10 Best and Worst Karaoke Songs to Sing

I'll admit it. It's embarrassing, but my friends and I are karaoke junkies. It wasn't always this way. We would karaoke every now and then, for something different to do. Now, we crave it. We make lists of songs to sing and get excited when we come up with a good new one. If the crowd or other singers are lame, we purposely sing annoying songs to spite them. We are officially karaoke nerds.

Why do we even like karaoke? It's such a weird thing to do. We go to a bar to listen to (usually tone deaf) amateurs singing songs they shouldn't be singing, and we shamefully mutilate a few ourselves. Karaoke's been around in Asia since the 1970s--no big surprise that Japan is credited for starting it--but it's a fairly new form of entertainment here in the US. And we still love it. Serious karaoke fanatics buy a karaoke system and have karaoke parties in their basements. Others seek out karaoke bars and private karaoke rooms. I've done it all, and each venue has its own appeal.

Now that I've been to my fare share of Southern California karaoke establishments, I've got a good handle on what songs work and what songs don't. Whether you're new to karaoke or you're an old veteran, this list might give you some ideas for your next karaoke outing. Instead of lazily listing good and bad songs, I've decided to give you categories with many songs in each. Enjoy the show!

It's only fair to have proof.

This is me and my friends, singing "Keep On Loving You" by REO Speedwagon ;)
This is me and my friends, singing "Keep On Loving You" by REO Speedwagon ;)


1) The cherished (80s) rock songs - I stuck 80s in there because there are so many good ones from that era. Bon Jovi, Guns n' Roses (though be careful with GnR cause some of their songs are LOOONG), and hair bands like Poison or Def Leppard are great karaoke fun. Who doesn't like to hear "Pour Some Sugar on Me" in a bar? These work so well because we hardly hear these songs anywhere else these days.

People actually like this!

2) The silly, yet fun pop songs - These work well because they're songs people secretly enjoy--and you might be surprised what people secretly enjoy. "Living La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin was one that we tried for obnoxiousness, that the crowd actually really enjoyed. Other good ones are Ace of Base "The Sign," Spice Girls "Wannabe," George Michael "Faith," "Lady Marmalade" (for true singers) and if you're feeling really brave...try Wham "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go."

3) The successful duets - Duets are tough. Most people avoid them, but there are a few that everyone loves. "Love Shack" by the B52s and "Summer Nights" from Grease will never lead you astray.

4) Journey - Everybody loves Journey. Even if you won't admit it, you love Journey. HOWEVER, and I stress this, don't try to sing Journey if you can't hit those notes or if you're tone deaf. The crowd will drown you out if you can't sing, but Journey is much more karaoke fun if the person up there can actually sing. The obvious ones are "Don't Stop Believing" and "Faithfully," but I've also seen some great renditions of "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)." Pick a song, any song. They're all bomb.

5) The songs everybody knows but forgot about - Bringing a song back that used to be popular is always fun. "Semi Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind, old Elton John like "Crocodile Rock," or songs like Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" can work well because people go, Oh yeah, I remember this song!! They make good karaoke songs for the nostalgia factor.

Remember this?

6) The girl anthems - Here you've got your female empowerment songs, and a few that are just awesome. Try some Tragic Kingdom-era No Doubt, Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" (which is vastly becoming a crowd favorite and is the only acceptable "country" song to sing).
- Side category: The 80s girl anthem - Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," anything by Blondie, Cyndi Lauper, or if you really can't think of anything else to sing, Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n Roll."

7) The old school hits - These are the old dude favorites. But no matter your age, these songs are always good. Kicking it old school is always appreciated - Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, or "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" are a few faves.

8) The left field crowd pleasers - If you can sing for real and you're feeling crazy.... try some crowd pleasers most people wouldn't think to sing for karaoke. Like "Let's Get it On" by Marvin Gaye. Or some James Brown. Something that requires crooning or massive singing skills.

9) The dancing songs - These are the songs that are going to make people get up and dance. ABBA is great for this. Britney can also work, but it depends on the song. "Baby Got Back" is also a dancing gem, but make sure you know the words.

10) Anything singalongable - This covers any songs that people like to sing to. Weezer is a crowd pleaser, Madonna and Billy Idol too. People always enjoy "Sweet Home Alabama" too. Even though it's overdone, it's a fun singalongable song.

Karaoke Fail....


1) The songs EVERYBODY sings - If I never hear "Sweet Caroline," "Margaritaville" or "Brown Eyed Girl" ever again, it would be too soon.

2) The songs nobody knows - If your friends go "Huh?" when you mention an artist or song, it's probably not a good one for karaoke. Why it's even in the book is beyond me. People will be bored if they don't know the song you're singing. Old dudes are infamous for pulling these out.

3) Anything country - Period. Don't do it. Nobody cares. [Edit: This applies in California (where I live), but not in most of the US, as has been pointed out many times by commenters. This also does not apply to any country that you hear on MTV.]

4) No more slow songs - The biggest problem with slow songs is that they're painfully long. An old guy favorite in this category is Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me." Anything with a similar tempo should be avoided, especially if it's 8 minutes long.

5) No more sad songs - Anything about dying or death or songs that make people cry should not be brought into a karaoke platform. Once, a girl sang "I Will Remember You" by Sarah McLachlan and then immediately went into "Goodbye to You" by Michelle Branch as her next choice. If you're depressed, don't sing karaoke.

6) The awkwardly sexual song - While "Baby Got Back" is fun*, don't think sexual songs fly with karaoke crowds. Once you get into "The Bad Touch" by the Bloodhound Gang or "I'll Make Love to You" by Boyz II Men, people start to feel uncomfortable (we actually sang the latter was AWKWARD). Another one to avoid is "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd. It's not funny- just awkward.
        * This song is best sung when everybody's had a few drinks in them.

7) The rap songs, by someone who can't rap - This doesn't happen very often (most people know better), but I've seen it. Basically: White girls should not try to sing Snoop Dogg. I say this based on the fact that most white girls cannot rap. Also, white guys, don't think that you can rap Eminem songs just because he's a fellow white guy. Here's a good rule for all: Unless someone has told you, "Hey you're good at rapping!" you should probably not rap.

And you thought you'd never have to hear this song again. BWAHAHA

8) Songs that are plain annoying - My favorite in this category is LEN's "Steal My Sunshine." Not gonna lie- I got up with a friend and did this one. When the song title came on the screen, the audience GROANED. Groaned. No joke. Stay away from songs people just don't like. Aqua's "Barbie Girl" would be another groan-inducing one. And this is just personal opinion, but Creed and Nickelback also go in this category for me. Creed makes me want to stab my eyes out.

Side thought: By the way, we all know Michael Jackson died recently. But that does not mean you have to sing his songs every time you karaoke. I'm already sick of hearing them. At the last karaoke bar I went to, a huge group got up and did "Beat It", but they didn't even sing! They just stood up there and danced... believe me, nobody appreciates your tribute.

9) The 10 minute long song - I'm talking to you, "Bohemian Rapsody" and "Thriller." It sounds like a good idea because people like these songs, but trust 7 minutes, people are bored. Sure they'll sing along for a while. But these songs are Just. Too. Long. And absolutely no "Freebird" or "Hotel California" either!!

10) Songs with very little lyrics or long instrumental sections - Usually the only time this happens is after the 10th sake bomb, but it's a good reminder to know what you're singing before you put it in. Songs like "Tequila!" should never be karaoke'd. This also applies for songs like "Paradise City" by's got a forever and ever instrumental section right in the middle, making it a weird song for karaoke. "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar...same thing. Listen to your karaoke songs before you hit the bar.
    - Also: Songs with seriously repetitive lyrics like "Total Eclipse of the Heart" get old real fast too.

Now it's your turn. I know I've left some out, so...

What's your favorite and least favorite karaoke song?

Hey, I made another best & worst list just for you!
10 More Best and Worst Karaoke Songs to Sing

Comments 289 comments

Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

Good Read on it, singers, heed the advice...Although I think you missed some great 70's ones as well like Bad to the Bone, and Pretty Woman for the guys and Whiskey Lullaby for duets even though it's a slow one.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I almost peed in my pants reading this, M. Rose. This is awesome. I'm know a thing or two about doing karaoke too (did you that Karaoke is Japanese for "Tone deaf?"). You are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT on everything you said, especially:

Anything country - Period. Don't do it. Nobody cares.

Also, about how white girls can't rap! I just picture my ex doing Ice ice baby while everyone else was chatting with themselves and looking uncomfortable.

I of course can go on about this, but will stop.

Thanks for a very good laugh. I appreciate it!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 7 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Hmrjmr: Pretty Woman is a good one! Bad to the Bone too...those definitely go on the good list. You don't hear those often either, so they'd work great!!

Dohn: Your comment made me laugh out loud, especially that karaoke means tone deaf! And your example of your ex doing Ice Ice Baby is EXACTLY why I wrote hopefully prevent people from putting in songs like that :) Thanks so much for commenting!

theglobalspirit 7 years ago

My husband would be in Elvis Heaven at the Elvis Studio. We may have to put that on our bucket list.


Greg 7 years ago

Great article! Very fun stuff. BTW Karaoke means "empty orchestra" in Japanese, not "tone deaf," although that's probably what it should mean!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 7 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Thanks for commenting! Looks like we have a debate going about the true meaning of Karaoke in Japanese...not sure what's correct, but I definitely agree that it should mean "tone deaf" :)

pearlgearl profile image

pearlgearl 6 years ago

did u know your article is listed on textbroker atm? They are looking for a writer to write something similar. I didn't pick it up, I like to sing just not in front of other people. Perhaps you should check them out. FYI they don't pay much for articles.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

pearlgearl- I didn't know that, how funny. I suppose I should be flattered! Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

DJ KRAVE 6 years ago

Not sure where you guys are located but I have to disagree with some of your song choices.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Thanks for your comment, DJ Krave. I'm always open to new, awesome karaoke songs and love hearing other people's opinions about what's fun to sing! (I'm in Southern California btw.)

Ray 6 years ago

I don't know how you feel about this, but Aladdin's A whole new world is always a favorite duet when i go. Just make sure you have the guy sing the "DONT YOU DARE CLOSE YOUR EYES" "HOLD YOUR BREATH IT GETS BETTER" Parts because they usually aren't in the lyrics. Also, most karaoke places only do the End Credits A Whole New World, not the in movie version.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Not gonna lie, Ray...I LOVE Aladdin, so I probably would go up and sing "A Whole New World" for karaoke. That might be a fun one. Somebody sing that and tell the rest of us what the crowd reaction was!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Ray!

Leenie Pooh profile image

Leenie Pooh 6 years ago

One of the best karaoke eves we had was at a local place (now a wine bar and no longer doing karaoke) where a total biker dude complete with black leather vest and do-rag got up and passionately sang "Like a Virgin" even going so far as to get on his knees to belt out the end. It was quite a show!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

I can only imagine how hilarious that must have been, Leenie Pooh! What a great show that dude put on. I wish there was a guy like that where I karaoke! (Though I have come across a guy who calls himself "Karaoke Batman")

Amber 6 years ago

Good advice! I've done Paradise City and by the third, fourth, fifth and sixtieth time they go into the chorus, you really wish you weren't pretending to be Axl anymore. I think the most important thing is to know the place. I know of places like martini bars where it's ok to sing slow songs if you can actually sing but if you're in a loud, crowded bar, you need something really upbeat. I disagree that all country is off limit though... I think most Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and some more upbeat songs are fun when people do them. The trick is to go balls out... you don't have to be a good singer, but being quiet and hiding behind the mic bores people. If you're into it, you'll get support.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Thanks Amber! Good point about knowing the do have to tailor your songs to the atmosphere. Also, I'm not counting artists like Taylor Swift in the "country" category. I consider those to be pop artists, which are always ok and fun to sing. By country, I meant long, drawn out slow songs nobody knows unless they listen to a lot of country :)

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Chris 6 years ago

I love karaoke, but I'm thinking that some songs should just be turned into karaoke anthems so the whole crowd can sing them and get it out of their system for the night..."Born in the USA" and "Summer of '69" being the 2 that pop into my mind immediately! Great Hub!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Those are great songs too Chris. Thanks!

Andy Daniels 6 years ago

It seems to me that you are contradicting yourself by saying absolutely no country but list a Carrie Underwood song as a crowd pleaser.

Andy Daniels 6 years ago

Sorry, didn't see your post from two weeks ago

DG 6 years ago

"A Whole New World" always goes over very well at the karaoke bar I work at (I'm the KJ). So does "Part of Your World" and "Under the Sea" from Little Mermaid. Hell, most Disney from 1989-1994 goes over well with drunk twenty-somethings. Pretty entertaining to watch.

Megan420 6 years ago

Good list but I disagree that Bohemian Rapsody is a bad song choice the crowd always gets into it!! And one of the best parts of the song is at the end!!! I say anyone brave enough to try This song giver. Queen= awesome time


M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Andy: Since you're the 2nd person to bring that up, I guess I should amend that part! I'm learning that some people do consider Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift to still be "country." Thanks for your comment!

DG: I'm with you there...I love Disney songs from that era. Funny story: at one karaoke bar I was at, the KJ accidentally played "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas. The crowd automatically started singing along, so he let the song play almost all the way through! Nobody was up there singing it, but a few tables grabbed the mics...hilarious.

Megan: You must go to karaoke bars with patient patrons! I love Bohemian Rapsody as a song, but most times I've seen it done, everybody kinda gets sick of it after a few minutes. You keep getting down with your bad self though! Thanks for stopping by!

borge_009 profile image

borge_009 6 years ago from Philippines

I usually karaoke when I'm alone at home so that no one will notice. LOL. THanks, I enjoyed reading this hub.

Ricknphil 6 years ago

I've hosted many different scenarios and crowds. The latest that I've been hosting is an older crowd that really gets into the old 50s rock. Jailhouse rock, Runaround sue, rockin robin and Pretty Woman (previously mentioned) really get a good rise out of them.

