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These are big times for A Great Big World

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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with a Top 5 debut album and hit single and another song that's been embraced by "Glee" and a variety of other TV shows, Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino -- aka A Great Big World -- figure they're off to a pretty good start.

"It's amazing," says Axel, 29, a New Jersey native who formed AGBW with Vaccarino in 2011, when both were studying music at New York University. "It's hard to have a grasp on where you are when you're in the middle of all the chaos, but these are all our dreams coming true in a way we never expected. We're reaching millions of people around the world, and it's unbelievable to us that the music we write is connecting to everybody."

AGBW's success story so far includes "This is the New Year," the "Glee" track that was also the theme song for MTV's "I Used to Be Fat." The album "Is There Anybody Out There?" debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 in January, while the single "Say Something" hit No. 4 on the Hot 100 when the duo re-recorded it with Christina Aguilera, premiering it with her on an episode of "The Voice" and at the American Music Awards.

"Christina got involved after the song was featured on 'So You think You Can Dance' (in September)," recalls Vaccarino, who hails from Florida and recently revealed he's been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. "She heard about the song and then heard the song and reached out to us and was so moved by the song and wrote us this beautiful e.mail about how she wanted to be parted of the song because of how moved she was by it. Within a week we were in Los Angeles recording with her.

"It was quite a boost."

Axel and Vaccarino are currently working on a stage musical that they're keeping under wraps, but they're also cognizant of a sophomore album. "Once we get, like, a good month or two just to sit down and write for that, we'll be happy," says Vaccarino. "I think it's just going to come out of us, and I hope it's going to be the music we're most proud of."

A Great Big World, Jukebox the Ghost and Greg Holden

Thursday, June 26

Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac.

Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $19.99 in advance, $25 day of show.

Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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