The Untold Truth Of Pentatonix's Scott Hoying - The List (2024)

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ByStephanie KaloiandMeg Walters

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For a lot of people who know and love the band Pentatonix, there's one member of the group who stands out as its unofficial leader, and that is Scott Hoying (per Cincinnati Magazine), which makes sense as he's the one who really kicked things off for the band in the first place. As the story goes, Hoying attended classes at the University of Southern California when he was inspired to form his own capella group (via Atwood Magazine). Luckily, longtime friends Kirstin Maldonado and Mitch Grassi were on board, and the threesome soon linked up with Kevin Olusola and Avi Kaplan(who later left the group in 2017).From there, Pentatonix was born.

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These days, Hoying is everywhere. He'sformed a Pentatonix spin-off project called Superfruit with Mitch Grassi, he's gotten into voice acting, and he has some other exciting entertainment projects in the works (viaDallas Voice). Throughout it all, he's held on tightly to the person he is and the person he wants to be.

Here's a deeper look into Scott Hoying of Pentatonix.

Scott Hoying fell in love with acapella in college

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As many fans of Pentatonix know, Scott Hoying is the member of the band who introduced the others to acapella music. While Hoying had known Mitch Grassi and Kirstin Maldonado since high school — the three friends were all fans of choral music and theater — singing acapella wasn't exactly something they had considered. However, Hoying explained that once he began attending classes at the University of Southern California (USC), things clicked pretty quickly where acapella was concerned.

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He told Atwood Magazine that, as a singer at the school, acapella was hard to escape. "At USC, the a capella scene is really huge," he explained. "So, I auditioned for all the a capella groups there and ended up getting into 'SoCal VoCals.' From then on, I felt inspired by the craft and really fell in love with a capella."

As fate would have it, a bunch of Hoying's friends at USC were interested in trying out for "The Sing-Off," so he decided to put a group together, too. From there, everything soon fell into place.

He was devastated when Pentatonix was dropped from the group's record label

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Despite coming out of Season 3 of "The Sing-Off" as the big winner, Pentatonix was soon dropped by its label. The news hit Scott Hoying pretty hard. He told Cincinnati Magazine that all five members of the group were committed to making Pentatonix more than a reality television show band, so they all moved to Los Angeles... and, shortly after, the label pulled the rug out from under them.

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As Hoying explained, the situation was rough. He said, "After we won the show, the label and we knew that everyone would have to live in L.A. so that we could get a lot of content out fast. Then, when we ended up getting dropped, it was really, really, really sad." But the group decided to focus on the positive they could find, managed to get out of the contract they had signed with the show, and began releasing music on their own via YouTube.

Moving their content to YouTube proved to be the ticket. Hoying explained that the band soon had 8 million subscribers, and record labels were approaching them, instead of the other way around. That's what we like to hear.

Scott Hoying described the first time Pentatonix sang together as magical

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The five original members of Pentatonix didn't actually sing together until the day before they were set to audition for "The Sing-Off." Even though the group had a long way to go, Scott Hoying recalled to the Daily Herald that he'll never forget the first time the group sang together, especially because of how it made him feel. "It was very magical, exciting, made my heart rate increase," he told the publication. "It just felt so exhilarating."

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A year after competing on the show, Hoying told Media Mikes that the band formed their tight-knit bond as they progressed, which made their music progress, too. As he recalled, they had a lot of conversations and meetings as they worked their way toward victory. "We were also finding out how to work with each other as we didn't really have a leader. We sort of sat in a circle and just talked," Hoying explained. "It was super hard to do at first because we were all different people and liked different music."

Touring with Kelly Clarkson was a dream come true for him

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In July 2015, Pentatonix checked off a major career high: The band embarked on a nationwide tour with Kelly Clarkson of more than 30 dates. While speaking to Cincinnati Magazine that summer, Scott Hoying admitted that touring with Clarkson was a huge moment for him. He explained that his fandom for the "American Idol" winner runs deep, saying, "She's one of my very favorite pop stars ever. To be on tour with her is surreal. It just doesn't feel real."

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Hoying elaborated on what made the experience so special, noting that he couldn't believe one of his idols was tweeting him back, let alone rehearing in the same space as he was, singing in the same arenas. Hoying told the publication that he even had to step aside once and ask his friend and bandmate, Mitch Grassi, "Can you believe that's Kelly Clarkson, right there, 10 feet from us, singing [her] heart out?"

