PENTATONIX: Acapella Singing Sensation

Rachel Seo, Photojournalist

Acapella group Pentatonix first burst onto the mainstream scene when they won the Sing-Off, a singing competition reality show, in 2011. Since then, they’ve acquired almost 8 million subscribers and garnered 907 million views on their YouTube channel, steadily rising in fame with every viral video created.


Originally created in Arlington, Texas, with high school friends Kirstie Maldonado, Scott Hoying, and Mitch Grassi, the trio eventually added Kevin Olusola (also a YouTube sensation for his cello-beatbox take on “Julie O”) and Avi Kaplan to their lineup. After entering and winning the Sing-Off, Pentatonix went on to release several albums–which include compilations of covers and original music–under RCA Records. In addition to the release of their albums, they created videos for their YouTube channel, the most prominent of which is their famed “Evolution of Music” video, in which they sing a medley of songs that were popular throughout the ages (starting in the eleventh century and ending in present day which, for them, was 2013).


Their first smash hit, however, came with the arrival of Christmas album “That’s Christmas to Me,” which went platinum, selling 1.1 million copies in the US alone, and spawned a single, “Mary Did You Know,” that topped the holiday charts, even ahead of Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me.” In February of 2015, they received their first Grammy for their Daft Punk medley, and their success was officially cemented into history. Their videos and songs have reached far and wide, extending even to YLHS. Sophomore Anh-Thu Tran (10) loves Pentatonix because “each member has a unique voice” and that their music “mesmerizes…and inspires [her] every day.” Her favorite Pentatonix tune is their original, “Love Again.”


Currently, Pentatonix is on their On My Way Home tour and preparing for their upcoming shows with Kelly Clarkson on her Piece by Piece tour, two of which will be in the San Diego-Los Angeles area in August. They can also be seen on the movie screen in Pitch Perfect 2, which comes out to theaters on Friday, May 15.