Josh Groban first introduced himself to American audiences in 2001, with a popular guest starring role on Fox’s “Ally McBeal.” After his first appearance, viewers were so taken with him that they demanded his return. Producer David E. Kelley brought Groban back to sing “To Where You Are” on a Christmas episode and a star was born.
Groban’s debut CD became the top-selling album on Amazon.com the next day, and his Web site was inundated with e-mails and even marriage proposals.
But fans still didn’t truly know the singer who had so quickly captured their collective imagination. Groban’s self-titled debut was a rich collection of classical songs produced by the venerable David Foster. He slowly emerged with his 2003 follow-up, “Closer,” on which he co-wrote three songs.
But his latest album, “Awake,” which was released in November, has more of Groban’s personal touch than ever and reveals more of the vocalist’s songwriting ability to go along with his signature smooth baritone.
“I learned from touring that my fans are really open-minded, musical, intelligent people and I feel like they want to come on this new journey with me,” Groban says on his Web site. “The music still sounds like it’s coming from my heart and my soul and my voice. That is always the most important thing to me. My goal on ‘Awake’ was to create the music and find the best people to help me create it.”
Groban, who sings in Spanish, Italian and English on the album, teamed up with modern musical heavyweights such as Dave Matthews, Imogen Heap and Herbie Hancock, as well as producers Marius DeVries, Glen Ballard and Foster.
The result of all that work and surely some of his biggest hits, including “You Raise Me Up,” will be on display Saturday night when Groban visits Seattle’s KeyArena.
And the live show is where Groban fans’ proverbial bread is buttered.
“I’ve only done two tours, but this is my favorite one that I’ve done,” Groban recently told LiveDaily.com. “It’s an amazing stage show. Having three albums’ worth of music now means I can choose what I feel will be the highlights for every show and create a really great live show. It’s an eclectic show. It’s a lot of fun.”
The 26-year-old is a relentless performer whose live performance recordings sell in huge numbers. Local fans are catching him in the midst of a tour that began in February and lasts until October. His journey around the globe started in Verona, N.Y., has already made stops in Reykjavik, Iceland, and Oslo, Norway, and hits Australia later in the year.
“This is something that has taken over my life in the best possible way,” Groban told LiveDaily. “To be able to tour like this, to reach more people than I ever could have imagined, and just making these albums has been the great joy of my life.”
Reporter Victor Balta: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christan Lantry photo
Josh Groban performs Saturday at KeyArena.