Hoying also told Billboard that the tour was "the most amazing thing ever."A big reason the tour was so exceptional for him is Clarkson herself, whom he described as "the nicest person ever."He also enjoyed the reward of having audience after audience get into the Pentatonix sound, even if they weren't sure who they were at first.

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He and Mitch Grassi have been friends for a long time

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Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi go way, way back. While speaking to Billboard in 2017, the best friends revealed they actually performed together in a performance of "Annie" before, as Hoying explained, going their separate ways afterward. Eventually, they found themselves at the same school and hit it off. They both participated in theater and choir while in school together, with Hoying recalling a particularly memorable performance of Grassi's in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" that really impressed him.

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Hoying also spoke with theDallas Voiceabout their friendship, admitting that they spent a lot of time together in middle school. As he recalled, "We became really close in junior high school choir, where we constantly were making each other DIE laughing." From there, the pair moved on to high school, where they caught up with Kirstin Maldonado and realized they all had a lot in common. "We were the choir kids, the show choir kids, the all-state choir kids, the theater kids — we were together all day every day," Hoying explained.

The singer came out as gay when he was 17

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As many fans of Pentatonix know, Scott Hoying is gay (and proud of it). While being interviewed by theDallas Voice, he recalled what it was like to be young and unsure of himself in Texas in the 1990s and 2000s, telling the publication he felt a "constant" pressure to be more, or to be different. He said he "finally admitted to myself I was gay around 14 or 15," but added that he was too scared to tell anyone else. A few years later, Hoying finally felt he could tell close friends. In fact, bandmate Mitch Grassi was the first person he told.

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Hoying added that being able to be his true self, at least with his friends, was an absolutely freeing and thrilling experience. Luckily, he had friends who were there to love and support the real him, which helped tremendously. "The thrill I felt being my authentic self to even three people felt like the biggest burden lifted off my shoulders," he said.

He felt he had to hide his true identity in the early days of Pentatonix

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Unfortunately, for Scott Hoying, in the early days of Pentatonix, he felt like he was almost forced to go back into hiding to help the group be successful. He told theDallas Voicethat holding back such an important part of himself worked against him in the end. As he put it, "I should have learned my lesson the first time. Hiding who I was all over again wore me down to the point I didn't care if people hated me or not, I just wanted to be real."

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Hoying decided to make it clear to fans who he really is in the group's music video for "Imagine."In the video, the members take turns writing their identities on a poster board and flipping the board around for fans and viewers to read. Mitch Grassi goes first, writing "LGBT+." He hands the poster board to Hoying, who proudly holds it up and indicates this is his identity, too (via YouTube).

Scott Hoying has a side project with Mitch Grassi

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Because Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi are such good friends, it's probably not too surprising to learn that the pair have a side project they love to work on in addition to Pentatonix. Their spin-off project, or band, is called Superfruit. Hoying told Billboard that the band was born out of the pair's genuine friendship— as he put it, it's the kind of friendship that other people will observe and say they want.

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The twosome decided to do the spin-off project for another reason, Hoying said. They were both interested in starting their own YouTube channels but were too intimidated to do it alone. Together, however, they could soar. As he put it to Billboard, Superfruit has succeeded because of their friendship. "I think the reason our YouTube is successful is because of our dynamic," as he described.

The pair has a lot of goals for Superfruit, one of which is to be loud and out as two members of the LGBTQ+ community. Hoying told Paper Magazine, "I would love to have a song that's ... supportive of the gay community but gets a lot of radio play. And then, of course, being on an award show or live show would be really cool."

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He began dating Mark Manio in 2017

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Despite the fact that many people have wondered through the years if Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi were ever in a relationship (the two have been clear about solely being best friends), Hoying started dating someone else in 2017 –model Mark Manio.

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In 2020, Manio celebrated Hoying's birthday with a sweet photo of the two on Instagram, alongside a caption that reads, "Happy birthday to my sweet, handsome, caring man! I truly don't know how I got so lucky to have someone as special as you in my life. I love you now and forever baby." In June 2021, Hoying shared the love right back as the pair celebrated their fourth anniversary together. He captioned a photo of the two, "Happy 4 year anniversary to the sweetest, purest, ray of sunshine I've ever met. Thank you for 4 beautiful years of endless adventure, laughter, and joy. Love you forever" (via Instagram).

