Mark Stephens is the pianist and bandmate that Josh Groban is surprising on the July 26 episode of “Celebrity IOU.”
Teasing the episode on Instagram, the “You Raise Me Up” singer wrote, “Watch me almost get my @$#% cut off working on an incredible renovation for an incredible musician and friend, @iammarkstephens and his family.”
Groban further opened up about his friend in HGTV’s press release. “It goes without saying that Mark is an extraordinary piano player, but, off stage, he’s just such a great guy,” the singer explained. “He’s humble. He goes out of his way to make sure everyone around him is taken care of and never asks for much. To be able to show him how much he’s appreciated, that makes me so happy.”
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Here’s what you need to know:
1. Stephens and Groban Have Worked Together for Almost 20 Years
After performing together for nearly 20 years, Groban told the “The Property Brothers” stars that he and Stephens have “hit just about every truck stop in America,” according to a sneak peek obtained by People.
The singer added, “And like for so many of us who have been off the road now this past year because of the pandemic, for Mark, I know that so much of his playing and recording has had to go from the stage to an at-home environment, where he’s been using his garage.”
Stephens opened up about not playing on the road amidst a pandemic. People reported the musician saying, “You’re at home, trying to make the best of it, and it’s pretty challenging sometimes, I’ve got to say.”
2. Groban Is Not the Only Famous Singer to Perform With Stephens
Groban is not Stephens’ only famous friend. As he has revealed on Instagram, he is “grateful & humbled to be able to listen to some of the greatest singers in the world on any given day.”
According to his website, he is a Grammy-nominated pianist for “Josh Groban, Chaka Khan, Boney James, Diana Ross, Larry Carlton, Alanis Morrisette, James Ingram, George Duke and more!”
3. Stephens Is the President of Groove Junkies Records
Through the label, he released his own 13-song album, “The Dream of the Peaceful Warrior.”
Describing the music, ReverbNation wrote, “The jazz and soul-kissed music whisks the listener on a magical journey of love and unity in stylistic genres that span from Africa, Brazil and Cuba to places that only the imaginations of peace-seeking dreamers can conjure.”
Stephens’ most recent single is “Rockabye,” featuring Amin El and Audrey Wheeling-Downing.
4. Stephens Is a Married Father of 3
Stephens is a family man. He celebrated his anniversary on Instagram in September 2020, writing that marrying wife Mignon Farmani 15 years ago was “the best decision of my life.”
He is also a father of three. Based on his Instagram, he has two daughters – Zohreh and Shohreh – and a son – Azad.
“He’s so dedicated and devoted to his family,” Groban said in People’s sneak peek. “He’s so proud to be the partner and the father that he is.”
5. Groban Helps Design a Recording Studio for Stephens
With the help of Jonathan and Drew Scott, Groban is renovating Stephens’ “outdated garage not only into a recording studio but also a place where he can exercise and relax,” according to the press release.
According to HGTV, the trio also renovated Stephens’ backyard for increased privacy as well as a “kitchen/dining area.”
Posting about the experience on Instagram, Stephens wrote in part, “I am totally blown away and really still in shock that he would do something like this for me and my family.. I’m just completely overwhelmed with gratitude Josh!!!”
“Celebrity IOU” airs on HGTV Monday at 9 p.m. Eastern.