17-year-old Josh Groban got his big break when he was asked to stand in for an unwell Andrea Bocelli to sing The Prayer with Celine Dion during the rehearsals for the 1998 Grammy Awards. The rehearsal was heard by Rosie O’Donnell, who invited Groban to appear on her show. This in turn led to a role on Ally McBeal, on which he sang You’re Still You.
By 2007, Josh Groban was the best-selling artist of the year in the US. Given that his music straddles classical, pop, and adult contemporary, this was noteworthy (his label, Warners, was reluctant to sign him as they lacked faith in how his voice would sound on the radio). This 2011 video shows the special connection Groban developed with his fans.
This take on To Where You Are with Maude Daigneault is so well sung that one can’t help thinking there must have been some kind of pre-selection. Perhaps fans who want to sing with Groban sing a few bars to his manager before shows? From Daigneault’s FB page, we know that the first time she met Groban was in 2013, so we can be sure that this magical performance was as spontaneous and unexpected as it appears. Maude Daigneault sure did herself proud! Talk about music overcoming language barriers!
The video by benfonauis is a composite of 6 audience videos. In this case, it was definitely worth the effort of assembling the best shots in Final Cut Pro. Many viewers who have been enchanted by the video express the desire that Daigneault keeps singing. She’s not as famous as one might expect from her showstopping performance with Josh Groban, but she now teaches singing and posts cover songs online. In honour of the 10th anniversary of her duet with Groban, she posted this video:
Josh Groban fans will know that To Where You Are is a single from Groban’s award-winning self-titled debut LP of 2001. The single reached 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart for two weeks. In 2002, in an overview of Josh Groban’s 10 best songs, Classic Rock History placed To Where You Are in the top spot, commenting that the emotional song deals with the loss of a loved one. “The theme of the song is melancholy because it’s about someone in Heaven. … He takes a sad moment and makes it sound uplifting. The music kept the song from being depressing. The arrangement is sentimental and melodic.”
Josh Groban has appeared in a number of TV shows and movies. Notable appearances include Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), Muppets Most Wanted (2014), The Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022), Live with Regis and Kelly (2011-14) and Rising Star (2014). He is about to star in a stage production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, Broadway, NYC.
Josh Groban is recognised as a philanthropist and has contributed to fundraisers as diverse as Tsunami Aid, Sunnybrook Hospital Women and Babies Program and education in South Africa, to name but a few. With regard to the later, it is worth noting that Josh Groban has recorded two songs with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the South African acapella group that featured on Paul Simon’s Graceland album. This track, Weeping, was originally by the South African band, Bright Blue:
If you would like to see more from Maude Daigneault you can follow her on Facebook or subscribe to her YouTube channel. For more on Josh Groban, you can visit his official website for more information.