After the couple's fifth anniversary,Hoying proposed."Even though Mark and I had talked about [the engagement] a million times, I still put the pressure on myself to make it perfect," he told People of the proposal. But perfect it was — especially because Manio said yes.

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Scott Hoying got married in 2023

Get ready for some serious wedding inspo because Scott Hoying had a wedding for the ages. In July 2023, Hoying tied the knot with his partner, Mark Manio, in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in Santa Barbara. The grooms wore slick white suits with white floralboutonnieres. They stood under a matching floral archway with a view of the ocean behind them.

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"There was definitely so much thought and care," Hoying said of his wedding when speaking toQueerty. He explained how he and Manio made detailed decisions about every aspect of the day. "It made the wedding really feel like us, which I really loved. And, surprisingly, nothing went too haywire on the day-of," he added.

You may have expected Hoying to be the one behind the playlist, but it was all Manio. "He's just so good at putting together a playlist, and he sectioned it out — like, 'This is the pop-punk section, this is the pop girl group section,'" Hoying gushed. Nevertheless, Hoying couldn't resist doing a little performance of his own. He later posted a video of his Blackpink medley on TikTok. It literally does not get more perfect than this.

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He had the chance to meet Beyoncé but got too nervous

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Scott Hoying has been upfront and honest about his absolute worship of singer Kelly Clarkson, but there's another Queen Bee of music Hoying loves: none other than the living legend herself, Beyoncé. Hoying even admitted to HuffPost that he's had the chance to meet Beyoncé multiple times, but something keeps holding him back. "We had a chance four times. I've been this close to her," he explained. "When she was pregnant in the gold Grammys moment she was backstage [and] we were this close and I was like, 'Ugh, do I say anything? Do I do it?'"

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In the end, Hoying couldn't bring himself to approach Beyoncé for the same reason a lot of us might not be able to: He didn't feel he was good enough in the moment. After all, it's Beyoncé! Even though he told HuffPost he ended up walking away that time, Hoying still holds out hope that the meeting will take place when it's meant to.

There's another singer Hoying loves and has met: Rihanna. Hoying explained to HuffPost that when it was time to meet Rihanna, he was fearless (as he feels most of the time, apart from, that is, where Beyoncé is concerned). He said,"I could go up to her and was like, 'Hey, my friend wants to meet you.′ And it went great. She was so nice."

The entertainer has a love/hate relationship with the internet

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As much as Scott Hoying is indebted to the internet for the way fans helped propel Pentatonix to super-stardom by way of YouTube and social media, he's also experienced enough of the darker sides of the web to know that everything isn't as glorious as it seems. Hoying told Atwood Magazinein February 2021 that while it might be hard for some to believe, his struggles with the internet are pretty similar to the battles many other people fight. "There are voices telling you that you have to be perfect online, that we have to show everybody how perfect our lives are. It's unrealistic," he explained.

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Hoying added that, as he knows from personal experience, the internet isn't all bad. As he put it to Atwood Magazine, "The internet has good things too, it brings a lot of serotonin and fear at the same time."

In 2013, Hoying sang a very different tune about the internet, though it's worth pointing out that he probably wasn't dealing with the full weight of the world wide web at the time. He explained to Ithaca.com that the band enjoyed engaging with fans via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, explaining, "We're always loving talking and asking the fans questions, getting feedback and reading comments."

Scott Hoying supports the commercialization of Pride

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Scott Hoying's identity as a member of the LGBTQ+ community is incredibly important to him. After all, this is an inherent part of who he is. He and Mitch Grassi shared an interview with Paper Magazine back in July 2018, in which the pair was asked how they each felt about the commercialization of Pride.

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Perhaps surprisingly, Hoying was in complete support, explaining that, to him, commercializing the movement and celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and community goes a long way toward making being gay just like being anything else. "It's becomes more normal with every brand that posts the rainbow flag and every single person that comes out. The more that it's being posted on social media and the more visible it is, the more people become comfortable meeting people who are gay," he said.

Additionally, Hoying believes that the more people are able to feel comfortable being open as part of the LGBTQ+ community, the more their friends and families will become allies.

He became a voice actor

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While it's clear that Scott Hoying isn't leaving music anytime soon, if ever, it is important to note that he does have other personal and professional interests that keep him more than busy. In an interview with theDallas Voice in 2021, Hoying mentioned that he'd been working on plenty of projects.