Also another crowd pleaser always seems to be save the last dance for me by Michael Buble ( not the older version)

Great Column

Newbie 6 years ago

Hey what do you think of doing musicals Ex: Light my candle (as a duet) or Out Tonight

NaomiR profile image

NaomiR 6 years ago from New York

LOVE this hub! But as a fellow karaoke buff, I have to respectfully disagree with you on Sweet Caroline and Bohemian Rhapsody. My friends and I always have a blast singing them. Bohemian is especially fun if everyone is a bit tipsy and tries to keep up with that fast middle part. We've had some great laughs singing it.

Krissi 6 years ago

Liked the page! As I am going to sing tonight!! In Florida people have been singing all the newest music..LADY Gaga, LADY Antebellum(who is country),KT Tunstall. It is so much fun!!! I will be doing Joss Stone tonight, I am exicted :)

ArmyTruckinGirl 6 years ago

I usually listen to country so when I first started doing Karaoke, I was in a Rut. I have found that Black Velvet (it's slow, but pretty short) and Black Horse and a Cherry Tree are fun. I'm still looking for some good ones. If I'm doing goofy I'll knock out a Weird Al song, just for fun. Thanks for the article! A good read. :o)

Chris22 6 years ago

Um is Radiohead Creep too slow? My friend say I sing it amazingly and the tone is remarkable. I am not saying I am a good singer but I do that one really well. At least its a short slow song. My friends also laugh at my David Matthews impression but I can really only nail "Crash" 100% which is also a bit slow. His faster stuff I can miss the tone or worse have my voice crack.

Liz 6 years ago

Another SAD song NONO, "Everybody Hurts". UGHHHHH

Charlie 6 years ago

What a great article! You make SO much sense!

May I add a rule? You have to know the song you are singing - not THINK you know! So many times people only know the chorus and stand around mumbling like buffoons for most of the song and then spring into life...

I'm trying to get my friend to STOP singing Mr Jones. It's a classic, of course, a great karaoke song, but she does it EVERY time. So, I guess, another rule would have to be, if you sing at the same bar every time and you life in a small community (like we do) then a bit of variety PLEASE!

Again, great article - best on the internet (and I've looked...)

Laura 6 years ago

I have to disagree that white girls cant rap, I'm a great rapper, I've been in different competitions n have got great feedback from the crowd, they seem to love it! Also have got through to Xfactor with rapping and singing together, they loved the originality of it and enjoyed seeing something different :-) maybe I'm an acception because USUALLY white girls cant rap haha

shauna 6 years ago

Well as far as country there are a few that are huge crowd favorites. Dixie Chicks for one, Martina Mcbride, Leann Womack etc. Bohemian Rhapsody is a no, no I agree 100%.

I think that the country you may be referring to is like Conway Twitty, Merle haggard etc. There are the old but fav's like Johnny Cash (can't go wrong) Or Hank Williams Family tradition (although not a fan I it always seems to please and I some how always sing along)

Akbok 6 years ago

Karaoke absolutely means without orchestra or devoid of orchestra. "Kara" is the empty, or nonexistent, and Oke is the shortened version of Ookestura (orchestra). 21 years of speaking Japanese to back me up on this one :>

Mare 6 years ago

Bobby McGee is an awesome karaoke song but you have to be able to sing it well. one of my fave duets is Picture w/ Sheryl Crow & Kid Rock, although some may say its over done.

billy 6 years ago

sweet caroline is a classic u know absolutely nothing!!!!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Yikes, I'm so behind on comments! Here we go in one fell swoop...

Ricknphil: Love the 50s rock songs you mentioned...those are always fun.

Newbie: I love musicals, but most crowds don't have the same appreciation. If you can find a place that allows you to sing songs from musicals, do it!

NaomiR: You get down with your bad self, karaoke buff! I'm sure you and your friends do a great job with both those songs :)

Krissi: Hope you had fun! I love KT Tunstall, and I love your choice of Joss Stone. Good taste!

ArmyTruckinGirl: Black Velvet and Black Horse and a Cherry Tree are both GREAT karaoke songs. Thanks for commenting!

Chris22: Creep is too slow for me, but I'm not a fan of Radiohead. I've seen people enjoy it, so go for it!

Liz: YES!! How could I not have "Everybody Hurts" in this article?? You're awesome for bringing that one up.

Charlie: Again...YES!! You should not sing a song unless you know the WHOLE thing. My friends and I once tried to sing "Hungry Eyes" and quickly realized we had no idea how the verses went! Really embarrassing...don't do it!

Laura: That's awesome that you're a great rapper! You should definitely do rap songs and school all the others who try to rap :)

shauna: Totally agreed with what you said about country. Johnny Cash has some fun songs, but most country tends to be in line with really slow songs. So it's best to stick to the upbeat, fun stuff like you mentioned! Thanks for your comment.

Akbok: Thanks for your input into the "what does karaoke mean" debate! Your credentials of 21 years of Japanese speaking are pretty impressive ;)

Mare: PIcture is a good duet for sure. I don't hear it as much now, so maybe it's not overdone anymore. Bring it back!

billy: Glad to know you're THAT guy who would get up there and always sing Sweet Caroline...ok I'm kidding. I don't hate the song, it's just overdone. :)

juliebooly profile image

juliebooly 6 years ago

You are my karaoke soulmate and spot on.

My favorite duet (but you have to find someone who knows it) is Ain't No Mountain High. Has to be the Marvin Gaye version. Amazing.

Rummelta 6 years ago

Ok M. Rose. I greatly appreciate this! I am a karaoke host and I would like to share my perspective from my side of the computer. Before I started working I also used to be a karaoke nerd. I would bring my own cd's. I used to sing josh groban songs and musicals. Now in some peoples defense, there have been some musicals and slow songs done that have really gotten the crowd going. "It's all coming back to me now" - Celine or something from wicked. I think there are some exceptions if 1 you can sing and 2 if you sell it! Country. . . .there are some country songs that are fun. But they need to be very well known and very upbeat. I love how you put you shouldn't rap if you don't know how. I agree. Just like those ten minute songs, people enjoy it at first but then get over it real quick. I am also a dj and I never play a song through the second verse. Almost no dj will. No matter how popular the song. people start losing interest after about a minute and a half. Also I can tell you in the 2 and a half years I have been doing this I can tell you the most done song is Don't stop believing - Journey. There is a video on youtube call "Don't stop your screaming" that actually makes fun of people doing this song in a karaoke bar. For me and for the bar I have worked at, Picture, I got you babe, are some of the worst duets. I look around while people are singing these songs and no one is paying attention. So here is my final note. . .Only do rap if you know it. There are no exceptions to this rule. Though I believe and tell anyone who comes in where I work to sing whatever you want. As a host I will do everything in my power to make it fun by interpretive dancing or just grabbing a girl and slow dancing. I work at a karaoke bar called Sardo's in burbank, ca. In between songs we play music videos and sometimes it turns into a dance party. Also please don't get mad at the karaoke hosts. Where I work we are about as fair as you get. Out list is like a single file line. You can only be in it once at a time. Though if someone else in line wants you to sing with them you don't lose your place. So basically I don't choose who sings or what songs are sung. I take the slips, enter them in the computer and have fun.

Kevin 6 years ago

Thanks for the comments!!! I just found your blog and I am enjoying it very much! I am one of the "old Dudes" and I was a vocal major in college so I can sing... I have found that if you can do a song well, you will usually get the attention of the crowd, unless they are completely hammered. I do the usual Sinatra (My Way) and Elvis (Always on my mind) songs. One of my favorite songs is "After the Lovin" by Engelbert Humperdinck, I was attacked by a group of drunk school bus drivers after singing this song one night! (not kidding)

Thanks to Michael Buble' some of these classics are being played again and there is a new generation of people that appreciate the old classic torch songs.

Keep up the good work!

Kyra 6 years ago

Im just sayn I work at a "country karaoke" bar and we have a great time! Its fun to keep it upbeat but I have heard a few great versions of country songs... Im Here For the Party for example always fun.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

juliebooly: Good to know we're karaoke soulmates! I don't think I've heard that song, I'll have to check it out. Thanks for your comment!

Rummelta: Rad, thanks for giving your expert opinion! You gave some great tips in there. I'm sure you've got to be sick of hearing "Don't Stop Believin" as a karaoke DJ, but I just love that song...I can't say anything bad about it. The karaoke bar you work at sounds like fun. If I'm ever in the area, I'll have to check it out. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Kevin: Thanks! As a vocal major, I'd say you can probably sing whatever you want (and the songs you mentioned are all great) and keep the attention of the crowd! I've seen some great "old dudes" who can really belt out songs...everyone appreciates an amazing singer.

Kyra: Thanks for your comment. And thanks for keeping it upbeat! :)

Evie M 6 years ago

This is a great article. I'm having a birthday karaoke thing at a local bar tonight so looking for new ideas as I have done Turn Back Time by Cher one too many times (that does seem to go down well though). Also for guys, Delilah by Tom Jones gets a great response and the crowd all sing along. For a bit of an unusual duet, try Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf which my fellow karaoke fiend and I used to do in London pubs a lot and got a great response.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Thanks Evie! Hope you had a great karaoke birthday (I've had those, they're fun). I'll check out that Meatloaf song, I'm not familiar with it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Chefboyrdee 6 years ago

Hey all, I thought I would submit a list I made quickly from; my own ideas + this site + others. Let me know what you all think:

Bon Jovi - Living on a Prayer

Run DMC & Areosmith - Walk this way

Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

Journey - Don't stop Believing

Rush - Limelight

Third Eye Blind - Semi Charmed Life

Kid Rock - All Summer Long

Linkin Park - Leave Out All The Rest

Linkin Park - In the End

dj hutch 6 years ago

I found this article Good fun reading..well done rose n keep on singing, cheers fr Hutch

Hollie59 6 years ago

M.Rose, Thanks for all the good ideas. I just discovered karaoke a few month ago, and now I've definitely become an addict. We go every Friday night!! I'm from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and we have a group of about 12 that go every week now; good times!! Country is prevalent down here in the k-bars but that's not my choice. I have a voice more suited to Grace Slick, Bob Seger, Allman Brothers; classic rock I guess you'd say. Here's my song list so far, and they've all gone over pretty well:

White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane

Don't you want somebody to love by Jefferson Airplane

Tied to the Whippin Post by The Allman Brothers

Statesboro Blues by the Allman Brothers

Sunspot Baby by Bob Seger

Lookin out for Rosie by Bob Seger

Into the Woods by Kenny Loggins

Angry Eyes by Loggins and Messina

Love me Two times by The Doors (not sure that's the title)

Strongest Weakness by Wynonna

Cheap Sunglasses by ZZ Top

Shooting Star by Bad Company

I Love Rock n Roll (is that Joan Jett or Pat Benatar?)

I think that's about it so far. Always looking for new songs to try. Thanks again for your blog.


Rob Roy 6 years ago

Great advice! I agree with just about everything. I do the song "Sold; The Grundy County auction" and I get huge applause for it. One it is a country song but it is fast and fun. It's not a "oh poor me, my dog died. My woman left. My Chevy truck broke down" type song. LOL. And it's a good one to sing if you can keep up because the entire crowd is looking at the screens to read the words because they are ripping by so fast. So, the spotlight is kind of off you as the singer, but if you nail it, you'll get a big response. Also, Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode is a big crowd favorite if you can nail it. Good luck in your karaoke careers!

David 6 years ago

I recently did karaoke and did BILLY JOEL "I love you just the way you are"... and its such an easy song to sing and everybody LOVED IT all the GAYS lmaoo that was my first time singing in front of ANYONE and i killed it HOLLA.. now once i started i feel brave and ima do karaoke all the time haha

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Chefboyrdee: GREAT list! I've always wanted to do "Semi Charmed Life" to see what the crowd's reaction would be. Rush would be hilarious too. You have good taste! Thanks for your comment.

Thanks dj hutch! You keep on singing too.

Hollie59: Glad to know my friends and I aren't the only karaoke addicts! Love your song choices...very creative. You've given me some new ideas for songs, thanks!

Rob Roy: Thanks for commenting! I'm learning so much about country music from all these comments :) I LOLed at your description of the "bad" kind of country song...I couldn't have said it better myself! That song sounds fun. And Johnny B Goode is a great one too!

David: Glad to hear you had karaoke success. Have fun karaoke-ing all the time!

John 6 years ago

Cant believe nobody mentioned backstreet boys... Also total eclipse of the heart kicks ass!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

John, amazingly I've never seen anyone do Backstreet Boys for karaoke. Good for me cause I can't stand their music! Also...Total Eclipse of the Heart is a great song in general yes, but it's SO repetitive, I don't think it's a good song for karaoke. It drags on way too long and loses everyone's attention (like "Paradise City" by GnR). Just my thoughts on the matter! Thanks for stopping by.

Joyce 6 years ago

I think rapping is fine, as long as you can get into it. Aside from that, I agree with almost everything. PS! Do NOT do a song in a language you DO NOT know! I once saw someone try Sting's Desert rose, and... it was really bad. Rammstein too. Ugh.

Some other major hits that are entertaining for the people watching are really fast sing-talk songs.Like... The devil went down to Georgia, we didn't start the fire, and barenaked ladies' One Week. It's especially entertaining after a few drinks...

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M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Joyce: Great point about language! That's another great way to embarrass yourself and NOBODY, and I do mean NOBODY, should be singing Rammstein. Gross. Love the fast sing-talk songs too...those are always fun! Thanks for your comment and happy singing!

cv 6 years ago

I think you missed the boat on a few things. There's a category of songs called, " I don't care what you think" songs. meaning- if you can sing well, people will listen to any slow ballet. Your talking mostly about party favorites and crowd pleasers. on those songs i would agree.

Alex 6 years ago

Isn't karaoke about the fun? who cares what other people think. just go up there, and sing what you want. you want sinatra? heck! i'd listen! i love sinatra. country? alot of country is awesome! the blog makes it look like an art or a job...i believe they look into this as more of a dedication, than just a fun thing to do. :P

Debra 6 years ago

I am a Karaoke junkie too! My husbdan and I have karaoke date night every Thursday here in Massachusetts.

"Stuck in the middle" with you by Stealers Wheel is a good one. I've heard couples do it.

