Millions of subscribers, sold out concerts and platinum records, sounds like the description for a top pop act like Taylor Swift. It is also a description for acapella game-changers Pentatonix. The acapella quintet has been steadily keeping acapella in the news with their unbelievable versions of pop hits. Since winning The Sing Off in 2011, the group has gone farther than anyone could have imagined largely due to their usage of YouTube to put out their covers. With a cameo in the hit movie Pitch Perfect 2, and going on tour with Kelly Clarkson, the group doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Here are five things you probably didn't know about Pentatonix.
Dropped from label
When reality competition shows started taking off in the 2000s, eager singers and musicians saw a way to reach their dreams. While singers like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson were propelled into stardom after winning American Idol, the majority of contestants and winners have been forgotten. Pentatonix almost became one of the many contestants to fall into obscurity. After winning The Sing-Off, the group was dropped from their label, Epic Records. It was through their sheer tenacity, posting videos on YouTube, that they have become the biggest acapella group in the country.
Holiday album was more than a hit
That's Christmas to Me is Pentatonix's best-selling album to date, it has been certified platinum and reached #2 on the Billboard 200. The album was one of the best selling albums of the year, not just for an acapella group or holiday album. A hit all around, the album is the best charting group holiday album since 1962.
Kevin Olusola can do anything
Kevin Olusola was already a viral sensation before he joined Pentatonix. His "celloboxing" impressed the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and got him national attention from several media outlets. Along with beatboxing, Olusola plays the cello, saxophone, and piano. On top of that he spoke fluent Mandarin and graduated from Yale, where he was a pre-med student. That's not all. The multi-talented musician has also released a solo record, The Renegade EP; a selection of five cello covers, including John Legend's "All Of Me" and Sam Smith's "Stay With Me."
Took a French lesson together
One of the tracks on their PTX Vol. III EP is a cover of Stromae's "Papaoutai." AS Stromae is a French rapper; the song is performed entirely in French. Pentatonix is known for their impeccable covers, so to get the song just right they took a French Lesson. Singers Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, and Kirstin Maldonado all said the lesson was hard in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. But the result was another fan favorite.
They have celebrity fans
While the quintet is still not quite a household name, they do have some celebrity fans. From tour-mate Kelly Clarkson to Magic Mike himself Channing Tatum, the group seems to have an eclectic mix of fans. But when Beyoncé posted their video on her social media sites, Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi practically cried. One of the many reasons they are so likable.