Reinventing the idea of a cappella, Straight No Chaser infuses a sense of humor and pure fun in their captivating sound of 10 voices together making extraordinary music. Formed more than a dozen years ago while students at Indiana University, the group has reassembled and reemerged as a phenomenon ... complete with 11 full-length albums, a massive fan base, millions of views on YouTube, and numerous national TV appearances.
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If the phrase “male a cappella group” conjures up an image of students in blue blazers, ties, and khakis singing traditional college songs on ivied campuses … think again. Straight No Chaser is neither strait-laced nor straight-faced, but neither is it vaudeville-style kitsch. As original member Randy Stine comments, “We take the music very seriously; we just don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Straight No Chaser started as a collegiate a cappella group at Indiana University, where in December 1998, they recorded a unique performance of The 12 Days of Christmas. Nine years later, this performance—which interpolated Toto's Africa with traditional Christmas songs—proved the hottest viral video of the 2007 holiday season, receiving more than 7 million views that December alone and now boasting more than 23 million views. Among those millions of viewers was Atlantic Records Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman, who promptly signed the a cappella group to the label’s legendary roster. Taking off from the runaway success of The 12 Days Of Christmas, Straight No Chaser made their now classic debut with 2008’s Holiday Spirits, followed in the next year by Christmas Cheers. Both albums reached the top of the holiday charts at Amazon and the iTunes Store and are now certified gold by the RIAA. The extraordinary decade that followed has seen the group amass album sales in excess of 1.6 million in the US alone, along with more than 100 million YouTube views thus far.
So much of what Straight No Chaser has done over the past 10 years is the stuff of dreams. They have collaborated with Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Dolly Parton, to name a few. They have performed on The Today Show and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and have toured North America, Europe, and Australia. “We literally have to pinch ourselves every day that this actually happened,” says member Jerome Collins.
In an era when so much pop music is the product of digital processing and vocal pro-tooling, Straight No Chaser is the real deal … the captivating sound of 10 unadulterated human voices coming together to make extraordinary music that is moving people in a fundamental sense—and with a sense of humor.
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