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In addition to his ongoing collaboration with Mitch Grassi, Hoying shared that he started developing projects in television and has even become a voice actor for a few animated series. In fact, a scroll through his IMDb page reveals that Hoying has lent his voice to the TV short "Summer Camp Island" and to the 2021 series "Centaurworld." With that in mind, he said in the interview that he and the rest of the band are "definitely feeling really inspired and are excited to see where life takes us professionally and personally!"

Scott Hoying was devastated after losing The Masked Singer

It's hard to imagine that Pentatonixcould ever be unrecognizable; however, that's what happened in 2023 when the acapella groupwas on "The Masked Singer," a show that sees celebrities performing in disguise. Hoying and the other members dressed as pieces of sushi in a group costume that was known as "California Rolls." (It's both incredible and utterly terrifying!) The group made it to the semifinals before being voted off after a performance of "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson.

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Hoying later told People that he was devastated to have lost."[It] was a gut punch. We went in hoping to have a good time — that's how it started," he said. "After our first performance, we were like, 'We will not leave without the trophy.' We were so in it." After all, the group shot to fame in 2011 after winning "The Sing-Off," another televised competition. Clearly, Hoying still has that competitive drive!

He went solo in 2023

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Don't worry — Pentatonix is still very much around. However, Scott Hoying is also pursuing his own solo endeavors on the side.In September 2022, he released his first single, "Mars." This was followed by his first EP, "Parallel," which was released in July 2023.

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As he told Pride, the EP is inspired by his relationship with his now husband, Mark Manio. He also revealed that he actually helped produce some of the songs on his own after learning to use Pro Tools during the pandemic.

For Hoying, finding success as a solo artist has been a huge milestone. "Pentatonix is such an established thing, so it's a bigger deal in that way," he told Riff Magazine. "But my solo project is a representation of totally me, and it's very vulnerable and raw and scary and exciting, and so it's a huge deal to me in a bunch of other ways, like personally and emotionally, as well as musically."

Scott Hoying ventured into the world of musicals

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While you might imagine that Scott Hoying is already very busy with Pentatonix, a solo career, and being a husband, it turns out he also finds the time to work on musicals, too. Is there anything this guy can't do?

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As AP Newsreported, Hoying was busy co-creating the musical titled "The Life of Death," which is centered on the Grim Reaper and his daughter (yes, apparently the Grim Reaper is a proud papa). "It's so fun writing a musical because there's no real rules," Hoying told the outlet. "My wild brain just has a field day."

Writing a musical takes up a lot of time. In fact, in the run-up to the first reading in January 2023, Hoying didn't have time to listen to any other music. "I have not been listening to anything but 1,000 versions of each those 18 songs for the past few months," Hoying told Spin.

He was inspired by Jazmine Sullivan, among other artists

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With Pentatonix, Scott Hoying is constantly singing pop music — both original and covers. As it turns out, that's also his favorite genre of music to listen to. In 2023, the singer told Spin about his five all-time favorite albums. First up was "Fearless" by Jazmine Sullivan. As Hoying explained, the album actually taught him how to sing. "I studied her voice and found myself emulating her musical choices," he said. Then, he cited Beyonce's "I Am... Sasha Fierce." Not only did he love the music, but it also coincided with an important time in his life."I ... was coming out of the closet around that time, so it felt like I was discovering my true self and what I loved, so that amplified everything by 10, as well."

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Hoying also listed "Channel Orange" by Frank Ocean, "Continuum" by John Mayer," and "Love Me Back," another album by Jazmine Sullivan. "I have all of Jazmine's albums completely memorized and literally could win Jazmine-themed Jeopardy so it was hard to even narrow it down to two albums," he revealed.

Scott Hoying wants to do a different kind of holiday album

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Pentatonix has become known for their Christmas albums. In fact, these days, it's nearly impossible to make it through the holiday season without hearing at least one of their festive covers. While Scott Hoying does love singing Christmas music, he's also interested in recording a different kind of holiday album at some point in the future.

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"I am obsessed with Halloween — [husband] Mark [Manio] and I both are; we take it so seriously every year," he admitted to Queerty. "And I think a really fun Halloween album would be cool. There's also just so much you can do."

In October 2022, Hoying gave us a taste of what we might be able to expect when he and J Maya released a short Instagram videofeaturing them singing a Frankenstein-inspired love song. It's official — we are desperate for Hoying to make this full-length Halloween album a reality!

The Untold Truth Of Pentatonix's Scott Hoying - The List (2024)

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