Maldonado performing as part of Pentatonix in August 2015
May 16, 1992|
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
|Partner(s)||Jeremy Michael Lewis|
|Labels||RCA, Madison Gate|
|Associated acts||Pentatonix, Voctave|
Kirstin Taylor "Kirstie" Maldonado (born May 16, 1992), is an American singer and songwriter, and a member of the a cappella group Pentatonix. Together with Pentatonix, Maldonado has released seven studio albums, won three Grammy Awards, and sold over six million albums.
Maldonado debuted her solo career on May 19, 2017 with the song "Break a Little" under the moniker Kirstin<ref>Tom, Lauren (May 19, 2017). "Pentatonix's Kirstin Maldonado Drops First Solo Single 'Break a Little': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved May 20, 2017.</ref> (stylized as kırstın™), with her debut EP L O V E released on July 14, 2017.
Early life and education
Kirstin Taylor Maldonado<ref name="Jeremy"/> was born in Fort Worth, Texas on May 16, 1992.<ref name=Forbes>O'Malley-Greenburg, Zack (January 5, 2016). "Pentatonix: Everything You Need To Know About The World's Biggest A Cappella Act". Forbes. Retrieved July 10, 2016.</ref> Her mother is Spanish-Italian, while her father, Michael Cisneros,<ref> https://twitter.com/firstcommand/status/148795295818448896. Missing or empty
|title= (help)</ref> is Mexican. Maldonado was raised by her mother Angelica Maldonado in Arlington, Texas. Maldonado was only five years old when she first expressed her wish to become a singer. At eight years old, she sang at her mother's wedding reception, ultimately convincing her mother to enroll her in voice lessons.<ref>"#WCW Kirstie Maldonado inspires as sole female in Pentatonix". The Daily Dot. 2015-06-24. Retrieved 2016-11-19.</ref> Maldonado also got into theater and starred in several local productions. It was through the local theater community that Maldonado met Mitch Grassi, a future fellow Pentatonix member.
Maldonado attended Holy Rosary Catholic School and later Martin High School. At Martin High School, she met Scott Hoying with whom she and Grassi would later form Pentatonix. The three friends created an a cappella trio and started getting attention around their school for their covers of popular songs.<ref name="NBCbio">"Biography of Pentatonix". nbc.com. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2016.</ref><ref>Malkoff, Amy (November 27, 2011). "An Exclusive Interview With Pentatonix's Scott Hoying". casa.org. Retrieved August 25, 2012.</ref> Maldonado graduated from Martin High School in 2010 and went to The University of Oklahoma where she was a Musical Theatre Performance major. She dropped out in order to form Pentatonix.<ref>"Kirstie Maldonado- Interview With Pentatonix' Lead Singer". Asian Fusion. 2014-01-27. Retrieved 2016-11-19.</ref>
In 2011 Maldonado was contacted by her high school friend Scott Hoying who wanted to put together a group for NBC’s a cappella competition The Sing-Off. Maldonado agreed to join the group, which also included Mitch Grassi, another of her high school friends. Together they formed the a cappella group Pentatonix along with Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola. The group entered and eventually won the third season of The Sing-Off.<ref>Gallo, Phil (November 29, 2011). "'The Sing-Off' Finale: Pentatonix Takes The Trophy". Billboard.com. Retrieved August 25, 2012.</ref> Since then, they have released several albums and EPs, reached 13 million YouTube subscribers and over 2 billion YouTube views, and toured the world. As a member of Pentatonix, Maldonado has won three Grammy Awards.<ref>Jone, Preston (February 15, 2016). "Pentatonix takes home another Grammy; Fort Worth's Kirk Franklin also a winner". Star-Telegram. Retrieved July 10, 2016.</ref> On February 8, 2015, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the "Best Arrangement, Instrumental or a cappella" category for their song "Daft Punk", a medley of songs by Daft Punk.<ref>"Huffington Post: "Grammy Winners List For 2015 Includes Sam Smith, Pharrell, Beyoncé & More"".</ref> On February 15, 2016, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the same category, this time for “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from their “That’s Christmas to Me” album.<ref>"Pentatonix Just Scored Their Second Grammy In a Row!".</ref> On February 12, 2017, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the "Best Country duo/group performance" category for "Jolene" which featured Dolly Parton.<ref>"Dolly Parton and Pentatonix win country duo/roup performance award for 'Jolene'".</ref>
Other projects and appearances
Maldonado performed at the Hippodrome, London with the song "Never Neverland" together with Scott Alan in May 2014.
In January 2016, Maldonado performed the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at the World Dog Awards in honor of the dogs who have played the role of Toto from the iconic story about The Wizard of Oz.<ref>Springfield, The CW (2016-01-15). "Winners of "The World Dog Awards"". WWLP.com. Retrieved 2016-11-19.</ref>
In February 2016, the a cappella group Voctave released the video “Disney Love Medley” which featured Maldonado and her fiance Jeremy Michael Lewis. In the video, Maldonado and Lewis perform the songs "I See the Light" from Tangled, "You'll Be in My Heart" from Tarzan and "Go the Distance" from Hercules with the members of Voctave providing the backing vocals.<ref>"See Pentatonix's Kirstin Maldonado perform sweet 'Disney Love Medley' with boyfriend". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com. Retrieved 2016-11-19.</ref> In May 2016, Maldonado, along with Grassi and Hoying, appeared in an episode of Bones titled "The Strike in the Chord". Maldonado played the role of Liz Dervan, a member of the college a capella group “The Gingersnaps”.<ref>Philpot, Robert (May 16, 2016). "Pentatonix to appear in ‘Bones’ musical mystery". Star-Telegram. Retrieved July 10, 2016.</ref>
In February 2017, Maldonado stated during an interview she would be releasing a solo project sometime in the spring. On May 19, 2017, Maldonado officially released her first solo single, titled "Break a Little", alongside a music video. Her debut EP L O V E was released on July 14, 2017. She released a collaboration with Play-N-Skillz titled "Hey Guapo" on August 31, 2017.<ref>"Play-N-Skillz, kirstin - Hey Guapo (Official Lyric Video)". YouTube. Retrieved September 11, 2017.</ref>
As of May 29, 2016, she is engaged to Jeremy Michael Lewis.<ref name="Jeremy">Campbell, Kathy (May 30, 2016). "Pentatonix Singer Kirstin Maldonado Is Engaged to Jeremy Michael Lewis: See Her Ring". US magazine. Retrieved July 10, 2016.</ref>
- 2017: L O V E - EP (credited to Kirstin)
- 2017: "Break a Little"
- 2017: "All Night"
- 2017: "Naked"