Sugarlands song "All I want to do" should be removed from every Karaoke catalog. It is annoying and terrible!

I think that is you have a good voice it doesn't really matter what you sing, people will be entertained. Bottom line, it's still all about fun!

Great article very fun read!

Michael G 6 years ago

It is a little weird to say out loud but, damnit, my friends and I are karaoke bums! We go to the same karaoke bar EVERY sunday night. It's pretty awesome tho. :) Swell categories. Add a 70's section.

jesse not taking life especially karaoke so seriously  6 years ago

Whoever made this list is most likely a dumb ass girl with horrible taste and too many opinions. Life is too short, its karaoke! Hello get a life or go to a different bar if you think you need rules or a list of certain songs to sing at karaoke bar. Whoever wrote this I feel really sorry for, your opinions make you an asshole. Farewell

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

cv: You're right, I didn't cover that point. And it's very true...if you're an amazing singer, people will listen to ANYTHING. Thanks for your insight!

Alex: No! Karaoke is a way of life! It's not supposed to be fun! Ok I joke. Yes, karaoke is fun and people can sing whatever they want. I put this list together to help those who don't know what to sing and are looking for a fun crowd pleaser. Sounds like you don't need any help though, so keep on doing your thang!

Debra: Karaoke junkies unite! That's so cute that you and your husband go every week. Keep up the good work and thanks for stopping by!

Michael G: Again, karaoke junkies unite! It's ok to come out of hiding :) I did skip out on the 70s in this article...I don't listen to much music from that decade, so I may not be the best person to comment on it. Thanks for your comment!

jesse: Wow, I must be really making a splash if I'm getting hatorade comments! You, internet person, are hilarious and thank you for the insight. I wasn't aware someone could have too many opinions! I gotta write that one down...

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

..if karaokes were hubs then everyone would be singing this one!!!!

cherie 6 years ago

The songs on the good list, at totally awesome suggestions!! Thanks a lot... I'm positive these songs will keep the party going this weekend for my best friends birthday!

Erica 6 years ago

Karaoke snob comment in 3...2...1: I can ROCK Total Eclipse of the Heart, plus everyone in the place become my "Turn Around" backup singers!!!! Maybe that makes it more fun for everyone else. I am having some trouble thinking of something new to do, which is what brought me to your site!! Good suggestions all around :)

Captain Awesome 6 years ago

Dream On by Aerosmith is my favorite Karaoke song. =P

OhHush 6 years ago

I think this is a good basic list, but I disagree on a lot of points. I've been to a lot of karaoke bars in CA, and have found that country is #1 on peoples' lists. I've found that Journey is too cliché, and way too overdone. When people go up to sing Journey, EVERYONE groans! Also, your "The old school hits" list are slow and last too long, and then you have a "No more slow songs" list, and I find that contradictory. And Bohemian Rhapsody is always a crowd pleaser. Literally everyone got up and danced and sang along with the whole song.

Matt 6 years ago

You should keep the type of crowd in mind. Different areas, different age groups and so forth can really change the list. If you sing karaoke in the south like here in WV or TN the "no country" rule is just crazy. They get the biggest crowd participation here. I personally sing karaoke a lot for a shy person. I usually do "love shack" when my wife is with me and "rebel yell" or "white wedding" when she isn't. Great advice just thought I would throw in my 2 cents.

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akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Good info but I agree - 'no country' would definitely not fit the bill in country country here in Prinetucky, USA.

Danny Sei 6 years ago

This is sort of a different genre from the rest but in my area a quick way to get everybody in the crowd excited is doing "This is how we do it" by Montell Jordan.

Eric 6 years ago

I enjoy karaoke'n but hate how everyone does the SAME songs. Some of my favs:

Slaughter - Up All Night

Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love

Van Halen - Panama

Kiss - Love Gun

Whitesnake - Still of the Night

AC/DC - Rock n Roll Ain't Noise Pollution

Guns N Roses - Welcome to the Jungle (borderline cliché unless you can belt)

could keep going on, but ya get the idea..

karenokegirl 6 years ago

for Rose M..karaoke means music box! I'm a karaoke host and was curious too i looked it up! happy singing

lilypad 6 years ago

I used to karaoke regularly, but for the past few years I've trended toward RockBand. Just went to karaoke last night and INSTANTLY have the fever again! So. Much. Fun.

My personal favs to sing:

You Oughta Know - Alanis

Criminal - Fiona Apple

Roam - the B-52s

Car Song - Elastica

Killing Me Softly - Fugees

Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi

Just a Girl - No Doubt

Anything For Love - Meatloaf (funny duet - it KILLS!)

Songs I like to watch OTHER people sing:

500 Miles - The Proclaimers

Tubthumping - Chumbawumba

Anything Beastie Boys

Baba Booey 6 years ago

I'm actually in San Clemente right now for a few months so I may just have to check out some of these Karaoke Bars.

I love singing Karaoke and have been told I can really sing. I'm very modest about it but I guess if I'm honest, I know I can. I don't judge though, so I genuinely encourage others to get up and sing too and enjoy it when they just DO it!

My fave song list is:

Help! by The Beatles

Watching The Wheels by John Lennon

Wonderwall or Champagne Supernova by Oasis

It's my Life by Bon Jovi

Angels by Robbie Williams

Come Undone by Robbie Williams

Losing My Religion by REM

500 Miles by The Proclaimers (I'm from Scotland so the accent goes down well over here!)

You Can't Hurry Love by Phil Collins

Creep by Radiohead

I'm also guilty at singing some of the more "frowned upon" songs... Summer of '69 etc. But if it sounds good, people enjoy it and join in and THAT'S when it becomes fun! :)

Hayleigh  6 years ago

i really love this article, so many good ideas :)

a song i often sing is hallelujah, YESYES; it does break the "repetative" rule, however, everyone went crazy after i sang it! Yes - i am in england - it went down really well.

just an idea for youss there

robert 6 years ago

worst songs EVER

Rockdog 6 years ago

Our local Karaoke spot is a bit different than most in that it features mostly hard rock and metal numbers. On any Thursday or Saturday, you'll hear songs by Metallica, Three Days Grace, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, System of a Down, Breaking Benjamin, Stone Sour, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Disturbed, Black Sabbath, Stone Temple Pilots, Avenged Sevenfold...and very little Brittany or "Barbie Girl".

We do get the occasional quintet of drunken teenage girls singing Journey or some very white teenage boys trying to rap, but for the most part, it's hard and heavy all night long.

But I must say that many of your "worst" and "best" (especially Billy Idol lol..."Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding" are 2 of my "signature" tunes!) picks are spot on, and I now have the urge to surprise the gang with "Crocodile Rock" this Thursday!

sashajustgotback 6 years ago

Hahah, I totally agree, the worst one is Barbie Girl, my friends love to sing it and half the time I'm juist like 'SHUT THE f*** up, I hate that stupid song, and you can't even sing!'

I mean, just DONT SING IT!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Matt/akirchner: I'm in California. I have no idea what people sing in any other state....

Danny Sei: LOL @ Montell Jordan. That's awesome.

lilypad: Great songs!! You gave me some new ideas on what to sing next time I go, thanks!

Baba Booey: Hope you had fun in San Clemente. Again, great song choices! Especially love the 500 miles with your authentic Scottish accent.

Rockdog: One of the karaoke bars I go to tends to lean towards hard rock too, which is cool with me. You get down with your Billy Idol singing self!

sashajustgotback: Your comments made me laugh. Barbie Girl has to be one of the most annoying songs ever created!

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M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Glad to be of service, Tanzerkins! And I'm dying of laughter at what you wrote about internet trolls peeing in other people's Cheerios...what a perfect description HAHA. YOU rock!! I hope all the karaoke patrons enjoyed your Ace of Base and Natalie Imbruglia...I know I would!

Elphie 6 years ago

What about charts songs from the last 5 years? Are they good or bad? :P I'm 16 so I guess that makes a difference. Me and my friend LOVE singstar! our favorite is Total Eclipse of the Heart cause it's just such an epic song that goes wrong within 20 seconds lol. We also like Queen songs because they're just classics!

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M. Rose 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Elphie: Depends on the song, but I'd say they generally go in the GOOD category. Keep on doing your thang!

LEs The KJ 5 years ago

M.Rose rocks for starting this thread! I am a longtime KJ in the OC and welcome you and everyone else to check out my shows and sing your favorite songs! MS:, FB: les da kj MEET UP: REAL karaoke singers of Orange County- See you on the mic! - Les

David from 5 years ago

Yeah, cool.. Well, in my opinion, karaoke will help you sing better though.. Fantastic site.

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M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Les: Thank you! I may just have to check out your shows!

David: Thanks. I do think karaoke is good practice for singers! And it's free GOOD entertainment for the rest of us when good singers karaoke. Thanks for commenting!

Old Country Songs 5 years ago

No country karaoke? You're killing me!!! Okay, to be honest with you, I kinda agree with some of the old songs... haha. Thanks for this Hub - I gotta good laugh! :)

jessica and abby  5 years ago

I want to sex you up are you acttuly serious omg its oful !

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M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Thanks Old Country Songs!

Jessica and Abby: Totally...don't do it! :)

J.Mrgich 5 years ago

M. Rose, I'm not lesbian but I'm pretty sure I'm a little bit in love with you! All my peeps are musical theater people and every so often we go through a serious karaoke phase where we end up in dives at least 2 days a week. Your lists are spot on and in fact I felt like I was rehashing the same conversations my group has on a weekly basis. In regards to Creed: finally someone shares my distaste for this band! I once tore the cover off my issue of Rolling Stone and mailed it back to the magazine in protest of a disgustingly shirtless, and oiled up ::shudder:: whatshisface on the cover.

New Worst category: Pop Divas that the average Josephine just can't pull off: Whitney, Mariah, Celine, and Barbara. Unless you are seriously good, leave it to the pros. For the love of god, please leave it to the pros.

"And IeeeIeeeIeeeI will alwaaaays love youwoohohuuuooohIeeeIeeeIeeeI......" Does anyone love hearing that badly screeched?

Thomas 5 years ago

Great advice overall.

I would note that sometimes songs with few lyrics can still be a hit if there's some stage presence. For example I've seen that "Tequila" usually goes over pretty well if the singer does the Pee-Wee Herman dance.

jay 5 years ago

Totally agree about love is a battlefield. My best friend and I attempted it and it was a horrible fail. Never again.

Scott 5 years ago

Bryan Adams, Summer of '69. Best. Karaoke. Song. Ever.

Dimagi 5 years ago

I've come a long way in my vocal skills thank heavens! I was looking for ideas for more variety. So I want to thank you, Rose, very much! This site is awesome! I appreciate your ideas and also agree with most. But some people need to relax .. your not telling people absolute rules, .. its ideas, and advice to help get better reactions from the crowd, and I thank you again for them.

I started out with slow songs too, then learned what the crowd liked, and being that I'm standing up in front of them, I want to help let them have fun too. Other songs I save for the shower! LOL!

If your a lady, and want to sing Country, may I recommend:

"Pour me" by Trick Pony, or "Cleopatra, Queen of Denial" by Pam Tillis. They're upbeat, fun and have catchy tunes. And don't forget to add some attitude for extra fun! ;-)

I have to say though that absolutely THE Funniest thing I've ever seen at karaoke was two young men in their early 20s. Believe it or not, they sang ... Barbie Girl! They hammed it up using falsetto and bouncing around, and everyone in the place was ROFL & in tears!! I think if your going to do a song, put life into it and have fun. Bohemian Rhapsody too can be a lot of fun if you ham it up a bit, and the DJ is smart enough to shorten it.

Love your site, again I thank you Rose, and everyone! ;-)

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

J. Mrgich: As a fellow straight girl and thanks to your comment, I think I kinda love you too! I really hope your story about mailing the cover back to Rolling Stone was true because that is the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life. You're my new favorite person!

Thomas: You've touched on some serious advice. Any song is absolute perfection when paired with the Pee-Wee-Herman dance. Also, the Carlton dance. You rock!

Life of the Party: Wow...THANK YOU for voicing your differing opinions so politely!!! I'm glad Creed has at least one nice fan. You get 70 internet points for not being a jerk, congrats!

Jay: YES. Everyone should listen. My best friend and I also had no idea "Love is a Battlefield" is an impossible song to sing....until we tried it and BOMBED. Heed the warning, karaoke people!

Scott: Love that song! I sang it once myself.

Dimagi: Thanks so much for your kind words! I agree that people need to not take everything so's my plight in life to convince people of that. :) The rendition of Barbie Girl you described actually sounds funny, which is the ONLY way to do an annoying song! Also, DJ being smart enough to shorten Bohemian Rhapsody= key. Keep on with the karaoke!

Slow 5 years ago

Last time I did karaoke with friend I left Bohemian Rhapsody until the end. We were about to leave and I put it on, when my friends heard it whoever was interested ran back into the room. I had 8 people belting Bohemian Rhapsody with me, fighting over the microphones. I think Bohemian Rhapsody is a good song to do at the end, where you can just give it all and then call it a night.

Amanda 5 years ago

Neat article!

I am a KJ in southern the country songs are BIG hits here! We have the occasional mariah carey wanna-be, but for the most part, I work in a country bar.

Some good songs worth mentioning...

