Walk of Fame Star for Grammy-Winning A Capella Group Pentatonix Unveiled

Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles California USA

Photo: Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - The first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring an a cappella group was unveiled today with three-time Grammy winners Pentatonix receiving the honor.

Singer-songwriters Rachel Platten and Andy Grammer were among those joining the group's five members at the ceremony at 7060 Hollywood Blvd., between La Brea and Sycamore avenues and near The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. Platten was the opening act for Pentatonix's May-July 2019 North American concert tour. Grammer and Pentatonix both performed in the 2015 KOST ChristmasLand concert at the Microsoft Theater.

In conjunction with the ceremony, the group announced plans Tuesday for a North American tour that will begin Aug. 9 in Jacksonville, Florida. The 24-city tour will include a Sept. 11 stop at FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine. The group's Walk of Fame star is between the stars of singer Etta James and composer Cole Porter. It is the 2,748th star since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the initial 1,558 stars. 

Pentatonix has its origins in the attempt by three students at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas -- Kirstin Maldonado, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying -- to win a local radio show competition to meet the cast of ``Glee'' in 2010. They submitted a trio version of ``Telephone," the 2009 song by Lady Gaga that featured Beyoncé. While they did not win, their version of ``Telephone'' gained attention on YouTube.

Hoying was a member of the a cappella group SoCal VoCals while a student at USC. Fellow group member Ben Bram encouraged him to audition for the NBC a cappella singing competition ``The Sing-Off'' in 2011. He persuaded Maldonado and Grassi to join him. Bram suggested having a bass and beatboxer to support the group. Through a mutual friend, Hoying met Avi Kaplan, a highly recognized vocal bass in the a cappella community. They learned about a YouTube video of Kevin Olusola simultaneously beatboxing and playing the cello that had gone viral and invited him to join the group, forming Pentatonix. Despite not all meeting until the day before the auditions began, Pentatonix was the show's third-season champion. Pentatonix, named for the pentatonic scale, which has five notes per octave, representing the five members of the group, released its first extended play album, ``PTX, Volume 1,'' in 2012,  which reached 14th on the Billboard 200 chart.

After releasing two more EPs, ``PTXmas'' later in 2012, which was certified as a gold album by the music industry trade group, the Recording Industry Association of America, and ``PTX, Vol. II'' in 2013, the group released its first studio album, ``PTX, Vols. 1 & 2'' in 2014. Pentatonix has released 11 studio albums, with 2014's ``That's Christmas to Me,'' certified as double-platinum , 2016's ``A Pentatonix Christmas,'' certified as platinum, and 2015's ``Pentatonix'' as gold. Pentatonix also has two singles certified as platinum, ``Mary, Did You Know?'' released in 2014, and ``"Hallelujah,'' released in 2016, and three as gold singles, ``Radioactive'' and ``Daft Punk,'' both released in 2013, and ``Can't Sleep Love,'' released in 2015.

Pentatonix won its first Grammy in 2015 for best instrumental arrangement for ``Daft Punk.'' It won again in the category the following year for ``Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy'' and for best county duo/group performance in 2017 for its cover of ``Jolene'' with Dolly Parton as the featured artist. Pentatonix was among the nominees for the 2023 Grammys for best traditional pop vocal album for ``Evergreen,'' but lost to Michael Buble's ``Higher."

Matt Sallee replaced Kaplan in 2017 as the group's vocal bass. Pentatonix made three specials for NBC, ``A Pentatonix Christmas Special'' in 2016, ``A Very Pentatonix Christmas'' in 2017 and ``Pentatonix: A Not So Silent Night,'' in 2018. Pentatonix received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2017 in the since-discontinued category of outstanding musical performance in a daytime program for its performance of ``God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,'' on ``The Rachael Ray Show,'' losing to the cast of the Broadway musical for its performance on ``Today.''

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