Irvine High grad and his a cappella group to compete in singing competition on NBC

An Irvine High School alum will show off his pipes tonight on the season premiere of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” which pits a cappella groups against one another in a competition for a recording contract and $100,000.

Kenton Chen, a talented singer, songwriter and actor who attended Alderwood Basics Plus and Venado Middle School before graduating from IHS in 2006, will be performing with his group, The Backbeats. Again, the contest is completely a cappella, meaning no instruments and no lip-syncing.

Here’s how Kenton’s group is described on the show’s website:

“Composed of the best a cappella singers from the University of Southern California and the University of California Los Angeles, this group of 20-somethings incorporates their disparate styles and tastes into one synthesized sound, fused together by their love of pop, R&B and soul. [The Backbeats have] a fresh, original approach to popular music with that old school spirit.”

Hosted by recording artist Nick Lachey, “The Sing-Off” airs from 8 to 10 p.m. tonight, with four more episodes to follow. (The second show airs Dec. 8.)

For more information, check out “The Sing-Off” website. Or click here to read an Orange County Register article about Kenton’s appearance.