Pentatonix - Underdog Champions of the Music Industry?
In the world of popular music, it's common to hear names such as Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Sam Smith, and Adele. Other artists like Justin Beiber, Usher, Kanye West, and others emerge on the scene and vie for chart supremacy. However, one thing that is uncommon to hear in mainstream popular music is A CAPELLA...at least until now.
In 2011, five self-described "music nerds" entered Season 3 of NBC's the Sing-Off (think American Idol for A Cappella groups) under the name of "Pentatonix" (like Pentatonic scale - 5 notes). Performing covers of Britney Spears mashups, Video Killed the Radio Star, Kelly Clarkson, and Cee Lo Green, Pentatonix soared week after week, and won. The prize? $200,000 and a recording contract. Two weeks after winning, the group was dropped from their contract. I mean after all, a capella can't compete with Beyonce and the Biebs! WRONG!
Since bursting onto the scene in 2011, Grammy Award-winners and platinum selling recording artists, Pentatonix, has sold more than 2 million albums in the U.S. alone and amassed over 905 million views on their YouTube channel with more than 7.8 million subscribers (more than Beyonce). Their latest holiday album - That’s Christmas To Me - sold more than 1.1 million copies in the U. S., becoming one of only four acts to release a platinum album in 2014. In February 2015, the group received their first GRAMMY® Award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental and A Cappella for their “Daft Punk” medley. The group just wrapped the North American leg of their “On My Way Home” tour which sold out of all of its 100,000 tickets. This spring, Pentatonix will make their film debut in Pitch Perfect 2 and will hit the road with Kelly Clarkson this summer.That's Christmas To Me follows their highly successful 4th EP, PTX Vol. III which debuted in September at #5 on Billboard's Top 200. The group released 4 music videos in support of the EP, "Problem", "La La Latch", "Papaoutai" ft. Lindsey Stirling and "Rather Be" which have been viewed over 29 million times. The Pentatonix YouTube channel has been propelled by unparalleled performances of their Daft Punk mash up (103 million views) as well as the incomparable “Evolution Of Music,” a 4 minute, 36-song live journey through the history of music that has tallied more than 49 million views. The group’s cover collaboration with Lindsey Stirling for Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive” has seen more than 97 million views over the two artists’ channels and won in the “Best Response Video” category at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards on November 3, 2013. The group also has more than 1.7 million Facebook fans, over 400,000 Twitter followers, and 281,000 Instagram followers, performed for CMAs, AMAs, and NYE celebrations, and recently released an all-original album which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 (a first for the group, as well as any other a capella group in history). Not bad for a group that wasn't supposed to make it.
Avi Kaplan (bass), Kirstin Maldanado (soprano), Scott Hoying (baritone), Mitch Grassi (tenor), and Kevin Olusola (vocal percussion), have made a statement, and that is that they are able to compete with the pop acts...and WIN! Their ride to fame has been nothing short of a dream, and it is my hope that their type of organic and humble music continues to flow through the ears of this generation, inspiring a teancious generation of listeners and musicians. Through their success, they continue to remain humble and loyal to their craft. They remain a capella, and will not waiver. The group continues to create, arrange and perform new music, consistently testing any and every preconception of what vocal music is and just how big it can be. Here's to you PTX, and may 2016 yield even more success to you!