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20 Best A Cappella Groups of All Time (Most Famous)

December 19, 2023
Best A Capella Groups

I’ve compiled a list of the best a cappella groups of all time, featuring the most famous ensembles known for their extraordinary vocal talents and harmonious performances.

This article is a celebration of the art of a cappella, showcasing groups that have captivated audiences with their pure, instrument-free music.

Top A Cappella groups of all time

  • Pentatonix
  • Home Free
  • Naturally 7
  • Straight No Chaser
  • The Filharmonic
  • Rockapella
  • The Real Group
  • Maytree
  • Take 6
  • The Manhattan Transfer

1. Pentatonix

Pentatonix is a five-man a cappella group from Texas and is the most famous group today.

They have amassed over twenty-million subscribers on YouTube, where they share their pop covers and harmonies.

They have won three Grammy Awards for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for “Daft Punk” and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”, and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Jolene” with Dolly Parton.

2. Home Free

Home Free is an A Cappella group comprised of five vocalists, who began their rise to fame after winning the TV show Sing-Off.

They have since released fifteen studio albums, alongside one single, “Angels We Have Heard on High”.

Their most popular album was their 2014 release Full of Cheer, which sold over eighty-five thousand copies in the US and reached number twelve in the United States Top Country Albums chart.

It also charted in the mainstream chart at sixty-five. 

3. Naturally 7

Naturally 7 has been well-known for creating the sounds of instruments using only their voices since 1999.

Their 2006 studio album Ready II Fly put them on the map after charting in both Austria and France, at number fourteen and sixty-four respectively.

Their most famous single is “Music is the Key” with Sarah Connor which charted at number one in Germany, number two in Switzerland, number three in Belgium, and number six in Austria.

4. Straight No Chaser

Straight No Chaser, sometimes abbreviated to SNC, is an a cappella group that was founded at Indiana University in 1996.

After the founding members graduated, a reunion video went viral on YouTube, amassing over twenty-four million views.

They have eight studio albums, with their first six all charting on the United States Billboard 200 album chart.

Their debut studio album Holiday Spirits was released in 2008 and won the CARA award for Best Holiday Album.

5. The Filharmonic

The Filharmonic is an a capella group made up of five Filipino-American vocalists: Jules Cruz on vocal bass, Joe Caigoy, VJ Rosales, and Trace Gaynor as tenors, and Niko Del Ray as a beatboxer.

They began their career on NBC’s Sing Off, and have gone on to tour the world with their talented vocals.

6. Rockapella

Rockapella is a New-York based a cappella group, however, they achieved a lot of their success in Asia.

Many of their albums were released in the USA, with several others only being released in Japan.

Their debut single “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” was released in 1993 and caused a large amount of their fame.

It was written as the theme song for the gameshow of the same name, with Mashable coining it “the most memorable part of the show”.

7. The Real Group

Swedish a cappella group The Real Group is comprised of members Clara Fornander, Joanné Pastor Nugas, Johannes Rückert Becker, Axel Berntzon, and Daniele Dees.

They say that their inspiration is folk singer Bobby McFerrin.

They have won twelve Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), including Best Contemporary Cover (“Dancing Queen”), Best Jazz Song (“Fight of the Foo-Birds”), Best Holiday Album (En riktig jul), and Best Classical Album (Stämning).

8. Maytree

Maytree is a South Korean a cappella group with five members.

The group was founded in 2000, but they didn’t release any music until 2006.

They have since released three studio albums: Maytree, MayTree in Love, and Back to me.

Maytree has received many awards for its outstanding talent, including wins at various A Capella competitions around the world.

Their covers from the TV hit Squid Game pushed them further into fame after amassing over 260 million YouTube views.

9. Take 6

Take 6 is one of the most famous a cappella groups out there, and was formed in 1980.

They are a six-member gospel group, that tries to integrate jazz into their tunes. Their self-titled debut album was even certified platinum by the RIAA!

They are the winners of an impressive eight Grammy Awards in a variety of categories, including Best Soul Gospel Performance, Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Best R&B Performance, and Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.

10. The Manhattan Transfer

The Manhattan Transfer is an a cappella group that began in 1969 and went on to be one of the greatest groups of all time.

