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Pentatonix is an American a cappella quintet comprised of five vocalists, Scott Hoying, Kristie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan, and Kevin Olusola, who are best known for their vocal covers and medleys of popular songs. Since rising to mainstream recognition through the reality TV competition The Sing Off in 2011, the group has released several covers of pop songs that have gone viral, in addition to a number of original songs written by its members and in collaboration with other artists on YouTube.
Pentatonix, which takes its name from the pentatonic scale (a musical scale with five notes per octave), initially began as a trio of Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying and Kristie Maldonado who grew up together and went to the same high school. In 2011, Hoying recruited two additional vocalists into the group, Kevin Olusola and Avi Kapplan, both of whom had already made themselves known through their musical talents.
The group met on the day before they auditioned for the third season of a cappella singing competition The Sing Off, which aired on September 19th, 2011. After multiple sessions of elimination rounds in October and November, Pentatonix was announced the winner of the season on November 28th, 2011. As a result, the group won their first recording contract with Sony Music and a cash prize of $200,000. In May 2014, Pentatonix signed with Sony Music Entertainment ’s flagship label RCA Records.
The Pentatonix YouTube channel was created on September 10th, 2011. On January 10th, 2012, the group uploaded their first video, which featured Pentatonix performing an a cappella cover of the Maroon 5 song “Moves Like Jagger.” As of May 2014, the video has gained over 4.6 million views.
On April 15th, 2013, the group uploaded a video titled “Evolution of Music,” which featured them performing an 11th century monk’s chant, followed by piece of 15th century music, followed by a piece of 17th century classical music. They then sang at least one song from each century beginning with the 1910s and ending with the 2010s. The video was covered by several sites including The Huffington Post and The Music Ninja. As of May 2014, the video has gained over 39.6 million views.
As of May 2014, the most viewed video on Pentatonix’s YouTube channel is mashup up of Daft Punk songs uploaded on November 4th, 2013. As of May 2014, the video has gained over 71.8 million views.
On November 25th, 2013, the group uploaded a cover of the Christmas Carol “The Little Drummer Boy.” The song was a track on their Christmas album PTXmas, and the song reached 13 on the Billboard charts. The video was covered by many sites including The Huffington Post and Just Jared Jr. As of May 2014, the video has gained over 32.8 million views.
As of May 2014, Pentatonix has released three albums- PTX, Volume 1 (2012), PTXmas (2012) and PTX, Vol. II (2013). Their most recent album, PTX, Vol.II debuted at number 10 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.
The Hollywood Reporter- ‘The Sing-Off’s’ Pentatonix on Going From Newly Formed Group to the Show’s Winners
Just Jared Jr- Pentatonix: ‘Little Drummer Boy’ Video – Watch Now!
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