Our Top 10 Pentatonix Songs article presents the best Pentatonix Songs like “Daft Punk,” ” Jolene,” “Hallelujah” and many more. Out of Arlington, Texas, Pentatonix, aka PTX, first became a group in 2011 with the original lineup of Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, and Kirstin Maldonado. These three were close friends with each other and fellow schoolmates that impressed a local radio station with the cover version of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” Although they technically lost the competition the station held at the time, their performance was enough to develop a fan following in their own school, as well as abroad once their version of the hit single was streamed on a YouTube channel.
When NBC hosted the third season of The Sing-Off, Pentatonix managed to win themselves $200,000, plus a recording contract with Sony Music. For Scott Hoying and Kirstie Maldonado, this likely came as a relief as they dropped out of college, hoping to emerge victorious in this fierce televised competition. Mitch Grassi, who was still in high school at the time, skipped graduation in order to audition along with his bandmates. When the trio won, they all moved to Los Angeles, California, hoping to further their career as musical entertainers.
When Pentatonix was dropped by Sony’s Epic Records, they took it upon themselves to promote themselves through their own YouTube channel, thanks to the assistance of Sony Music’s Madison Gate Records. In 2012, Pentatonix released its debut EP, PTX, Volume 1, which was later followed by PTXmas within the same year. It was then followed with PTX, Vol. II. The band was making quite the name for themselves as A Cappella specialists, catering to the pop-rock genre of the music industry.
In 2014, Pentatonix signed with RCA Records, one of the major labels belonging to Sony. Before the year was over, the group released its fourth EP, PTX Vol. III, along with two studio albums, PTX, Vols. 1 & 2 and That’s Christmas to Me. It was the second of these two studio albums that earned Pentatonix a double-platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The first of these two albums was primarily an Australian and the Far East release.
In September 2017, Pentatonix’s original bassist, Avi Kaplan, left to pursue other interests and was replaced by Matt Sallee. By this time, Pentatonix had already won three Grammy Awards. The first two were for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella in 2015 and 2016 respectively, while the third was a 2017 win for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. For music fans that may not be familiar with A Cappella music, in place of instruments to perform a song, a group of vocalists of varying voice ranges does all the work. In some cases, music played in this manner can prove to be an even better arrangement than if musical instruments were actually involved.
Not only was Pentatonix becoming incredibly popular in North America but they were also gaining global recognition that won them fans from as far away as Australia and the Far East. Two of the ten studio albums they recorded and released became international best-sellers. The first of five Christmas albums, That’s Christmas to Me, not only became double platinum with the USA’s RIAA but also became platinum in Canada. In Australia and Austria, it became certified gold while it earned a silver certification with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). To date, this has been Pentatonix’s most commercially successful album. A Pentatonix Christmas, which was the second of five Christmas albums the group released, became certified platinum in Canada and the RIAA, as well as gold in Austria.
In addition to ten studio album releases, there are two compilation albums to the band’s credit, as well as six EPs and a total of twenty-two singles. Aside from the group, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying also perform as the comedic duo, Superfruit.
Top 10 Pentatonix Songs
#10 – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
In 2016, “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” earned Pentatonix a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement, Instrument, or A Cappella. On the US Billboard Holiday Songs chart, it became a number twenty-seven hit, coming a long way since its 1892 debut in the Russian ballet, The Nutcracker. The debut of the original production was met with failure but the music score performed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a huge success. Starting in the late 1960s, both the popularity of the ballet story and its music soared. It just goes to show how perseverance really does pay off.
Over the stretch of time there have been several adaptations and modifications made as a means to appeal to the audience, but the success story behind The Nutcracker and the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” can no longer be denied. Tchaikovsky’s musical score became one of the most famous of all time and it was inspiring enough for Pentatonix to masterfully perform this piece as if it were their own. Who would have thought simply adding vocal melodics would become such a crowd-pleaser? Apparently, Pentatonix did.
#9 – Radioactive (featuring Lindsey Stirling)
Imagine Dragons is a pop-rock group that is a hard act to follow and its “Radioactive” single merely paved the way for the band to become a global phenom. Since its 2013 release, it became one of the best-selling singles of all time. It became a certified diamond by the RIAA, which is a rare feat only a few recording artists have been able to achieve. Heavy with electronic beats and an apocalyptic feel to it, “Radioactive” became so much more than just a cult classic. For Pentatonix, to be able to cover this song at the quality level they did, along with the help of Lindsey Stirling, is no small feat. Granted, their version of this incredible single did not gain any official chart recognition but it did earn an RIAA gold certification, proving the band from Texas is more than capable of doing Imagine Dragons and “Radioactive” the amount of justice they deserve. On the YouTube Music Awards, this cover version of “Radioactive” won Response of the Year.
