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 performing as part of Pentatonix in August 2015
Kirstin Taylor Maldonado
May 16, 1992
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
|Labels||RCA, Madison Gate|
|Associated acts||Pentatonix, Voctave|
Maldonado debuted her solo career on May 19, 2017, with the song "Break a Little" under the moniker Kirstin (stylized as kırstın™; the ™ stands for "Taylor Maldonado," not trademark), with her debut EP L O V E released on July 14, 2017. She also made her Broadway debut in 2018, portraying Lauren in Kinky Boots.
Early life and education
Kirstin Taylor Maldonado was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 16, 1992. Her mother is Spanish-Italian, while her father, Michael Cisneros, 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. On February 12, 2017, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the "Best Country duo/group performance" category for "Jolene" which featured Dolly Parton.
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.
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. 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".
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.
In 2018, Maldonado starred as Lauren in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots alongside singer Jake Shears and comedian Wayne Brady: The musical's final performance took place on May 4, 2018.
- 2017: L O V E – EP (credited to Kirstin)
- 2017: "Break a Little"
- 2017: "All Night"
- 2017: "Naked"
- Tom, Lauren (May 19, 2017). "Pentatonix's Kirstin Maldonado Drops First Solo Single 'Break a Little': Listen". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 20, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Campbell, Kathy (May 30, 2016). "Pentatonix Singer Kirstin Maldonado Is Engaged to Jeremy Michael Lewis: See Her Ring". US magazine. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- O'Malley-Greenburg, Zack (January 5, 2016). "Pentatonix: Everything You Need To Know About The World's Biggest A Cappella Act". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 27, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- First Command [@FirstCommand] (December 19, 2011). "Congrats Kirstie Maldonado and #Pentatonix, who won NBC's #TheSingOff ! Kirstie is daughter of FC's Michael Cisneros" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "#WCW Kirstie Maldonado inspires as sole female in Pentatonix". The Daily Dot. June 24, 2015. Archived from the original on November 19, 2016. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- "Biography of Pentatonix". nbc.com. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
- Malkoff, Amy (November 27, 2011). "An Exclusive Interview With Pentatonix's Scott Hoying". casa.org. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
- "Kirstie Maldonado- Interview With Pentatonix' Lead Singer". Asian Fusion. January 27, 2014. Archived from the original on November 19, 2016. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- Gallo, Phil (November 29, 2011). "'The Sing-Off' Finale: Pentatonix Takes The Trophy". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
- Jone, Preston (February 15, 2016). "Pentatonix takes home another Grammy; Fort Worth's Kirk Franklin also a winner". Star-Telegram. Archived from the original on July 20, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- "Huffington Post: "Grammy Winners List For 2015 Includes Sam Smith, Pharrell, Beyoncé & More"". Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "Pentatonix Just Scored Their Second Grammy in a Row!". Archived from the original on August 8, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "Dolly Parton and Pentatonix win country duo/roup performance award for 'Jolene'". Archived from the original on July 5, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- Springfield, The CW (January 15, 2016). "Winners of 'The World Dog Awards'". WWLP.com. Archived from the original on November 19, 2016. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- "See Pentatonix's Kirstin Maldonado perform sweet 'Disney Love Medley' with boyfriend". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2016. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- Philpot, Robert (May 16, 2016). "Pentatonix to appear in 'Bones' musical mystery". Star-Telegram. Archived from the original on June 29, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- "Play-N-Skillz, kirstin – Hey Guapo (Official Lyric Video)". Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2017 – via YouTube.
- "See Pentatonix's Kirstin Maldonado Make Her Broadway Debut in Kinky Boots | Playbill". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 16, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- "Wayne Brady Will Return to Broadway's Kinky Boots | Playbill". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
- "Kinky Boots – Replacements | IBDB". www.ibdb.com. Archived from the original on February 16, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- "Split? Pentatonix Singer Kristin Maldonado Calls Off Wedding To Work On 'Issues'". Radar Online. October 10, 2017. Archived from the original on November 25, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2018.