Pentatonix are a 5-piece a cappella group who have been making waves since they won the third season of the US tv show “The Sing Off”. A cappella has become more popular and mainstream in recent years due to shows like Glee and moves like the Pitch Perfect trilogy. In fact, it was the show Glee that brought this band together.
Founding members Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying and Kirstie Maldonado, went to Martin High School together in Arlington, Texas. They entered a radio competition to meet members of Glee and performed the Gaga/Beyoncé hit Telephone. Sadly, they didn't win, but the band did attract a lot of notice locally and online.
When he graduated, Scott enrolled at the University of Southern California and joined a campus a cappella group. A friend heard him sing and encouraged him to audition for The Sing Off. Scott decided to go for it and persuaded his old high school friends Mitch and Kirstie to join him. To round off the group, they also enlisted Avi Kaplan as bass and Kevin Olusola, who was a beatboxer. Pentatonix was born at that moment.
Amazingly, the whole band did not meet up face to face until the day they auditioned. As well as forming the band, it was Scott who dreamed up the name Pentatonix. He drew inspiration from the pentatonic scale, which contains five notes per octave. It seemed a perfect fit for the band. They made it onto the show with 15 other groups and Put on some stellar performances. However, this YouTube performance of Michael Jackson's hits throughout the decades is arguably even more epic!
Since The Sing Off, Pentatonix has released six albums, including two Christmas albums. Their first album, PTX Vols. 1 & 2, was produced by Ben Bram, the friend who encouraged Scott to audition for the show. Their fourth and fifth albums topped the US Billboard album charts. The group have also won three Grammy Awards. They started out largely performing covers but have moved towards original songs in recent years.
They have also toured extensively, both in the USA and worldwide. Unfortunately, the gruelling nature of these tours led to bass Avi Kaplan choosing to leave Pentatonix. The split was completely amicable on both sides, and college a cappella performer Matt Sallee stepped in to replace him. Since then, the group has continued to go from strength to strength. They have performed on numerous tv shows and even at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, where they sang with Kelly Clarkson and Sheila E.
Their YouTube following continues to grow, and they currently have 19.6 million subscribers. The majority of their videos topped 100,000 views, with more than a few being viewed over a million times. In fact, the Michael Jackson evolution video mentioned above has received a mind-boggling total of 48.5 million views. On the big screen, Pentatonix were invited to appear in Pitch Perfect 2 as the Canadian team who competed against the Barden Bellas. The group's public appearances have slowed a little due to Covid, but they will surely be back out there soon.
If you would like to see more from Pentatonix you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Facebook or Instagram. You can also check out their official website to keep up with the latest news and events from the band.