What is a "Grobanite," and who are these people?The Grobanites are a group of Josh Groban's most loyal and devoted, die-hard fans. At the start of his career, a group of Josh fans began to form an online community at www.joshgroban.com, helping to promote Josh's career by contacting radio stations and TV programs and generally "spreading the Josh" throughout our communities. We are an energetic, enthusiastic, fun and very diverse group ranging in age from kids to seniors, male and female, from all over the world.
Many Grobanites participate in charitable activities in Josh's honor, including raising over $700,000 (to date) for the Josh Groban Foundation. We have bonded to form great friendships online, and many of us travel across the country to meet other Grobanites at "meet and greet" parties before each of Josh's concerts. From what started with only a few hundred people, the community has grown to over 20,000 Grobanites, and continues to grow every day!
So,what distinguishes a "Grobanite" from all the other fans out there? Great question... Ask 100 Grobanites, and they will each give you their own answer, although there are many things we all agree on. I can't speak for all the Grobanites, but here's my own personal perspective:
A "fan" sees Josh as a great to have an amazing voice and a gift for creating beautiful music.
One of the most important aspects of being a Grobanite is the mutual love and respect that we share with Josh. We recognize that while he may be a celebrity, he is a human being first and foremost, and one who has earned our admiration and respect through his kindness, his openness, and his honesty. We treat Josh the way we would want to be treated in his position... and that means respecting his right to have parts of his life kept private. It also means accepting him for who he is, and not placing him on a pedestal where he has to fit into some image of who we think he should be.
A Grobanite is devoted to supporting Josh by spreading the word however they can.
Grobanites love nothing more than "converting" other people into fans of Josh's music! They talk about Josh and his music, give away CDs to people who haven't heard them, contact TV or radio stations, or write to newspapers and magazines. They may have Josh license plates on their car, or wear Josh pins or tee shirts to encourage others to ask about Josh. They share pictures, articles, media, and experiences among themselves and with others.
A Grobanite is a Josh fan for life!
The music industry is notoriously fickle, and fans come and go. A Grobanite, however, will continue to support Josh thoughout his career, no matter where he is on the Billboard charts. Josh is a multitalented musician and performer with interests in many areas... singing, acting, theater, and songwriting. A Grobanite supports Josh in all his pursuits, and not just as a recording artist. If he ever decides to stop recording or touring and concentrate on Broadway, for example, a Grobanite would support his decision and continue to cheer him on.
Not everyone who loves Josh and supports him chooses to call themselves "Grobanites," and that's okay, too. Some people refer to themselves as "volunteer promoters" or just "Josh fans." The labels aren't important, as long as we share a common bond of supporting Josh and one another, and helping to share his music with the world!
So, what does Josh think about the Grobanites?
"They are a very dedicated, very loyal, very energetic group of fans...and they're the best, and they're mine, and I'm theirs. There's this major kind of mutual love and mutual respect for one another, and they've been very, very helpful. They're just the main hardcore, diehard fans, and they're the ones that'll be with me for the rest of my life, I'm sure." (CBC Canada Interview-- "The Interview on the Bed")
"They're an incredible group of fans. Ten thousand are registered on my website. I see kids, teens, parents and grandparents. That's the most rewarding thing for me." (Inside Connection, February 2004)
"To the untrained eye they're ecstatic fans who wear lots of pins and 'Josh' t-shirts and make signs and drawings. But deep down they're much more. They're lovers of all different kinds of music. Their CD player has Depeche Mode and Radiohead in it, too, so we have a lot in common. Most importantly, the most passionate fans from the beginning were one of the most -- if not the most -- integral part of spreading the music. They're relentless. [They're like,] 'I converted someone today! She doesn't like this kind of music, but then I played 'Never Let Go' and she said 'I like this!' and I converted her!' They want everybody to hear it. It's a great feeling to have so many great people supporting you. " (Vh1.com, November 26, 2003)
"To build a fan base like that, they become part of your team and their opinions are very good ones because they begin to know me for everything that I am. They become the real, real fans. It's very important to keep them in the loop and keep them happy and keep them communicated with. I try to post on the Web site and let them know what's going on. ... They have been really amazing. Their phone calls to the TV stations, the letters that they write, the letters that they write to me, the meet-and-greets that they come up with, the name they've given themselves [Grobanites], it's all pretty incredible. It's really flattering, really wonderful to feel that kind of warmth from so many diverse places and people." (PBS Great Performances Website, November 2002)