You never even call me by my name-david alan coe (major crowd pleaser)

Mustang Sally-Wilson Pickett

Cowboy Casanova-Carrie Underwood

Undo It-Carrie Underwood

Stuck Like Glue-Sugarland

Here for the party-Gretchen Wilson

Also, Slow...but good...Close your eyes forever Lita ford and Ozzy (people LOVE it, if you can sing ;) hee hee)

Sweet child o' mine-Gnr

Wanted dead or alive-bon jovi

All summer long-Kidrock

Red High Heels-Kellie Pickler

Stuck in the middle-Steelers Wheel

For the record: "karaoke" in japanese means "tone deaf" FOR REAL! No controvesy there! ;)

Bart 5 years ago

Best karaoke song i know- glamorous. Its not one to do by yourself but instead with a large group of tone deaf friends. Its the freaking bomb.

anonymous 5 years ago

favourite- rascal flatt's life is a highway ( not a real appreciated song but i like it )

worst - we will rock you ( this song is popular but i don't really like it )

JoeJoeMar 5 years ago

I agree that Bohemian Rhapsody is a grande finale!!!! I have done it countless times with my friends, and depending on where we go, we either get a standing ovation or the awkward chirping crickets..................seriously the DJ plays that noise....hahahaha

But as a seasoned male singer, with alot of vocal training, I still find karaoke challenging, because you always want to find new songs to sing

My repertoire includes but is not limited to:

In the still of the night; Boyz II Men

Boot Scoot N Boogie; Brooks and Dunn

Electricity; Elton John

Feeling Good; Michael Buble...................this one makes the ladies melt ;-)

Smoke gets in your eyes; The drifters

Mr Brightside; The Killers

Kryptonite; Three Doors Down

I have even had them drop the keys of Listen by Beyonce

My newest favorite, although not quite perfect yet is Grenade by Bruno Mars. They just got the track like two weeks ago................hahaha

and Bohemian Rhapsody sometimes ends it all

misty 5 years ago

You say no country, but what about us good ole Southerners who love country, and at our karaoke bars its more than acceptable. There's so much more to country than the long drawn out songs. Which can be heart breakingly beautiful

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Slow: End of the night sounds like the PERFECT time to do Bohemian Rhapsody. Great suggestion! Thanks for your comment.

Amanda: Thanks for sharing your song suggestions! As a KJ in Indiana, I'm sure you hear different songs than I do here in California. Do your karaoke thing girl!

Bart: Glamorous would be a fun group song...thanks for suggesting it.

Anonymous: I don't hear a lot of Rascal Flatts. Good creative choice!

JoeJoeMar: I wanna go to the karaoke bar you go to! Chirping cricket noises? That's so awesome LOL. Sounds like you have good song taste...thanks for commenting!

Misty: Sorry, I know I'm not being fair to the Southerners by saying no country. I live in a different part of the US where country doesn't go over as well, so all y'all Southerners should just ignore that "no country" rule :) Keep on karaoke-ing!

Elaina 5 years ago

I've got a few that end up being a singalong that i do. I can't really sing, but I can impersonate so these work:

I'm the only one- Melissa Etheridge

Heartbreaker-Pat Benetar

Paul Revere- Beastie Boys

Nothing Compares 2 u- Sinead O'conner (yes its slow but if you walk through the crowd, it gets them going)

and my favorite to sing...

Four non blondes-Whats up. The whole bar ends up singing with you.

Pull Your Ex Back 5 years ago

Journey is a must. I always thought I was good at karaoke until i had a go at singstar. I was way off , haha.

The Song Scientist 5 years ago

Between your original article and the comments, this has become a solid resource. You might want to check out the list of 500 most sung karaoke songs of 2010:

And to everyone who is willing to argue against the claim of a 21-year Japanese speaker on information easily verifiable by a quick internet search, Karaoke does indeed mean empty orchestra. It's one thing to be ignorant, another thing entirely to correct others based on that ignorance.

Callipygian 5 years ago

A few friends and I sang "I'll Make Love to You" by Boys II Men a few weeks ago and it was awesome, not at all awkward. We did (bad) harmony and everything.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Elaina: Ooooo GOOD songs!! I like your selections a lot, especially Sinead and Four non Blondes. You've given me some new ideas, thanks!

Pull Your Ex Back: It's surprising how hard it can be to sing karaoke! Don't feel bad--I felt the same way when I started. Have a good time, that's what's truly important. Thanks for stopping by!

The Song Scientist: Nice name! Thanks so much for sharing your research.

Callipygian: Very impressive that you managed to make "I'll Make Love to You" not awkward! Honestly, I don't know how you did're my karaoke hero.

Matt 5 years ago

Great article. From my karaoke experiences I pretty much agree with everything you've said.

In terms of songs not to do, for guys I would add anything by Michael Jackson. MJs voice is in a key that is way too high for mere mortals, & many of his songs have rapid fire lyrics that have varied tempos that are hard to follow. I had a karaoke fail when I tried to do 'Billie Jean' one night. The embarrassment of that attempt still burns.

BassGirl 5 years ago

lmao i am at karaoke now...and about fell out of my seat cause someone is singing Margarittaville now!!

a singer 5 years ago

I'm having a singing contest tomorrow and I don't wanna embarase myself

gHermit 5 years ago

Check the top 500 link from The Song Scientist above. The top ten on this are worn out! Do not sing them! Also no songs over 5 minutes. Nothing slow and draggy. Nothing from Grease. Figure out your audience. Tattooed Bikers=Rob Zombie,Disturbed, Megadeth, etc. Gray hairs=Sinatra, Tom Jones. College town bars=Flo Rida, Black Eyed Peas, Taio Cruz. Know your songs well through practicing them. NO Bohemian Rhapsody!! Do Fat Bottomed Girls instead. NO Meatloaf! Paradise By The Dashboard Lights is 8 minutes and 36 seconds of pure hell for the audience! Remember, you are performing and there is an audience. Give them what they want and give it your best! HAVE FUN (4 drunk people on stage singing badly but having fun is good karaoke).

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Matt: Thank you! I agree about Michael Jackson...his songs are really hard to sing. I'm not even sure I can sing as high as he does in some of those songs! Thanks for your great comment!

BassGirl: I think you're the ONLY person who's commented on this article WHILE being at karaoke at the same time. That's insanely awesome! Also, I'm very sorry you had to hear Margaritaville LOL.

a singer: Hope you had fun! I'm sure as long as you looked like you were having a good time that it went well. Thanks for stopping by!

gHermit: Again to you, I say WORD. You've karaoke'd a lot, I can tell. I LOLed at your descriptions of audiences. You rock my internet face.

Victoria 5 years ago

doing Karaoke Saturday night. You are very funny, and have posted some great information!!!!!!

Geana 5 years ago

One of the best parts about karaoke is being able to belt out whatever you want to sing (or rap for that matter)! I get tired of hearing some songs but as long as someone is having a good time who cares? One of my least favorite parts about karaoke are the people that take it so seriously that they actually judge what others choose to sing. What a downer. Just have fun :-)

that guy 5 years ago

great article. you hit the mark on most of this, but as a karaoke-goer myself, i think the venue picks the songs for you more than anything else. country might not work in california, but it goes over very well in the middle of the country. and Friends in Low Places goes over well pretty much anywhere. Also, I've seen some great (crowd pleasing) renditions of The Bad Touch and Bohemian Rhapsody as well. You just gotta entertain as well as sing. And I am hella tired of Summer Nights.

Chloe 5 years ago

OMG - my girlfriends and I did "A Whole New World" a few weeks ago! I admit I was rather embarrassed to be choosing Disney, but I was willing as long as it was a group effort. It was great! My favorite was when a random guy started running around the bar holding a napkin over his head like it was flying carpet. :-)

Kyle 5 years ago

Rap and country have every place in karaoke. It's not about what you want, it's about what the crowd wants to hear

Sassafrass 5 years ago

I would like to insert that a few nights ago a few friends and I tore up Applebees karaoke night with Bohemian Rhapsody. I understand that it's a 7 minute song, but if you jazz it up by being 14 year olds in a group with a snazzy name (Sassafrass) with equally snazzy short shorts and knee high socks, in the middle of winter, and with singing abilities. Then my dear, you have a show :)

Jelena 5 years ago

"Karaoke is Japanese for "Tone deaf?"

I understand Americans take Karaoke seriously, but the thing is that for a large part of the world it is all about joking, self-deprecating, dry humour. So when you do see someone rapping on the stage, doing it all wrong, it's a joke.

In my country people who can't sing yet try and make fun of themselves deliberately - and can laugh at themselves with the rest of the bar are the ones doing it right, that's the spirit of the Karaoke.

But I guess I'm from a different part of the world. Well, that's just my two cents.

Keep on singin'!

Manc 5 years ago

Jelena - Totally agree with you. Some of the best karaoke performances I've ever experienced were by the worst singers. No-one present will ever forget Kate Bush's Baboushka sung in falsetto by a bald, bearded, 16 stone man. Anyone who forgot their Tena Lady's that night was seriously caught out!

Kelley 5 years ago

what about if you're in a small-town dive bar, is "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks acceptable then? lol

Ren 5 years ago

Doing Karaoke this Friday and was making my list of potential choices! I'm trying to be versatile and not always sing the same songs. Here in Florida though, they do update our karaoke lists rather quickly so only the newest stuff.

Carpenters 5 years ago

How come no one sings songs by the Carpenters like "yesterday once more" and "500 miles" and "sunshine" by John Denver?

angel_eyez 5 years ago

Ok I agree with most of what you have to say except one thing. Your no county rule does not apply in areas where country is really popular such as TN,KY,WV,TX. I think you should adapt to the area your in. I mean if your in Nashville singing Britney Spears you may not get the same response as if your busting out some Reba!!! Just food for thought. Oh and another really funny one is a group of guys busting out some bye bye bye by n'sync. Hillarious every time!!!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

that guy: Love your user name. Don't be that guy!!!!

Chloe: Best karaoke story I've seen!

Sassafrass: With that much effort into your performance, you can sing whatever you darn well want! You rock.

Jelena: Not sure what country you're from, but I do agree with you about the true spirit of karaoke. My issue with people going up as a "joke" is that what I've seen here in the US, the typical "joke" karaoke tends to be not so much funny, but instead some really wasted guy getting up and screaming Taylor Swift lyrics into the mic or some huge group yelling their way through a song they hardly know. Totally different from people going up and making fun of themselves not being able to sing...hope that offers some insight into the situation. Keep on singing!

Kelley: LOL. If you wanna sing "Friends in Low Places" that badly, I say you go for it :)

angel_eyez: You have inspired me to edit my "no country" rule yet again. P.S. Love the "bye bye bye" suggestion! I'd give an extra 3 points to any group that knows any of the actual NSYNC dance moves too.

ScaredyCat 5 years ago

Holy cow! I just skimmed all these comments, and I have caught up to real-time. M-Rose, you must really love karaoke to keep responding to all these comments.

I'm looking for easy crowd-pleasers. I'm nervous just to go on-stage. People say I sing ok, but I never believe them. I just want a few songs in my repertoire that I can sing without fear. There are definitely some good ideas here.

Still, I regret that the list of good songs is so short, because I don't like hearing the same songs all the time. I think there would be many more songs available if KJs would end the songs earlier. E.g. "Walking On The Moon" worked really well for me ... until the endless "Keep it ups".

I thought I had a great idea: Muse - Uprising. They get the crowd to sing the chorus at their live shows. But they did it at the Grammys this year! I guess the cat's out of the bag now.

M-Rose: What do you think of early Beatles songs. I've heard they're very popular in Asia.

80s Waste 5 years ago

Can't believe nobody mentioned "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley.


M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

ScaredyCat: I love responding to comments on this article! I was scared the first time I karaoke'd too...just have fun and don't worry. Everybody loves the Beatles, so that's a good choice. Good luck!

80s Waste: It's seriously my bad for not putting that song in here. Such a great song!

lulu 5 years ago

wow. much to say so little space.

nutshell: I was a karaoke virgin til last

week now every time I hear a song i'm

thinking, "Hhmmm, could I sing that?"

you gave great tips for my next outing.

empty orchestra is the real meaning by the way.

Erin 5 years ago

There are so many heartbreakers by your (valid) rules! I sing nothing well except the blues, but all of the best recordings have long instrumental solos that, while marvelous in the living room, can't survive a karaoke audience. When they make a karaoke-friendly Stormy Monday, please tell me!

I must say, though ... I LOVE when people attempt Bohemian Rhapsody. Hotel California & Freebird are repetitive guitar showpieces, but Bohemian Rhapsody never fails to crack me up. I can only admire the admittedly out-songed singers for even attempting this vocal -- nay, choral -- decathlon, and for their creative reinterpretations of the word "scaramouche." :-)

Amy 5 years ago

Blue Bayou from Linda Ronstadt has got to be the scariest song I have even sung because it starts out low and then jumps up almost an octave and continues to get higher ending with a crescendo note that could send dogs running. I heard someone in CA sing this years ago and it as clear she was professionally trained. After coveting this song for years I started practicing via voice lessons. The first time I sang in Karaoke I was terrified and bombed. Feeling discouraged I practiced more to the music and the next week killed it. I'm not someone to have fun. I use it as a way to gain confidence and try new stuff. I've never be as great as that lady in CA but she was inspiring and I think in between the funny Karaoke people do enjoy a truly good singer.

Amy 5 years ago

Resending this comment (fired off too early - use this) Blue Bayou from Linda Ronstadt has got to be the scariest song I have even sung because it starts out low and then jumps up almost an octave and continues to get higher ending with a crescendo note that could send dogs running. I heard someone in CA sing this at Karaoke years ago and it as clear she was professionally trained. After coveting this song for years I started practicing Blue Bayou via voice lessons. The first time I sang BB in Karaoke I was terrified and bombed. You could see my 9 year old twins wanting to crawl under the table.

Feeling embarrassed and discouraged I practiced more to the music on low, and the next week killed it. I'm not someone to have fun with this b/c it's like a hobby and a challenge. I use it as a way to gain confidence and try new stuff.

I'll never be as great as that lady in CA but she was inspiring and I think in between the funny Karaokesongs the audience marvels over a truly good singer who is trying to do well.

Luckily my living doesn't depend on this so if you bomb people usually don't even look up :)

Mrs VC 5 years ago

Faves: NONE I HATE KARAOKE, especially when it's an American song, or in anyway associated with the United States of America. Though maybe "North American Scum" by LCD Sound System might be good.

