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A Capella group Pentatonix shines with emotionally-charged rendition of ‘The Prayer’

You know a song is timeless when it continues to stir emotions 25 years after it was first recorded.

But it becomes even more memorable when beautiful harmonies breathe new life into an already iconic track. This is exactly what happened when Pentatonix rendered an amazing cover of “The Prayer.

Originally, the song was recorded in two solo versions for the 1998 film Quest for Camelot but was transformed into one outstanding piece of music.

It featured the spectacular voices of Canadian diva Celine Dion and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and was composed by a group of multi-awarded composers, namely David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa, and Tony Renis.

The sheer talent of the performers as well as the people behind the masterpiece show how special and difficult this piece of music is.

The song went on to win a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and eventually became one of those legendary records.

After winning millions of hearts worldwide, The Prayer has become a baptism of fire of sorts and a stamp of excellence for those who attempt to perform it. Pentatonix, however, is one group that was not afraid to take up that challenge.

Three of the Pentatonix members – Kirstin Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, and Scott Hoying – grew up together and were schoolmates at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas.

Their careers started when they decided to join a radio show competition to meet the cast of Glee. For the competition, they arranged and submitted a trio version of “Telephone,” the hit song by Lady Gaga and featuring Beyoncé.

They lost the competition, but their musical performance sparked attention and the trio began performing at their school.

Their version of Telephone later gained traction on YouTube, and the group began submitting a cappella song covers to various recording studios and shows.

The three eventually graduated from high school and they went off to different universities. Hoying went off to the University of Southern California to pursue a degree in popular music performance and joined an a cappella group called SoCal VoCals.

There, a fellow member told him about The Sing-Off, the NBS show featuring a cappella groups. He persuaded the other members of Pentatonix to audition for the show, and recruited Avi Kaplan, a highly recognized vocal bass in the a cappella community.

The trio discovered another member on… where else?… YouTube. Pentatonix eventually came together with their fifth member Kevin Olusola, who went viral after viewers picked up on his video where he was simultaneously beatboxing and playing the cello, known as “celloboxing.”

The group joined The Sing-Off and won the title in the program’s third season. Their musical career took off and since 2011, Pentatonix has made its mark in the musical scene with their amazing a capella covers.

Pentatonix is named after the pentatonic scale, a musical scale or mode with five notes per octave, which represent the five members of the group. The “x” at the end makes the group more appealing. The a cappella group derives its influences from pop, dubstep, electro, reggae, hip hop, and classical music.

The Prayer is not an easy song to sing, but the a cappella singers were undaunted.  Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli set the bar astronomically high for the song, and everyone who made their own covers of The Prayer were inevitably compared to the original. The lyrics are pure and heartfelt, but the complexity of the song makes execution a huge challenge.

Singing The Prayer is definitely an accomplishment for any artist in the music industry. With a song this difficult, can an a cappella version make the cut? Well, the rendition from the now world-renowned Pentatonix certainly did not disappoint.

They recorded their version of the song and uploaded it onto their YouTube channel. Showing real talent and remarkable emotion, their great vocals and impeccable control certainly did justice to the song.

The Prayer may have been an extremely difficult piece, but Pentatonix showed that they certainly had the ability to pull off a splendid musical performance. Take a look at their fantastic performance in the video below:

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