For the last three decades, Harry Connick Jr. has inspired Americans of all ages whether he is acting, singing, or hosting a show. While he best known for his talented voice and charming personality, few get to experience the side of Connick Jr. that we’re going to reveal to you today.
Harry Connick Jr. believes in God and if you ever get the chance to meet him in person, you’ll quickly realize how big a role faith plays in his life. He may even tell you so…
Although Connick Jr. doesn’t claim to be a perfect Christian (who can really except for Jesus), he admits that when things have gotten tough for him in life, his faith was always there to help him through. And those trials and tribulations only seemed to strengthen his resolve to serve God.
Discover his story and how his faith has shaped this influencer’s life…
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 11, 1967, Joseph Harry Fowler Connick Jr. was the second child of Anita Frances and Joseph Harry Fowler Connick. These two music loves had put themselves through law school by running a popular New Orleans record store.
His older sister, Suzanna, found success in the U.S. Army where she became a lieutenant colonel. While everyone else in the Connick household was involved in law or military, he had a much different path.
By three, he was confident on the piano. When he turned five, he gave his first public performance, playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the campaign headquarters of his father, who was running for district attorney.
His first album was recorded at home by the time her turned nine. Then he stepped on stage to perform Piano Concerto No. 3 Opus 37 of Beethoven with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra.
Soon he was on the fast-track to stardom. His raspy voice and infectious personality could not be denied.
But after celebrating his 10th birthday, the family received devastating news. His mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She died just three years later. Harry was singing at a local show, and his aunt delivered the horrible news after he sang.
Connick shared, “It was extremely traumatic as you can imagine. And I think had it not been for my father and his incredible gifts as a father and unwavering support of me and my sister and my extended family’s support, I’m not so sure I could have gotten through it. It was unquestionably the hardest thing that’s ever happened to me before or since. You just take what you’re given and accept it with grace and try to move on with your life.”
Harry did not know if he could pick up the pieces. But he pushed forward and graduated high school and went to Loyal University for a semester before picking up and moving to New York to pursue his music career.
“I moved to New York at 18 and lived at the 92nd Street Y. I was a ticket collector in the box office for two weeks — my only real job!”
He booked every gig he could find. In 1989, he struck gold. He got a month-long engagement at the Algonquin Hotel.
Legendary singer Tony Bennett came to his performance and proclaimed that “Connick could be the next Frank Sinatra.” The rest is history…
Before long, Connick’s career extended beyond music into acting.
Although he was handsome, Connick did not date much and he knew the moment that he met Jill that she was going to be his wife.
“I never dated much. I dated one girl before my wife, and that was it. I was staying in L.A. Jill walked past me at the hotel pool, and I introduced myself. She had a really strong handshake. If that had been it between us, just that moment, I would’ve thought about it for the rest of my life. What’s really funny is that [Jill] called her mom that night and said, ‘I met the guy I’m going to marry.’ Of course she didn’t let me know.”
Connick turns to God every day in different ways.
“I pray in different ways. Sometimes it’s a real prayer, where you get down on your knees and you pray. But most of the time I find myself just sort of praying throughout the day. And it gives me a great deal of comfort.”
Days before his 24th anniversary, Connick confessed:
“I feel like I’ve been given far more than I deserve. I feel compelled to try to give as much of what I’ve been given back… When I look out and I see the people in the audience. I see men, I see women, old, young, black, white, gay, straight, I see everybody. That’s when I find a moment to pray and say ‘I don’t know why You picked me to give these people a respite from their day for an hour. But I take it really seriously,’” Harry continues.
“I love to entertain these people. Because we’re all the same. You know, you’ve struggled. I’ve struggled. We’re all trying to make it. We’re all just trying to make it. And the fact that, that’s why I don’t get real heavy on the show. I just want to make people happy for an hour.”
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