WORSTS: ANYTHING Commercial & anything which can't have the words replaced by something much better. For example:

I also have a major aversion to Americana, such as Presley & American Folk/Country (Euggh) as well as Soft Rock like MeatLoaf, Rap (ANY whether it's "West side" or "East side" Yo Ho!) & I also dislike intensely Hanson MmmmmBop or whatever it was called... & Chris De Burgh

But, check out Clifford Richard.. He the main man! He's wired for sound, maaannn! & I'm not twistin yer mellon!

aparker 5 years ago

M Rose.... Have to say love the article. I even read over half if the comments. I must tell you that you sure handle yourself well when it sounds like someone is trying to begin an argument. Great Attitude! Can't wait to sing to night I a gonna throw in Blister in the Sun by the Violent Femmes and a country song May be Girls Lie too. Might do Pina Coladas. Fun songs..... LOVE SUMMER NIGHTS duet!!!!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Erin: I hope I didn't burst your karaoke bubble too badly! If you can sing the blues well, you get up there and sing those blues. I've seen some hilarious versions of Bohemian Rhapsody too...but I've also seen people bomb real bad attempting it. That's the only reason it's on that list--it's an amazing song though!

Amy: Karaoke is fun! Remember that. Karaoke audiences do usually appreciate people who sing well, and if you're that person, that's even better. But you don't have to be! My friends and I sing hilariously bad pop songs usually and we have a fantastic time doing it.

Mrs VC: Your comment made me laugh. Since I live in the US, I don't share your distaste of everything American...however, your comment was saved in my eyes when you mentioned your hatred of Hanson's "Mmmbop," as I'm fully convinced that is one of the worst songs of all time. Rock on!

aparker: Thanks! I think it's funny and pointless when people try to start fights on the internet, so I respond accordingly :) Good choice by the Violent Femmes! Awesome band.

Jason 5 years ago

Eminem is definitely harder than many would assume, just because he is white, but that doesn't mean that it can't be done. I was a straight laced, white collar, no talent singing individual. However, for several years one of my favorite bars happened to play Karaoke (the bartender and owners were nice, so we enjoyed drinking there). One night shortly after 8 mile came out, and a few too many Jaeger bombs I was coaxed into Kamikaze karaoke where my friends chose 3 songs. I had to sing 1 of those songs was the only rule. Eminem happened to be one of the choices, and being as I don't have the voice to carry a tune well I chose it. Turns out my rather nasal, high pitched voice was not far from Mr. Mathers and the song was a hit with the crowd. Now while I don't listen to hip hop on a regular basis, this particular event changed my mindset about karaoke and I have made several 'hip hop favs' cds that I listen to in the car to practice. I now thoroughly enjoy karaoke and I have become to 'go to' guy for either doing fun hip hop (baby got back, humpty dance, etc etc) or as a great backup singer to fill in the blanks for my friends like choruses, and voice over pieces in songs. Ultimately, I guess my point is, that not all of the rules will apply all of the time. However, you should DEFINITELY make sure you 1) are at least vaguely familiar with the song you want to sing and 2) understand your crowd.

megan  5 years ago

hello evryone im 10

cjane99 5 years ago

Never sing that song about how when you were 17 it was a very good year.

JAKL (Just Another Karaoke Lover) 5 years ago

"Black Betty" makes for a crowd-pleaser if you know the lyrics well. It's fairly an oldie, but it's also rockin', it's fast, and it's over before you know it.

To M. Rose: Fantastic topic to post! It is exactly what I was looking for right now, more ideas of what to sing my next night out... and knowing what to avoid helps, too. My wife thinks I take my karaoke singing too seriously. But, hell, it's the best--and only--way I know to enjoy karaoke. I'm an attention junkie, and I crave that near-perfect performance every time. Besides, I've seen it stated and restated above: It's more pleasant (or at least tolerable!) to listen to karaoke when the singer does a decent job, even if it is, typically, a poor choice of a song to perform to the crowd at your local bar.

On that note, I have a question for you or anyone else who'd like to respond. Since I have exhibited the ability to hit some pretty high notes--as in a few choice Journey, G'n'R, & Aerosmith songs, some of which are mentioned above--I've thought about trying to perform "Don't You Want Somebody to Love", "Heartbreaker", or "What's Up?" at a bar, just for fun. But I fear that singing one of these songs clearly meant to be sung by females at home is one thing, but singing them in public is an entirely different matter. What do you think? I trust you'll be honest with me. My thanks in advance.



Cleveland 5 years ago

I was on a cruise when a guy got up to sing and he said "We're going to do karaoke the way it's meant to be done, by people who can't sing!" Implying that people who can carry a tune shouldn't sing karaoke, because that's not the point of it. Good karaoke is entertaining karaoke. It doesn't matter if you can carry a tune or not, just have fun!!

jhjkda 5 years ago


Zehao 5 years ago

cool website

do you suggest any good songs that high school students will like, i am entering a school contest. other commenters too, please give me an idea thanks

Donna 5 years ago

Great list! I love karaoke, more than most of my friends unfortunately, so I don't get to go as much as I'd like to.

First, as an audience member, I definitely agree that slow songs bore the heck out of me, and NO country here in Delaware, unless they're more pop country that everyone knows, or something like Friends in Low Places. As far as long songs, it definitely depends on the song. Someone did November Rain by GNR once and I wanted to shoot myself...but someone else did Billy Joel Scenes from an Italian Restaurant and I was singing along the whole time. I absolutely hate when people do obscure songs that we've never heard of. It just takes the fun out of singing and dancing along.

As for me personally, I'm not much of a singer, so I've gotten great reactions from some of the "fast talking" songs, but they don't go over well unless you REALLY have them down. I did One Week by Barenaked Ladies that was awesome, and my all time favorite was It's the End of the World as We Know It by R.E.M. I have that song DOWN, so everyone was extremely impressed with my timing and accuracy. And probably the best reaction I've gotten was the last time I went when I did "Forget" You by Cee Lo Green. Now THAT was fun!

Thanks again for the list and for keeping up with the comments!

Heather 5 years ago

I don't think I saw my signature karaoke song mentioned which is "These boots are made for walking" by Nancy Sinatra. Usually a crowd pleaser and people know it. I also like singing "American Pie" the MADONNA version.. the original is too long, Madonna's is more upbeat and shorter and everyone knows the lyrics. I have to disagree about "Picture" being a good duet, that song is so slow and draggy I cringe when I hear it. Great article and I agree with most everything said.

loveKaraoke 5 years ago

I have to add more to the hate list, ANYTHING by Miley Cyrus! Lately everyone is singing Party in the USA and its unfortunate that I have heard even the worst singers sing it as well as Miley!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Jason: There are exceptions to every rule. I once saw a tiny white girl karaoke Snoop Dogg and she killed it! If you're one of the ones that can do hip hop, then you go do it!

Steffi: Thanks so much! I enjoyed reading your blog :)

Hi 10 year old Megan!

cjane99: I'm not sure which song that is. But I would definitely not sing about how 17 was a very good year LOL.

JAKL: Great acronym. Fun to say. And hey, I enjoy people who take karaoke seriously...those are usually the people that are fun to watch because they do a good job! As for your question, a lot of the songs I karaoke are sung by men, so I'd be a huge hypocrite to tell you not to sing songs sung by women. Go for it!

Cleveland: Though I do not know you, I'm going to make an assertion and say you may, perhaps, be tone deaf. That's great in karaoke circumstances. I, however, am not tone deaf, so listening to a bunch of people who can't carry a tune for hours on end would literally make my head explode. It's very painful for non tone deaf people to listen to those who sing off key...which is why I appreciate karaoke-ers who can actually carry a tune. People who can carry a tune can be entertaining too!! Just sayin. :)

Zehao: The key to a good karaoke song is picking a song that people know. I'm not sure what high schoolers are listening to these days, so I'm not going to venture a guess...but pick something you can sing and something your classmates will recognize. Good luck!

Donna: Yay another no country state! I feel like I'm getting pummeled by country lovers in these here comments. You picked some awesome songs to sing...I love all your choices! One of my most painful GNR moments was when some guy behind me picked "Paradise City" to sing (it was a bar where you don't have to get onstage) and he soon realized he didn't know the he kept putting the mic over my shoulder because I could sing it. The whole audience was so bored LOL. Thanks for your kind words! I love responding to the comments on this article.

Heather: Oooo great song! "These boots are made for walking" is a classic and always appreciated. I've never heard Madonna's "American Pie" sung, but I can imagine people would enjoy that one. Thanks for your comment!

loveKaraoke: I also can't stand Miley Cyrus, so I'm gonna have to agree with you on that one. If somebody karaoke'd Party in the USA in my karaoke bar, I'd be very displeased. Good choice!

cjane99 5 years ago

I looked up the song; it's Sinatra's "It Was A Very Good Year." The longest, slowest, most depressing song ever.

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M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

cjane99, you're awesome for looking that up. I do know that song...and you're right. No more slow sad songs!!!

Damon 5 years ago

What do you guys think about "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias? I've had a chat with my friends and they reckon it should be at the start of the night sorta thing.Also, Earth Wind and Fire - reckon that would be good? I'm sorta tossing up what my signature song should be.

And finally, my mate says his signature song is "Walking in Memphis" - I think he's on to something.

Keith 5 years ago

I can sing some Motown karaoke.........Original Motown Karaoke, That Is!

Laura 5 years ago

Another way too long song is Meatloaf -- "Paradise by Dashboard Lights". Actually had a girlfriend try to sing this one time and the only part she knew was the title. Unfortunately, she could hold a tune for even those 4 words. I was in agony by the time the last note came.

Karaoke Joe 5 years ago

The full version of "American Pie" is the ultimate party killer. It starts off fun with everyone singing along, and slowly works its way to a funeral dirge by minute 47. I've never seen a party or bar survive the entirety of "American Pie."

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M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Karaoke Joe- American Pie is definitely too long for karaoke! Nice one. Love the term "party killer" too. Thanks for stopping by!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Laura, that sounds horrible! Friends should never put friends through such agony. That's another way too long karaoke song, though it is a good song!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Damon- you may sing "Hero" but only if you put a fake mole on your face! Okay I kid. That's not a bad song, but it would be better at the start of the night. Earth Wind and Fire is good too. Think most people would enjoy that. Happy karaoke-ing!

Ally 5 years ago

sorry to break it to you but this website is not very helpful. i was trying to find a song to sing for karaoke but this website had no good info. i think you should re-design it. but that is only my opinion.

James 5 years ago

As a martini bar owner I LOVE THIS ARTICLE the eight minute songs need to go. . people might like singing them but usually the KJ, bartenders, and crowd is thinking shut the hell up already...loved the article.

Charlotte 5 years ago

thanks for this info, really helped!

See, the thing is, my friends were encouraging me to do a school karaoke contest, and i was unsure even though i love singing, because of many reasons.

One, the people joining are of a different seriousness. I take my singing rather seriously, and the people that signed up are singing justin beiber, barbie girl, and party in the USA. So...i don't really mix.

Two, i am a horribly indecisive person, i cannot pick a song to sing to save my life. And i'm not an exceptionally good singer either, so my choises are rather limited. (the reason i found this site)

Any suggestions??

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Ally: Sorry you didn't find it helpful. Perhaps you were looking for more of a simple list of songs? If so, try checking out that list of the 500 most popular karaoke songs.

James: Thanks for your kind words! I love hearing feedback from bar owners/ makes me feel less mean for telling people not to sing 8 minute long songs :)

Thank you Games! I will allow you to plug your website on here, only because you wrote a nice comment along with it. Take note, people!

Charlotte: Ooo school karaoke contest. Awesome sauce. First of all, those other people you mentioned have terrible taste. Party in the USA and Bieber?? Really?? There are 2 categories of songs that you could choose from: what's current or the classics (80s songs are part, thanks to Glee's obsession with Journey LOLZ). Pick a simple song if you're not an uber excellent singer--sing a song ALL THE WAY through a few times to make sure it's a simple song. Songs like "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" or "I Love Rock 'n Roll," for instance, are simple songs. Songs like Beyonce's and Paramore's are not so simple. Pick something that everyone will recognize. Most of all, have fun!

Tammy ... 5 years ago

I am a big Fan of county ... So this site is a FAIL it has mainly the song on which i sing, not any different songs GET REAL

J.Liu 5 years ago

Love the part on rapping if you cant rap for your life. Way too many friends do that while we go out for some KTV and then ask me to bail them out on verse 2 (rapper/producer here)

Forgot to add to NEVER attempt to karaoke T-Pain or any auto-tune singer, your voice is not a robot, you cant emulate that chormatic sound no matter how hard you try.

Cris 5 years ago

The title of this article is kind of misleading. I was expecting a list of 10 best and 10 worst songs rather than types of songs. That said, it was still a good read. I completely agree on no slow songs. I used to do them until I realized it always bums people out.

I'd like to add a tip, which I can't remember where I heard for people who don't want to sing but are being forced by their friends. Sing “Zombie” by the Cranberries and really wail it out. They won't want you to sing again.

I do disagree on a few points. If you're a good singer or performer, it doesn't matter whether the audience knows the song. There are a lot of songs I've never heard that I still enjoy because they were done well or made entertaining in some other way. (As long as it's not a slow, depressing song. That rule applies to everyone. The audience always gets bummed.)

You can sing long songs, repetitive songs, or those with big musical breaks, but you have to do something entertaining. You can't just sing the song. I would never do one, but I've seen some people do funny things. For somebody who's more of a wise guy or comedian than a singer, that sort of song might work.

I've noticed in CA, the typical (and typically boring) answer to "What music do you like?" is "Everything but country." But as someone who grew up in the midwest, reading your comments about country music, I have to wonder how whether all these CA country haters even know what country music is.

Like all genre's there are slow songs, but not all or even the majority of country songs are slow. Carrie Underwood isn't just considered by some to be country, her sound is very much country. So are many of Taylor Swift's songs. I sang 'Friends in Low Places' once expecting no one to know it or sing along because of the anti-country-ness of CA, but lots of people did. I do wonder how well "Sweet Home Alabama" would go over. If the only country songs you're hearing at karaoke are slow songs, it's probably due more to those singer's poor judgment than to country all being slow.

Since you say "Love is a Battlefield" is impossible, I plan to take that as a challenge to sing that tonight. It really doesn't seem hard, but I've been practicing Pat Benetar songs for years. Her songs seem suited to my voice with mostly high and few low notes. We'll see.