#8 – Little Drummer Boy
“Little Drummer Boy” was already a popular Christmas song by the time Pentatonix covered it as a single in 2013 from the deluxe edition of their first Christmas album, PTXmas. This 1941 original was recorded for the first time in 1951 by the Trapp Family and has since been covered many times over by a long list of recording artists. In the tale, the young lad was summoned to visit baby Jesus and his virgin mother, Mary, in Bethlehem. With no gift to bring, he simply played on his little drum to the delight of the woman who was chosen by God to birth his son as the prophesized savior of mankind.
#7 – Cheerleader
The original “Cheerleader” single from the 2015 album, Pentatonix, owes its origins to Jamaican vocalist, OMI, when he woke up humming out the melody in 2008. In 2013, he was signed to a recording contract and had a remixed version of it released as a single in 2014 by Felix Jaehn. For him, it was a massive hit that topped the charts among many nations around the world. It even peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and had since become a triple-platinum success story with the RIAA. As for Pentatonix, although their version of “Cheerleader” did not achieve the same amount of recognition, it is still considered a major fan favorite. As a remix, “Cheerleader” was an A Cappella smash, which made it seem all too easy for Pentatonix to turn this song into a favorite dance number with a groove too irresistible to ignore.
#6 – Can’t Sleep Love
For Pentatonix, “Can’t Sleep Love” was a song that came from their eponymous album, which was released in 2015. It was the first original track performed by the group and it peaked as high as number nineteen on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and at number ninety-nine on the US Billboard Hot 100. The popularity of Pentatonix and ‘Can’t Sleep Love” also reached the Japanese official music chart, peaking as high as number eighteen there. It also became certified gold with the RIAA, thanks to the catchy beat and lyrics this A Cappella group has been well known for.
#5 – Mary, Did You Know?
The Christian community will instantly recognize it is the mother of Jesus Christ who was addressed in the single, “Mary, Did You Know?.” The lyrics were written in 1984 before it was recorded and released as a single by Michael English in 1991. Since then, it has become a modern-day Christmas classic as a popular song to play during the holiday season. For Pentatonix, their 2014 version of “Mary, Did You Know?” became a number one hit on the US Billboard Holiday Songs chart and a number twenty-six hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. In Canada, it peaked at number forty-four and it was also a number forty-seven hit in Austria.
#4 – That’s Christmas to Me
“That’s Christmas to Me” came from the first of the five different holiday albums recorded and released by Pentatonix. This was the original song on the album whereas the rest were covers of modern and traditional Christmas carols. On the US Billboard Holiday Songs chart, it peaked at number twenty-five and has since remained a holiday favorite among fans who may not always wait for that certain time of year just to play it.
#3 – Hallelujah
Of all the singles Pentatonix has covered, recorded, and released, “Hallelujah” is the hands-down best-seller for the group. It was released as a single in 2016 and became a number one hit on Austria’s official music chart. On the US Billboard Holiday 100, it peaked as high as number two and it was a twenty-three hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. In Canada and France, it was a top twenty hit and it also made chart impressions among the nations of Australia and Belgium. In sales, “Hallelujah” became certified platinum with the RIAA and the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), as well as gold with Music Canada.
The first to perform “Hallelujah” was Leonard Cohen in 1984 before it gained popularity via John Cale, then Jeff Buckley. There are so many cover versions of this song of praise that isn’t strictly limited to the gospel genre. In country, folk, pop, and R&B alone, “Hallelujah” has been performed by an impressive roster of stars including K.D. Lang’s epic live performance at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As for Pentatonix, their version of “Hallelujah” deservedly gained global recognition and acclaim for each band member’s stellar performance.
#2 – Jolene (featuring Dolly Parton)
Who better to collaborate with Pentatonix for “Jolene” than the original artist behind the hit single herself? When Dolly Parton released this smash hit the first time around in 1973 as a lyrical plea to leave her man alone, it became a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and in Canada. It was one of Dolly Parton’s biggest hits in her music career and is the most covered song from her discographic portfolio. Pentatonix was no exception as they covered “Jolene” but with a twist.
The band featured Dolly Parton in the lyrics, earning their version of the song to become a number eighteen hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and a minor hit among the nations of Australia, Canada, and Scotland. In New Zealand, Pentatonix’s “Jolene” was at its most popular when it peaked as high as number five on its official music chart. This song earned a Grammy Award in 2017 for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
#1 – Daft Punk
With well over three hundred million views on their official channel alone, it’s safe to say “Daft Punk” has earned its place as the all-time fan favorite. Designed as a medley of songs from the French musical duo, Daft Punk, bits from “Get Lucky,” “One More Time,” and “harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” were used in the compilation of what turned out to be Pentatonix’s signature hit. It won them a Grammy Award in 2022 for Best Arrangement, Instrumental, or Acapella. In the music video, Kevin Olusola wore similar attire that was a familiar look for Daft Punk.
Top 10 Pentatonix Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article.