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YouTube vocal sensation Pentatonix returns to Billboard Top 10

By Dawn C. Chmielewski
December 12, 2013, 11:25 a.m.

YouTube vocal sensation Pentatonix joins such major-label acts as Kelly Clarkson, Michael Bublé and Mary J. Blige with seasonal albums topping Billboard's top 200 chart.

The a cappella group's holiday-themed PTXmas (Delux Edition) landed at No. 7 on the album chart for the week ended Dec. 8, with more than 59,000 copies sold. The music video for its rendition of "Little Drummer Boy" has racked up more than 17-million views on YouTube in the last two weeks.

Pentatonix came to prominence as the winner of the third season of NBC's "The Sing-Off Competition." Its style — which blends electronic sensibilities with traditional harmonies — won over the judges.

The five-member vocal group has pursued an independent music career, building a following of 3.3-million subscribers to its YouTube page, and touring extensively through North America and Europe. The success of Pentatonix illustrates how artists outside of the recording industry's mainstream can take advantage of new digital platforms to reach fans.

This marks the second time in a month that one of Pentatonix's albums has reached the Top 10 of the Billboard's 200. "PTX Volume 2," which featured a seven-song Daft Punk medley as well as three original songs, debuted at No. 10 on the album chart.

The recent success has brought the group performances before national television audiences, on "Ellen," "Conan" and "The Queen Latifah Show."

The group also has scheduled appearances this month on "The Today Show," "Fox & Friends," "Arsenio Hall Show" and "Hallmark's Home & Family Christmas Special."