Cris 5 years ago

Forgot to mention I plan to dance like she does in the video during the musical interlude. (The only time I'm going to try that sort of thing.)

karaoke mania 5 years ago

great post makes a change from the "my favorite karaoke" songs that people tend to write about, however i dont think you can make rules at a karaoke or say a song is good or bad it depends on your audience and their age group etc.Thanks again for keeping karaoke alive.

iKaraoke 5 years ago

Awesome stuff! The article was helpful, but the comments and your continuous replies makes it all the better. I used to only sing in front of family members and close-close friends, but have moved over to more public settings ever since I got some good feedbacks. That little bit of encouragement always help boosts your confidence.

Anyways, I just wanted to list some of the songs I enjoy singing after I've had a couple to drink (need to loosen up before getting into that groove haha).

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California

Muse - Time Is Running Out

Maroon 5 - This Love

3 Doors Down - Kryptonite

A-Ha - Take On Me

Finger Eleven - Paralyzer

All-American Rejects - Dirty Little Secret / Move Along

I agree with the earlier statements concerning Disney songs - they do rock! So many people know the lyrics and will happily sing along with you.

I busted out Lion Kings's Can You Feel The Love Tonight? last weekend and it went surprisingly well for a slow song. The ladies loved it. Hah hah. I'm not ashamed to say I pick up more ladies at the karaoke bar than anywhere else. =P

Whomever posted N'sync and Backstreet Boys are geniuses. They may not be the best of songs, but they sure get the crowd going when you're singing with a group of buddies and re-enacting their dance choreography. LOL it's all in the fun! Definite crowd-pleaser!

Some other fun ones people should try:

Aerosmith - Dude (Looks Like A Lady)

Blink-182 - All The Small Things

Smash Mouth - I'm a Believer

Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl


Joyce 5 years ago

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for this list!

Perfect and so true! Definitely my go-to karaoke bible now!

Pail Pals profile image

Pail Pals 5 years ago

This is such an AWESOME article. It is very informative and one get sthe sense that she is getting really good advice from a friend. Thank you! As one writer to another I really appreciate that.

I am primarily a writer, poet, songwriter--even published author. Still, I must confess...I LOVE Karaoke. I have for many years.

It is nice to see the rest of the US catching up. It is a great way to cast away those nagging thoughts, bills, break-ups, unruly kids, annoying bosses--you get the point.

Many of the people who Karaoke are not at the mic because they belong on the radio or stage. So what?! They are just there to entertain themselves and the crowd too if everyone is lucky.

I try to root, cheer and clap for everyone...and if someone is having a particularly bad time and I've had a particular good beer, I'll even go on up and help them out IF they're open to that. (I used to work as a Karaoke-Girl back in New England and I often had to help folks at the mic...some drunk, some tone deaf, some stupid...whatever. LOL)

Recently, I saw a short ad on TV about Karaoke Battle USA... I was like, "WOW! Now how can I possibly resist?" So, this week I'm gonna pull on my big girl panties and sing in a completely different venue than my neighborhood watering hole "where everybody knows my name..."

"..and they're always glad ya came..."

(Sorry, I had to do it!)

Here is a link to Karaoke battle USA on FaceBook:!/karaokebattleusa

I have picked two songs. One by Janis Joplin and the other by Martha Davis. I guess I am showing my age there. I have tried to do Adele's "Rolling in the Deep"--people said it was "good" but I was straining over that tune. She has AMAZING range! I don't. (My best advice with Karaoke is if you are going to enter a contest; know your limitations! Sing stuff you can NAIL!)

I'm NOT a singer.

I am a performer...get the dif?

Wish me luck?


Here's me singing the Blues

PS: Keep the great content flowing. As this contest and the show on ABC builds up, you will get massive hits.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Tammy: I am being real, guuurllll! My bad for having my own opinion. Maybe you should have looked for the best country karaoke songs instead, since you wanted an article that was only about country music?

J.Liu: I love your comment! If a rapper says don't karaoke rap unless you can rap, then it must be true :) Good point too about the autotune...don't karaoke autotune songs! Thanks for your comment!

Cris: I do want to thank you for writing your disagreeing opinion in a calm internet manner. Much appreciated. You are right to point out that good performers can sing almost anything...I've mentioned that as accurate in the comments a few times. I didn't add it to the article because I didn't write this article for amazing performers who can sing anything (they don't need help on choosing karaoke songs--they already know what they want to sing).

And man am I sick of defending the fact that I don't like country music. Why is it so offensive to people that I don't like it? Listen bud, I have friends in CA that like country music. Sometimes they make me listen to it. I don't like the way most of it sounds. I also don't like techno music, but you don't see people on here flipping out about how I didn't include techno music in this article... you don't need to defend country music. If you like it, that's great. I'd never go to the Midwest and insinuate that you only listen to country please don't insinuate that the only reason I don't like country is because I live in California. HOKAY? Kthxbye.

karaoke mania: Thanks for your comment. Keep on rockin karaoke in the free world!

iKaraoke: Love your song suggestions. Those are all fun, and I love that you mentioned All American Rejects!

Songfreak 5 years ago

I agree with almost everything you said, except country is the most sung karaoke songs by far, and are awesome. Never ever sing anything Neil Diamond, Journey, Frank Sinatra, Bob Seiger, or Madonna! Oh and so you know Karaoke means empty Orchestra or in today's terms, no band, not tone deaf. I would agree many of our most heard karaoke aficionados are indeed TONE DEAF! LOL

anonymous 5 years ago

Well, it's not surprising that country songs don't fly in the republic of california. But in my experience country is usually a pretty good hit. Me and my boys sing everything from Family Tradition to I Want It That Way. And though we aren't the best singers, we are always drunk, and most everyone else in the bar is as well. It's the only way to do karaoke either as a spectator or a participant; so your * for "* This song is best sung when everybody's had a few drinks in them." shouldn't be relevant unless you're with a bunch of under's at an under club.

I was just googling for a new random song for us to sing tonight and came across this blog and it set me off a bit. Yes there are things you should and shouldn't do with karaoke. But the ultimate thing is just have fun and support whoever else is doing it, buy drinks back and forth, meet new people, and embarrass yourself in front of lots of strangers/possible new friends.

chanel 5 years ago

OK u aren't being racist but some white girls can rap.I can only rap to one song but I preferr female hitlist.a lot of people do now

Seriously 5 years ago

I have found- karaoke-ing all over the country- that country is the MOST popular choice and most encouraged by good DJs. That being said, I like to throw Love Potion #9 into the mix and Teenager in Love, because the irony of a white chick who looks like she is 16 singing those songs is amusing. I used to hit NJ a lot and it turns out, they've been under the impression that "country is bad" too. Send one person in to sing a country song and suddenly EVERY singer in the bar is belting out their favorite twang thang. The no country thing is like saying black people can't drink from a water fountain- a bunch of idiot people kept saying it and sadly people started believing it. Poisoning the masses because you prefer not to hear the nations most popular tunage is slightly unfair. I think the key to karaoke night success is variety. Friends in Low Places followed by Santeria and Amish Paradise is a guaranteed good time- unless you have small minded folks touting how their way is the right way. No sieg heil for my karaoke, thanks.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Songfreak: No Madonna?? Harsh. I love me some good ole 80s Madonna songs...from what I've seen, they're fun and go over well with the crowds. Maybe it's different where you are. Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous: LOL. I'm not even gonna comment on anything you wrote. This is all you get, anonymous!

chanel: Hey, if you're a white girl who can rap, you do your thing! I actually saw a white girl once do a Snoop song and it was awesome. Congrats to you for being part of the minority! :)

Seriously: I'm not commenting on the country thing anymore. I've given my 2 cents 100 times, so go read what I've already written. I wrote this article based on what works where I live. I've probably never been where YOU live, let alone to karaoke bars where you live. It's just different opinions. With that said, Love Potion #9 is a good one! Santeria can't go wrong with Sublime.

chantelle 5 years ago

I am a karaoke mc- whatever you call it and the songs i HATE is anything MEATLOAF my god i want to slit my wrists every time someone asks for "bat out of hell" "i will do anything for love" "paradise by the dashboard light" "two out of three aint bad" OMG NO! also drunk teenies screaming along to "girls just wanna have fun" OH and the drunk guys who think they are soooo funny singing "barbie girl" - ughh no your not funny get off the stage and sober up. mustang sally is over played and the attention seeking girls who get up and sing " i touch myself" and " I kissed a girl" make me wanna puke as soon as they start rocking their hips and touching them selves in a sexual mannyer YUCK not cool its trashy and desperate. lol well thats my piece

Kelby 5 years ago

Rose, you have had to endure a lot because you had the guts to voice YOUR opinion, lol... well done for keeping it taseful even though others don't seem to have the same level of respect.

I have just recently started going out to sing at my local karaoke bar, and I've been having so much fun!

Though this page wasn't what I expected in terms of a list of good and bad songs, I have most certainly learned a lot from reading all the posts. I will keep it all in mind when I go sing again.

Sounds like you and your friends have a gas singing and you sound like you're great entertainers too!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

chantelle: Your comment made me seriously LOL. I love your determination at pointing out all those stereotypes! Honestly, I've seen almost every one of those that you mentioned, so I know you're speaking the truth. Preach it!

Kelby: THANK YOU! It's people like you who keep me coming back to comment. I like reading people's opinions, especially those who are respectful in voicing them. That's awesome that you're getting into's SO much fun! Have a wonderful time and thank you so much for your comment :)

Josh 5 years ago

i like this list..altho, perhaps im blind..i saw no mention of Aerosmith here..the only 2 songs i sing are Livin on a Prayer and Dream On (my personal fav because i can hit the screamed part). are these songs over done and do ppl even like them? lol

John 5 years ago

I'm going to a karaoke this weekend.

My first. I think I'll sing RHCP - Californication?

What do you think? Good or bad?

Jenn 5 years ago

I go to karaoke usually twice a week every week and I could not agree with you more on this entire list. However, I REALLY couldn't agree with you more on Creed. At my Thursday place, there is a guy who sings Creed for every single song- and is there every week! He's not actually bad, he even sounds like the guy from Creed- but just because you sound like the dude from Creed does not mean you have to sing their entire discography.

I usually like to rock some Adele and Fleetwood Mac myself.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Josh: OOOF, negative points to me for not mentioning Aerosmith. I don't have any of their albums, so I always forget about them. But yes! Aerosmith is awesome karaoke music. I like both those songs mucho. Though some people probably would say Living on a Prayer is overdone, crowds still seem to enjoy it at the karaoke bars I go to. Everyone always sings along (that's a good sign). So go forth and sing both those songs!

John: RHCP = yes please. Good good good!

Jenn: I'm bowing down to you right now for your commentary on Creed. I really hate that band so much. Love both your karaoke choices!! You have excellent taste :) Thanks for your comment!

Suzi Oravec 5 years ago

Hey! :) Thanks for all the suggestions. Am learning "Torn" right now for my show next week! xoxo ~Suzi O

Andy 5 years ago

Kara-oke actually means Open Mic like Kara-te means Open Hand.

Jade 5 years ago

A huge no no i have seen so many guys do kinda goes into the 'rap' section of DONTS.

Boys are back in town.

You may know the chorus, and it may be fun to belt as your walking down the road between pubs, but after you've had a few trying to sling the verses together and get the words in the right order ALWAYS FAILS.

Save all our eardrums and dont do it, please :)

Anthony 5 years ago

disregard the mispells i was typing way too fast.

Elvis 5 years ago

Love Creed. Honestly had no idea they had haters.

Great article, thanks for the insight/advice!

Roger 5 years ago

Great choices

I'll have added some old school japanese music, like there

Dj Sovereign 5 years ago

Haha great post! I've been running karaoke shows in Canada for about 6 years now and must say you're pretty spot on ;) Though I should mention... Journey has been killed more times that Sweet Caroline and I would hear some Neil long before I have to hear a bunch of university students butcher Don't stop believing again! For all of you out there that go do karaoke frequently, please heed this advice: If you want the crowd on your side, NO SLOW SONGS!!!!!!!! Even total eclipse of the heart only gets a mere chuckle these days, and only if you do the "Old school" rendition with multiple swear words.

And Anthony... relax :P this post is purely opinion, if you don't agree, move on to the next. Don't be a troll.

Some fun songs i'd like to add:

Groove is in the heart - Dee light

Runaround Sue - Dion & Belmonts

(Ashamed for saying this) Upbeat Backstreet boys

(Good duet) Rasputin - Boney M

Rock DJ - Robbie Williams

ezrablum 5 years ago

I wish everyone would heed to some of these guidelines. The worst part about karaoke is listening to other people's shitty song selection and crappy rendition of good ones.

Lindsey 5 years ago

I want to point out that while Love Shack is on your list, people NEED TO KNOW THE SONG before getting up there. It's more than just the chorus! I go to several places for karaoke and at least once a week some drunken couple gets up and mumbles thru the verses, then blast out the chorus. Very boring for the rest of us, because we don't know how the verses go either! Same problem with Barbie Girl. People think it's funny to sign their friends up to sing it, but no one knows it beyond the chorus. Bottom line, no matter WHAT song you sing, KNOW HOW THE VERSES GO! I have no problem admitting that I regularly practice and I never sing a song I haven't (at the very least) run through several times in the car.

Oh, and my standby favorites have already been listed here, Don't Stop Believin and Before He Cheats, depending on the crowd.

Dineen 5 years ago

I sing a variety of stuff from "Bring me to Life" by Evanescence to "18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses" by Kathy Mattea to "Smooth Operator" by Sade. You just have to gauge the crowd and pick songs to fit.

My husband is 52 and does "Lose Your self" By Eminem. The crowd loves it a 50 something white man in glasses Rapping. It is awesome. People are always trying to buy him drinks after.

Bob Fritz 5 years ago

Sorry, but I disagree with most of this. Just for starters, one of the worst karaoke moments of my life involved a dozen drunks from an office party rushing the stage and SCREAMING "Livin' on a Prayer."

Although I do agree that Creed makes me want to stab my eyes out.

