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2/08/2015 @ 4:38PM 71,998 views

Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes Staff


Pentatonix Wins First Grammy In Watershed Moment For A Cappella

A little less than two years ago, pop a cappella sensation Pentatonix wowed the Forbes newsroom with a live performance of hits from Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” to Usher’s “OMG” (see video below).

Now they’re rocking the Grammys. Pentatonix just won its first-ever golden gramophone, earning the nod in the Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella category for its medley ”Daft Punk.”

“ This is the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to us ,” said Pentatonix singer Scott Hoying in his acceptance speech. “We recorded this in a bedroom closet, filmed it in the kitchen, and now we’re winning a Grammy. It just goes to show that anything is possible.”

The award tops of what has been an incredible run over the past 12 months in which Pentatonix signed with a major record label, launched multiple albums and toured extensively.

With That’s Christmas To Me, Pentatonix became the only act besides Taylor Swift and Sam Smith to put out an album that sold more than 1 million copies on the year.

The group’s Grammy win represents a watershed moment for a cappella, a type of music that’s not exactly a favorite on music’s biggest night. The recognition could be indicative of a shift.

“I feel like a lot of people are looking for this kind of raw organic sound that’s not really produced,” said Hoying at his visit to the Forbes headquarters. “I think they just want to hear good singing nowadays.”

The group owes much of its success to a group of fans that’s as engaged and diverse as that of many big-name pop acts: Pentatonix has 7.5 million subscribers on YouTube alone.

“It’s really about creating your own fan base,” said the group’s beatboxer, Kevin Olusola, at Forbes. “You can do it all yourself through YouTube, through Twitter TWTR +1.28%, through Facebook. Then you can get your own original music out there and people can enjoy it.”