They have won an impressive ten Grammys, for works like “Birdland”, “Boy from New York City”, and “Route 66”.

They have released thirty studio albums over their career, with the most popular being The Manhattan Transfer Live and The Best of The Manhattan Transfer.

Both have been awarded Platinum certification by the BPI and ARIA respectively.

11. The Flying Pickets

The Flying Pickets is an a cappella group from Britain.

The current members are Andy Laycock, Simon John Foster, Michael Henry,  Christopher Brooker, and Martin George. 

Their debut studio album Lost Boys performed critically well, reaching number eleven in the UK and being certified Silver status.

Their biggest claim to fame was their Christmas number-one “Only You”, which topped the charts in the UK, Germany, and Ireland.

12. VoicePlay

VoicePlay is an a cappella Group from Orlando that rose to fame after becoming a finalist on The Sing-Off.

The four members are Eli Jacobson (Tenor), Cesar De La Rosa (Baritone/Tenor 2), Geoff Castellucci (Bass), and Layne Stein (Vocal Percussion). 

In 2019 they got named the Pop Group of the Year at the A Cappella Music Awards, and have amassed over one hundred million YouTube views in total!

13. The Persuasions

The Persuasions were a five-member a cappella group formed in Brooklyn, New York in 1962.

Frank Zappa discovered their gospel, soul, rock, and jazz style and they went on to release twenty-three studio albums.

Their latest album was a collaboration with Barenaked Ladies, titled Ladies and Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies and The Persuasions.

The album peaked at number thirty on the Billboard Independent Album chart and number eighty-seven in Canada.

14. Wise Guys

Wise Guys were a German a cappella band who were formed in Cologne in 1990.

Despite their split in 2017, they had a successful career and released nineteen studio albums.

Some of their most popular albums include Radio, Frei!, Klassenfahrt, Zwei Welten, and Achterbahn.

Most of these reached number two on the GfK Entertainment charts in Germany.

15. The Maccabeats

Founded at Yeshiva University, The Maccabeats are an Orthodox Jewish a capella Group that currently has fourteen members.

They have released four studio albums: Voices from the Heights, Out of the Box, One Day More, and Hanukkah Anthology.

They performed at the White House’s Jewish American Heritage Month gala, in front of Barack Obama (who praised their outstanding performance!).

What a claim to fame!

16. Voctave

Voctave is an esteemed a cappella group from Florida.

With eleven members and a vocal range of five full octaves, they hold the title as one of the best a cappella groups of all time. 

They have released ten studio albums, with most drawing inspiration from Disney and Broadway.

Their three singles “This Is My Wish”, “All is Well”, and “Disney Love Medley” also have the same influences.

17. Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue is an a cappella group from Oxford University that has been named the best group in the UK after winning multiple championships!

They reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talented, performed on Broadway, and even toured the world.

They have also had lots of viral hits, which has allowed them to amass over seventeen million views on YouTube.

18. BYU Vocal Point

BYU Vocal Point is an a cappella group of nine members, founded in 1991 at Brigham Young University.

They were directed for a short time by McKay Crockett, who is an Emmy-winning director.

He even used to be a member himself!

Their debut studio album was titled If Rocks Could Sing and put them on the map.

They soon began receiving awards for their talent, including Best Performing Group and ICCA International Champions.

19. Amarcord

Amarcord is a German ensemble that often performs as a quintet.

They have won contests and competitions all over the world, including multiple CARA awards and other prizes in Spain and Finland.

Their debut studio album Insalata a cappella began their career and put them on the map as a serious ensemble.

20. DCappella

DCappella is an a cappella group belonging to Disney Music Group.

They are comprised of six vocalists: Orlando Dixon, Antonio Fernandez, Morgan Keene, Kalen Kelly, Joe Santoni, and RJ Woessner.

They have sold out while touring the world, and are definitely a group to check out.

Best A Cappella Groups of All Time – Final Thoughts

This article included some of the most talented a cappella groups of all time so that you don’t have to trawl the internet any longer.

It can be hard to find the best a cappella groups since they’re not always easily found in mainstream media.

Hopefully, our list helped you!

We hope that you enjoy listening to these master vocalists!

You may also like: Best Singers of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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