Violet 5 years ago

This is awesome. I disagree with some, but hey, the world would SUCK without opinions!!!!!! This is awesome. I think I might get a kareoke machine. It seems amazing to have one and crank it up with friends! haha. Thanks again!


desolation0 5 years ago from SW Pennsylvania

As a cunning linguist, I have to agree with Andy from 4 weeks ago. The Japanese language often puts together two simpler words to stand for something more complex, often slightly changing the meaning of the simpler words. So while the literal translation of the separate bits would be "No Orchestra" the translation of the meaning of the word karaoke would be "Open Mic" or "Open Band". Of course, as a cunning linguist I'd be remiss if I didn't recognize that "Tone Deaf" is an equally valid meaning for the word, though that meaning is of less traditional origin (many Japanese wouldn't hesitate to agree with this definition).


Okay, now that that's settled on to arbitrating the real mess that is the country debate. M. Rose, while you do have the disclaimer afterwards, you do still have don't #3 "Anything country - Period. Don't do it. Nobody cares." It aggravates folks who love country to the point they don't even read the disclaimer, much less how you've repeatedly said you enjoy SEVERAL country songs throughout the comments. More importantly, they miss out on the really good advice overall for picking good, crowd pleasing karaoke songs.

With your permission, may I recommend something more PC along the lines of "3> Don't go against the tastes of the crowd, if you can help it. In my area of California this means almost no country songs, with notable exceptions that have been major popular hits. It's hard for the crowd to enjoy the nostalgia of an old country hit with you if they've never heard it in their (sorely lacking diversity musically) lives. Of course, if you're a great singer, or can make it entertaining for the crowd, or it's absolutely a must for you BY ALL MEANS SING IT! The goal of Karaoke is to have fun after all." Most of which you've already pretty well said in your comments over-and-over-and-over again.

Oh, fun country duet, Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man, from Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty.


Another bit as far as the taste of the crowd, explicit language. F$%# Authority by Pennywise is an awesome karaoke yelly angry anthem in front of a crowd of rowdy college kids. Meanwhile, I totally dropped jaws singing Closer, the mega hit from Nine Inch Nails, without going with the radio edit at a local bar.

Same advice really goes for the sexy stuff, as you've hinted at. I really got an older crowd into singing My Ding-a-Ling, another Chuck Berry classic. The younger scene had absolutely no qualms about Bad Touch.


Maybe Steal My Sunshine got overplayed in sunny Cali, but it's still enjoyable over here in second most overcast in the US southwest PA. The guy sitting on an orange scooter trying to pull off a sideways turned Yanks cap and wife beater I'll have to forget ever happened to continue to enjoy it though. Either I'm good with the selective amnesia, or this is the first time I've watched the vid for it. : p


I was really surprised that Cake's music didn't make any of the positions in that 500 list ( With the deadpan delivery of The Distance, I would have thought it perfect for the tone deaf crowd. Or maybe Short Skirt, Long Jacket. Guess it's just the under-representation of Alt music overall. Most Alt listeners like me do sooo much more of their Karaoke around the game console with either Rock Band or Guitar Hero, which I guess doesn't get polled. Unfortunately you eventually get pigenholed into singing the same songs over and over, only the ones that have been licensed for the games. (though between the two, it's probably over a thousand songs)

That's probably also why Punk got short shrift. Not even The Clash or The Ramones cracked the list!


As far as foreign language songs, they really have to have been hits here, and you have to be able to sing them well. A rockin La Bamba can get most anyone swinging. Course if you don't know the German for 99 Luftballons there's always the English version Nena did, that was near as popular as the original. If you can do it well, getting the words totally wrong but the feel right works, Rammstein is good with a non-jaded on them alt-metal crowd.


As far as crossing the gender barrier, between the artist and yourself, it's actually pretty common overall. Sometimes it's used for humor, but played straight it's as common as singing a song in a different key from the artist. It's important to try out the song first in either case though, as some just don't sound right outside of the artist's key.

There's also often a choice between trying to do an imitation of the singer, as far as pronunciation and vocal flare, and essentially doing a cover in your own voice. The choice is up to your ability and comfort with either option.


As for Tequila, I find it's most fun when everyone does a shot of Tequila every time the song says it. :D


I'm not sure why I wrote so much. Certainly didn't intend to write half an article myself. Hopefully contributed to the conversation a bit though. Have fun sounding like the tomcat on the fence singing in the night everyone!

-- Drew

JODIEJACKSON 5 years ago

Ice Ice Baby can't be a bad choice, won the karaoke bar tab a few weeks doing this, and FYI I am a whiteNnerdy girl! :D

Caroline 5 years ago

Thanks for the tips, song choice is always hard - but I find the best thing about karaoke is choosing an inappropriate song for you, your voice and the venue, because it's all about making a fool of yourself. Maybe that's just me, and why I don't have any friends.

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

Awesome Hub!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Yikes. 19 comments to catch up on...OK here we go!

Suzi Oravec: You rock! "Torn" is a fun karaoke song.

Andy: I think I should write another hub just for people to argue about what karaoke means in Japanese. Anyone else think this is a good idea? LOLZ

Jade: "Boys are Back in Town" sounds like a bad one. Never seen it done, but I can understand why it would be annoying. You gotta beware of those songs in which you only know the chorus. My friends and I tried to do "Hungry Eyes" once...and when we got onstage, we realized WE HAD NO IDEA HOW THE SONG WENT EXCEPT FOR THE CHORUS. Extremely embarrassing. Don't recommend it!

Anthony: Go read what DJ Sovereign wrote. Thanks for looking out buddy!

Elvis: Creed does have haters. Maybe not so many anymore since they're not all over the place. But it does happen. Thanks for being nice and not telling me I suck cause I hate Creed! Appreciate you taking the time to comment.

will: I know you are, but what am I?

Thanks for the tip Roger! I don't know anything about Japanese music, so thanks for sharing.

DJ Sovereign: You win comment of the month for your use of the words "troll" and "NO SLOW SONGS!" And man, I KNOW Journey is just as overplayed as Sweet Caroline. But I effin love Journey and I still enjoy hearing Don't Stop Believing. In fact, I find it a fun game to try and drown out the off-key singers by singing the song LOUDER than them, even though I'm in the audience hahaha. I would do a better job, I just never get there first. Anyhowzers, you rock!!

Mike: You get down with your 43-year-old karaoke self!

ezrablum: I kno, rite!!

Lindsey: PREACH. I have seen a few horrific versions of Love Shack. Luckily, most people do it fairly well because it's not a hard song to sing.

Dineen: You rock for singing Sade. Smooth Operator is a damn good song. I would also probably buy your 52 year old husband a drink after hearing him sing "Lose Yourself." That's AWESOME. You're welcome to karaoke with me anytime!

Bob Fritz: See, there's your problem. No more than TWO PEOPLE should ever sing "Livin on a Prayer" at the same time. You should enforce this rule next time you see it being broken.

Violet: You're awesome. Opinions are what make the world interesting! Get a karaoke machine. They're SO much fun!!

desolation0: Woah long comment. Also, if you're expecting political correctness, please stop reading anything I write. I don't spend my life worrying about being PC, and I won't apologize for that. I stand by what I originally wrote because it's my opinion and is true where I live in California, which is my basis for this entire article. If it bothers you, don't read it. Also, since when does not listening to country music mean people are sorely lacking in musical diversity? Don't insult me, then expect me to agree with you. How am I supposed to respect your opinion if you crap all over mine? That's called hypocrisy, buddy. Moving on.

JodieJackson: Ice Ice Baby is always a hilarious choice for karaoke. That would go in the category of nostalgic songs that are fun because people used to like them long ago!

Caroline: LOL. Hey, if you're going up there with the soul purpose of making a fool of yourself and you do it well, I can't knock that. My friend and I once sang "I'll Make Love to You." We did it just to make people feel awkward, and it worked. I'll be your karaoke friend!

Thanks Alecia Murphy!

Anthony 5 years ago

ya know,now that ive had a few days to go back and read what i posted,and see what others have thought,i think i might have been a tad too much on the @sshole side.and for being so,i can apologize,however,i do still stand by my first comment.its just sometimes us country fans get bashed so hard for the stuff we like,i feel i need to speak my wrong in that,however,i should have taken a dif. approach and not gotten so p*ssed off.i get now, the general idea of what you are wanting ppl to get out of your post.putting personal musical selections aside,and using basically the same rule of what you are trying to say to ppl,i understand your pov and agree with it.sometimes one has to admit they were an @ss to realize they might have jumped the gun-so to speak lol.

desolation0 5 years ago from SW Pennsylvania

Oh for fudge sake, just did to me what all the country fans were doing to you :p. And ya, guess I did come off as a bit of a politician there. I've taken a few too many courses on public policy XD. This article is like karaoke, do what makes you happy. I made my suggestion more as a way to defuse something that I thought was making you less happy with going through all these comments, namely having to deal with country fans getting all snippy here. Personally I'm a punk rocker in a haven of country. lnnl (someone should really come up with a better txting version of the classic hard rock hand signal)

Oh, and what's your take on cursing?

Peter 5 years ago

Try some Dire Straits

megan 5 years ago

heeeyyyyy i dont know what to say LOL

FFAAIILL!!!! ::((

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Anthony: Thumbs up to you...I think you're the first person on here who's apologized for their comment (and there have been much ruder ones on here). Not that you have to apologize because you were just expressing yourself, but I do appreciate it. I find it harder to respond to people's comments that are written out of anger. And I've stopped responding mostly to the comments about country music because most of the comments are written out of anger. There's nothing more I can really say at that point if people are pissed off. Contrary to popular belief, I'm not personally signaling out country fans all around the world and saying DON'T SING COUNTRY MUSIC, IT SUXXXX AND U SUCK 4 LISTENING 2 IT!! I'm just saying where I live (California), country songs don't go over well during karaoke. That's all. I'm not saying anything more, which is why I added the edit about where I live. I'm not saying it's true in any other place. All the angry comments about country music are coming from people who don't live where I live, which proves my initial point :p

desolation0: Oh nuh uh, you started it! Just kidding. I don't want to fight with you, and I'm glad you responded again. I understand now your reasoning for writing what you did, so I'll chose to no longer be offended by it. My writing always comes from an honest place, and I refuse to change something I wrote just to appease people. That's just how I roll. So frankly, it doesn't bother me that country fans are upset. I'm only writing down my opinion and I don't see anything wrong with that. I'm one person who wrote an article on the internet, not the all mighty authority on karaoke. Like you said, do what makes you happy. Anyway, I appreciate you taking the time to explain yourself. Hey, maybe you should write an article about karaoke too. Also, I learned to write the hard rock hand signal like this: \m/ LOL. Also: I fucking love cursing. Also, you completely redeemed yourself by using the words "punk rocker," for I consider myself one as well.

EmmaZyden 5 years ago

Shorter versions of Hot Patootie is HILARIOUS to sing with friends xD

bingaling 5 years ago

I am planning to do some Clash and Sex Pistols at a Halloween party. That said, in costume and not taking it all that seriously! Comments??

welshvocalist` 5 years ago

Karaoke is fun!!!! I started off singing around karaoke bars in the UK and got talent spotted!!! And what soings was I singing? West End Show Songs and Ballads!!! After spending three yeaqrs as a accomplished semi professional singer who has been on a European Theatre Tour I still get asked to sing those songs when I viwsit my old haunts!! People are out to have fun and it should be their choice wat song they sing as long as its not Paradizse by the Dashboard Light

vashort1 5 years ago

I live in a part of the country where the Country music is 90% of what you hear at the bar. So generally that is what I do.

If you would venture. Gunpowder & Lead by Miranda Lambert is an awesome Karaoke tune. I get props on it everytime I do it.

Nasty by Janet Jackson is always a crowd pleaser, especially after everyone has had a few.

It's The End of the World As We Know It by REM is my signature apparently, (my KJ makes me do it all the time) You get mad respect for pulling it off, but make sure you know all the words without having to look at the screen....trying to read it WILL screw you up more than help.

This thread has been helpful in coming up with new stuff. Thanks!

BrookeBacon 4 years ago

Do you think Fix You by Coldplay would work? What about these:

1.)Boyfriend Jessica Simpson

2.)Love Shack B52

3.)Paradise Coldplay

Crap Singer 4 years ago

As you can see by my name I can't sing so this is really helpful. Thanks but can you update this and put some more recent songs.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

EmmaZyden: Hilarious song choice! Love it.

bingaling: The Clash and Sex Pistols? You're my hero. Hope you had a blast!

welshvocalist: See, everyone has their limits. That's why I wrote this article! You've said people can sing whatever they want, UNLESS it's Paradise by the Dashboard Light. It's ok to admit that you prefer hearing some songs over others. You're allowed to have opinions! Also, your story is awesome.

vashort1: You can sing "It's the End of the World" by REM. You get infinity cool points. Also, thanks for sharing your country song choice for those country lovin folks.

BrookeBacon: "Fix You" by Coldplay is a great song but very slow. I would veto it just for that reason, unless you're in one of those places where the crowd wants mellow. Haven't heard the other Coldplay song. Love Shack is always fun but make sure you actually know it. Anything by Jessica Simpson sounds hilarious and fun.

good country music: Hey, thanks!

Crap Singer: Hmm interesting. You're the first person to ask me for more recent songs. I shall consider it!

Alyma13 4 years ago

I saw a couple of different comments concerning musicals so I thought I'd throw in my two cents on that. I mostly listen to musicals, so karaoke can be hard for me because I am well aware that no one wants to listen to Adelaide's Lament besides me. But I've found that if you pick the right song it doesn't matter that the audience doesn't know the song as long as you can bust it out. Especially songs like Take Me or Leave Me from Rent and All That Jazz from Chicago - they're fun, sexual, and energetic, and if you really perform the song it'll always be a crowd pleaser.

Also, I've never seen Bohemian Rhapsody be anything but a hit, at the beginning of the night or the end :)

Melody 4 years ago

Personally, I LOVE singing ACDC's "Highway to Hell". I think the *DO NOT ATTEMPT IF TONE DEAF* warning label should go on this song, but if you can hold a tune and know the lyrics, it's super fun. (I'm in NC by the way...not sure how many classic rock fans there are in other states. I wonder if it's similar to the country thing.)

