Josh Groban on Pursuing His Love of Magic as a ‘Shy, Nerdy Kid’
Music November 11, 2022
Josh Groban is sharing more about his short-lived magic career.
On Friday’s episode of “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” the “You Raise Me Up” singer said he once auditioned for The Magic Castle, a clubhouse for magicians and magic enthusiasts in his hometown of Los Angeles, California.
“When you’re a shy, nerdy kid, loving magic is part of your toolbelt,” he joked.
Unfortunately, the audition did not go well after Josh dropped a coin that was part of his act.
“My assistant laughed at me,” he recalled. “Didn’t do that again.”
Though his magic career was short-lived, Josh found success as an internationally recognized singer.
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“I think I made it out okay,” he said.
Check out more highlights from Josh’s interview, below:
Josh Had to Leave History Class to Perform with Céline Dion
When Jennifer asked Josh how he got his start, he recalled working with someone in the music industry who knew producer David Foster. At the time, David was orchestrating a duet between singers Andrea Bocelli and Céline Dion at the 1999 Grammys.
However, Andrea got stuck on a plane.
“I need a kid who can sing at an event,” Josh recalled David saying.
The person who Josh knew gave David five or six tapes, include one of Josh, and David picked Josh for the part.
“I had to leave history class to sing with Céline,” Josh joked.
Josh Said His Music Teachers Brought Him Out of His Shell
While growing up, Josh said he “knew deep down music was my language” but that he was “a shy kid.”
“I was trapped inside myself,” he said, adding that he would close the doors of his room and sing Broadway songs to himself.
However, his music teachers recognized his talent and “pulled [him] out from the back.”
“I’m going to give you a solo,” he recalled his music teacher saying. “It’s an assignment. You have to do it.”
After he overcame his shyness, Josh realized that music was “going to be my most fluent language.”
Josh Would Pursue This Profession If He Wasn’t a Singer
However, Josh said that if he wasn’t pursuing music, he would’ve been a veterinarian.
Unfortunately, he said, “I’m not smart enough for that.”
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Josh Said He Likes to Share His Mic at Concerts
Josh told Jennifer that he loves sharing the microphone with fans at his concerts.
“I love going out, chatting with people [to see] who’s in Milwaukee, who’s in New York.”
Josh said parents will often ask him if their son or daughter can sing with him — even if their “confidence goes beyond their ability.”
“People think it’s a setup, but I love the spontaneity.”
Josh also commented on the audience at “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” who dance before the show begins.
“I would pay a ticket to watch you two dance,” he said to two amazing audience members. “It was wonderful.”
Josh Paid R-E-S-P-E-C-T to Aretha
During their chat, Josh recalled performing at former South African President Nelson Mandela’s birthday in 2009, where he sang “You Raise Me Up” with Aretha Franklin — whom Jennifer portrayed in the 2021 biopic “Respect.”
“As you know extremely well, she was just the most giving artist,” he said to Jennifer. “We all knew Aretha for the legendary prowess in her voice that spanned generations.”
Like “all the greats” he has collaborated with, Josh said Aretha “was open to trying new things” with their performance.
However, Josh said he learned that when Aretha’s “microphone goes to her, your microphone goes down.”
“I have nothing to offer,” he joked. “I just want to listen and be a fan this close.”
“The Jennifer Hudson Show” airs weekdays. Check your local listings.