2015 Forty Under 40: Josh Kaufman


“Signed, Sealed, Delivered … ”: In the course of a year, SAT prep tutor Josh Kaufman went from playing to lunchtime crowds in Monument Circle’s Potbelly sandwich shop to winning Season 6 of NBC’s “The Voice” competition to performing a title role in Broadway’s “Pippin.”

“All of Me”: Four chairs turned as the fedora-sporting singer nailed George Michael’s “One More Try” during the audition round of “The Voice.” During his progression to victory, Kaufman worked with coaches Usher and Adam Levine, sang duets with Usher and Robin Thicke, and saw his tunes reach as high as No. 2 on iTunes music charts. When the show ended, in addition to touring with “The Voice” talent, Kaufman returned to Indy to sing at the Indy 500, Indiana State Fair, Indy Jazz Fest, Lucas Oil Stadium (for “Monday Night Football”) and charity events.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me”: After rounds of meetings, Kaufman accepted an out-of-the-blue offer to star in Broadway’s “Pippin” … and started training. He said that, even with back flips and other stunt magic to do, “I was more nervous with ‘The Voice’ stuff because, regardless of how [‘Pippin’] went the first night, I was going to be back the next night.”

AGE 38
Hometown: Sarasota, Florida, then Blacksburg, Virginia

Family: wife, Jennifer Myer; three children ages 6, 4 and 2

“Stay with Me”: With business on both coasts, there was an obvious temptation to move. “My wife and I discussed that pretty extensively and decided to stay,” he said, concluding, “This is where we want to be. I’ll go to where I need to be, they’ll come with me when they can, and we’ll figure it out that way.” Evidence of his sincerity: The Kaufmans are building a home here with the “little cushion” he generated in 2014. Planning to move, anyway, “This allowed us to do a little more.”

“This is It”: Next up for Kaufman is, of course, a Republic Records solo album, expected this year, and a tour to promote it. Influenced by such talents as Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz and Jeff Buckley, Kaufman said he has retained some control over his music. “Obviously, it’s not totally up to me,” he said. “But they aren’t going to force me to do something where I don’t feel comfortable. There have been things where I’ve said, ‘Yeah, I like that,’ and where I’ve said, ‘No, that’s not me. I can’t do that.’ And they listen to that.” And, no, there won’t be songs from “Pippin.”•

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}