first began sharing his ability to the public. His music teacher had him sing a solo at the school’s cabaret night, and performed well in spite of being incredibly nervous.
Looking to expand his horizons, Groban began acting in school plays and attending acting camps. He went to Michigan in the summers, taking classes on musical theater and starting vocal lessons. He would make the choice to attend the Los Angeles County High School School for the Arts and graduated in 1999. He briefly attended Carnegie Mellon University to study musical theatre, but left after the first semester after being signed to a recording contract.
In late 1998, Groban was introduced to Grammy-winning producer Seth Riggs by his vocal coach. While Riggs wasn’t able to offer a contract, Josh was exposed to high-profile events as a rehearsal singer. He filled in so well for opera singer Andrea Bocelli that host Rosie O’Donnell asked him to appear on her show the following week. That led to him appearing on other television shows like Ally McBeal, and his popularity began to rise. His debut album released in 2001 and currently sits at 4x platinum in the U.S. alone.
Today I’m listening to Noël, his fourth studio album. Released in October of 2007, the album sold nearly four million copies by Christmas, making it the best-selling album of the year. It would also be the highest-selling holiday album in 2008, with overall sales of 7 million in the U.S. to date. Seven weeks post release; it reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling a half a million copies that week alone. That spike also corresponded to Groban performing on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Groban set numerous records on the charts and in sales for holiday albums with this release. What makes him so special? Let’s start with the vocal. For music nerds, he can go as low as G2 and extend all the way up to B4, making him one of the most rangy singers to be in the mainstream. But his appearances in film and television truly set him apart of any other artist.
He’s a regular on the talk show circuit, has made appearances on various iconic shows like The Office, and has even performed at the Super Bowl. Groban is approaching 50 million albums sold around the world in less than 20 years, which is no small feat. His fan base is extremely diverse, ranging from people that simply love his singing to those that saw him on an episode of It’s Always Sunny and couldn’t resist checking him out.
In terms of this particular album, it’s the sixth highest-selling Christmas album of all time. Now, it’s quite a ways behind Elvis’ Christmas Album, but it’s clear he’s not only had an impact on the music industry, but perhaps an even greater one in the holiday music genre. Groban has put out an album as recently as last year, and still makes a ton of appearances and tours throughout the world. If this is your Groban intro, give Noël a shot today. Who knows, it might just inspire you to decorate your office or even finally get that string of lights on the peak of your roof to shine again after being up there for a decade. Merry Tuesday!
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