Charlos 4 years ago

Well, I am in TX, the country warning does not apply in certain crowds. Yet I will add, read the crowd. The crowd can be different in different places, see what they react to. I sing first at times, I know a KJ personally and he will get me up there to start if no one else is. But I will see what people are having fun to or dancing to. These are good general rules, and if I hear another girl do "Bobby McGee" one more time I think I will kill myself.

Tyler 4 years ago

Well even up here in Connecticut, country is the dominant force in most bars on karaoke night, so i definitely have to disagree with you there

Matthew 4 years ago

I'm back. I recently went on cruise and got stuck into some Karaoke. I tried a new song that hasn't been suggested yet and it was really well received.

Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up". It's such an 80s flavoured song.

I also recommend always doing up tempo songs. If you're going to do Elvis do Jail House Rock or Blue Suede shoes. Don't do Love Me Tender.

Sorry but don't do any slow depressing songs about war.

I can't believe I saw a guy put everyone in the bar through "The Band Played Waltz Sing Waltzing Matilda".

One of the most maulin songs ever...

Bradley 4 years ago

i'm sorry but i have to disagree with a few things in this article-

A lot of Karaoke has to do with your attitude and the way you perform. I ran Karaoke at a teen hang out place and it didn't matter what you sang, as long as you were into it, people would cheer loudly.

Also, I go to the bar often and not many people there could ever tell you a single song by My Chemical Romance but I sang "Welcome to the Black Parade" and it went beyond well, i got the loudest cheer that bar has ever seen.

I will agree with you on slow songs. That's always awkward.

BUT i will not agree with the sexual songs comment. I once sang "f*** her gently" by Tenacious D and that went well!

Like I said, sometimes i doesn't matter what you sing or if people will know it. If you put on a show,

whoever 4 years ago

no country in certain places would mean no one would sing. no old songs would also mean no one would sing somewhere else or even same spot, no songs you don't like means there would not be any karaoke anywhere your at. think about that, who are you to say someone shouldn't sing this or that? not that i don't agree but people go out to have fun if they want to sing what they want to sing then who is anyone to say they can't? you know there paying same amount for a beer or drink that you are right? :) just saying maybe its your problem not theres it is karaoke so live with it or don't go really

whoever 4 years ago

oh and from your pic your what 19 or so, so you would really know what others like i guess:)

Jana 4 years ago

I would first like to say, I am a pretty big country fan...but I don't see where everyone is getting offended by this. Yes where I go people sing country once in a while (and yes I sing along) but theres prob. only about 3 or 4 other people singing also. (unless its a song the is always on the radio that alot of people know) All shes saying is if you want to get the crowd into it maybe country is not the best way to go. (depending on where you are from)

I think another crowd pleaser is Alanis Morissettes One Hand in My Pocket. (If theres alot of chicks there haha)

another one of those "you have to pick where and when you sing it songs."

sarah 4 years ago

u guys r so old school....i do like classics.....but where r the fun..modern songs?

jinglesmar 4 years ago

Midwest bars love when we sing Bad Touch (I'm female, so even better!!).

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Alyma13: Those are great choices for musical songs. Thanks for the suggestions! Also, a lot of people seem to see Bohemian Rhapsody as a hit karaoke song...maybe I need to remove it from the "don't" list?

Melody: Love ACDC. Here in California classic rock seems to go over well at karaoke.

Charlos and Tyler: These are nice comments. I like seeing what karaoke is like in other states, so thank you for informing us without being rude!

Matthew: HAHAHA you Rick Rolled a karaoke audience! That's a hilarious suggestion, I may have to add that to my list. Agree with your whole comment...don't sing slow depressing songs about war!!

Bradley: It's nice that you found a place where everyone always cheers! That's hard to find as far as karaoke places go, from my experience. Definitely agree that a good performance is always good, no matter what song you sing. If you know how to play to the audience, they don't care what you sing!

whoever: Dear, it's just my opinion. People are always allowed to sing whatever they want. I'm not the karaoke police. Oh and I don't know why my age matters...but I'm 27, not 19. Thanks for the compliment!

Jana: THANK YOU! I don't know why it offends people either. Love your suggestion of Alanis! All her songs are great. (Except for maybe Thank You...that one's kinda weird)

Sarah: You're now the 2nd person to ask for modern songs. I may add some if more people say they want them. Thanks!

jinglesmar: LOL. Bad Touch just makes me feel awkward, so I'm bowing down to you if you can rock that song and have people enjoy it.

Katie 4 years ago

Killing me softly is THE most overdone song at my local bar.

MaraCD 4 years ago

I have just a couple things to say:

A.) Being a 22 year old, unexperienced brand new karaoke host,i really enjoyed your article and I look at it often as a refresher.

B.) Wow, you're committed in responding to ALL the comments that your article has received! BRAVO!

C.) Ignore the "haters"! Seriously people, this was just a friendly post with some easy guidelines to help people that wanted it. Of COURSE karaoke is about the fun! People like myself that have to listen to the same songs every friday and saturday night can use it to provide a different suggestion to my regulars. The people that love karaoke but want to broaden their song choice without getting beer thrown on them, can look to this for inspiration.

Leave the poor author alone!

stephentheking 4 years ago


MissWatever 4 years ago

CREED IS NOT SHIT!!!! YOUR JUST OLD. The audience wouldn't be groaning about the song choice! they would be groaning at your voices.

stephentheking 4 years ago

Kid, you had better hope that the "old guys" are around for a while, because you poor Twenty Somethings literally do not have a clue. We are the only thing preventing Karaoke from being sheer and utter Rot, a total Debacle! THE EIGHTIES!? That was the very worst Decade of music Ever, thank god Kurt Cobain came along. then he died and music started to suck again, and largely sucks to this day. I shudder, we are not leaving the FUTURE FATE of Rock 'n Roll in very capable hands, you guys are ADRIFT!!! SWEET CAROLINE, for God's sakes!? FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES!? You young people are Mad, absolutlely Mad! You were all born in the Eighties, I blame that! Now look. You better get on the stick. Stop singing Garbage like Journey and expand your musical Horizons. Karaoke is NOTHING without Intellect, you start making intelligent music choices. This new century is a musical waste land, HEY YA, Bad Religion, and what else!? What else!? Unless people start singing Smart Songs, not this, this Tripe, do you think Karaoke is going to amount to anything at all!? NO! 100 Miles, bah! That's been sung to death!

Juststopsinging 4 years ago

I'm sorry, but you "think" you can sing karaoke. Let's be honest here, if you could really sing you would not be in some little smoke filled shit hole singing karaoke in the first place! We would be listening to you on the radio!

stephentheking 4 years ago

No one can sing on the Radio unless they have Rich Boy connections, especially these days. The whole music industry is practically destroyed by piracy, bands can only survive by constantly touring, it's a shambles, it's practically dead. There are millions upon millions of good singers who will never have a paying music career because they are just not well connected. There are a couple of hundred people only, out of 300 million, who can make a decent living out of singing. It's a fairly common skill. A karaoke host may look upon his job as a mere way to make money, but this is the new Vaudeville for all of America, this really is an Art Form, or could be. The singers on American Idol are phony and plastic, they are manufactured personalities who sing Pop Tripe for a buck. They are just there to sell detergent. But we the singers can make karaoke into something Really Good, if we use a little Intellect and Thought. It doesn't have to be a Drunken Brawl, it could be the Pop/Rock opera house! You'd rather see karaoke than watch the tube, right? It could be exciting! You don't make money at it, you spend money, which is why most sniff at it. But some day, some day! it always helps to sing unexected songs, and songs that make you think. The audience is bored, they want something different, they want to actually be entertained. So entertain them! Dare to be a Great karaoke singer! :)

ScottishStu 4 years ago

Great post and many congrats on the diligent follow ups! I find Love Shack goes down a storm and fully respect your country views and the right to not have to defend them ffs. Best response I've ever had was singing "A boy named Sue" at an office do too by a boy named Stu. Went down a treat. My brother has won a few karaoke's with the Sex Pistols' version of My Way but it has also seen him handing the mic back PDQ! Thanks for this - a top chortle filled read.

henry 4 years ago

I would absolutly love this post if you didnt hate on country so much. other than that good advice!

Ty 4 years ago

Im a 12 year old girl, so I probably shouldn't have watched some of the vids, but SERIOUSLY? The dude like, humped the floor while he sang! O.O probably what my face looked like

And the Asian guy... Not to be racist, but wow. 'come on and give me water dessert'?

stephentheking 4 years ago

There's nothing wrong with any genre, Country is Huge out in the sticks, it even has a following in the city. Lots of people like to sing it. I have to admit I'm not too fond of Country Pop, but I'm not fond of Pop in general. Johnny Cash is always a crowd pleaser,, even in L.A. As for Rap, it is hugely popular amongst the younger set. Nobody likes the same music, some will always like what others dislike. Not every body likes the Rock I sing. But you know, it's best to know how to sing the widest possible range of styles, so you can be ready to sing for any audience. Sing what you enjoy, but it's nice to sing what they enjoy too.

stephentheking 4 years ago

I'm telling you, someday Karaoke, yes, our humble little Karaoke, will become something so beautiful and magnificent that the whole world will fall silent in wonder to hear it! I went to Sonny McLean's tonight in Santa Monica and it was just great. Everyone sang with passion and conviction, everyone sang the songs that they Loved (very important), everyone sang the Truth as they knew it. That's the ticket! A few of the songs were not my cup of tea, but so what? We all must respect each others' diversity of musical taste, it takes all different kinds of songs to make a good Karaoke show. Very Smart selections everyone, congratulations. Continue singing your damn hearts out, sing with conviction and passion. It is really on the right path now, I'm seeing Woodstock again! Don't mind me if I get cranky, I'm just tired. Sing whatever you want, but Believe in it. Even often-sung songs can have a new twist put on them by any singer. Happy karaoke-ing, everyone, during this New Year of 2012, which IS going to be a good year for us, in this and all things. I am very proud of you excellent singers, may God bless you all. Respect each others' music, everyone, we can all learn from new and different things we hear. I resolve to learn from Everything now, I don't want to Haughtily Decree like the Pope, I want to learn! :)

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Katie: I think "Killing Me Softly" is an annoying song, so I feel your pain!

MaraCD: Thank you!! You're very sweet. I'm glad some people realize this post is just meant as friendly suggestions. And I'm extra glad that my article could help you as a new karaoke host! That's a huge compliment.

stephentheking: Man, I really don't know what to say to you, since you've commented so many times. I don't quite understand your disdain for "youngsters," as you call us. You sound like one of those dudes who goes on and on about how much better music was when you were a kid...yet you keep mentioning Bad Religion, who essentially started making music in the 1980s (yeah that's right, I'm 27 and I listen to Bad Religion). And you say the 80s were the worst time in music. I'm not quite sure what your point is there, except that you seem intent on not expanding your horizons. There's lots of great music that's been created in the past few decades. Some of it is mainstream, some of it isn't. But it's out there. Anyway, it seems like you have a lot of opinions about karaoke...maybe you should write your own article about it?

MissWatever: You're entitled to your opinion dear. Just like I'm entitled to think that Creed is shit. I know Creed gets a bad rep, so I understand why their fans are so intent on defending them but man...I freakin hate Creed. Sorry.

ScottishStu: Thank you! Love your name, especially if you're in Scotland. Loved it there when I went! Love your stories, thanks for sharing.

henry: Sorry about the lack of country for you. I wish I had an article I could point you to that had country songs on it! Thanks for commenting.

Ty: HAHA. Don't watch those bad YouTube videos! Do your homework! ;) The videos are pretty bad...that's why I put them on here for their hilariousness.

Flighty 4 years ago

I am going to say that "I Will Always Love You" is one of the most overdone and horribly done songs that I have seen regularly. It makes everyone in the audience want to cringe...Sit your drunk A$$ down! YIKES!

breathe 4 years ago

Thanks so much for your work - very helpful.

In your opinion, are Adele songs tired now, or on the way to becoming classics?

tinka 4 years ago

i'm board

rashelmija 4 years ago

You have some interesting opinions... Mostly I agree :) I am gonna be a karaoke snob too and admit that I ROCK total eclipse of the heart's socks off... It's all in how entertaining you are!!! My drunk friends usually do some weird ballet type dancing during the musical break, which is pretty funny. Also, i appreciate how you added your location after the country comment; cuz sweetie, at least half the karaoke here in south Texas is country :). There are plenty of fun and not depressing country songs to have fun with like

Sin wagon

Gunpowder and lead

All jacked up

Goodbye Earl

Red high heels

You're the reason our kids are ugly (duet!)

Chicks dig it

As good as I once was

Five o'clock somewhere

Family tradition by hank Williams jr

You never even called me by my name

And the list goes on... I'm actually not a huge country fan, I'm simply throwing out some of the ones that entertain me! Anyway, thanks for the ideas chicka! Peace, love, and keep singing cuz it keeps you young!

Oh, ps... I met my fiance singing karaoke. He asked me if I would sing Jackson (duet) with him once, and I've been the June carter to his johnny cash ever since :)

Stephanie 4 years ago

I wish no one cared about country here in Iowa but pretty much everyone sings country here.... it sucks, lol!

FutureExGirlfriend 4 years ago

I'm a Billy Idol, Journey, Bon Jovi and Metallica kind of karaoke girl. =)

ToMuchToHandle 4 years ago

Okay, so i love your article, lots of good songs (would it be considered a bad thing that im 13 and know almost all the ones listed? Lol!)

I just have two questions, and if you answered them earlier then sorry, i didnt really read through all the threads!

Okay, anyway, so I want some songs that everybody knows and stuff, and well long story short i was playing rock band at a lock in with a lot of other people and we played American Pie by Don Mclean. Everybody there joined in, from kids my age to the adult supervisors. I know thats a long song, and the beginnings pretty slow, so I just wondered what you opinion would be on that song? And what are some other ones that I and everybody else would know?

And also, i'm not a very confident person on stage, and i know that really has nothing to do with the article, but sounds like you have a lot of experience up there, and wondered if you could give me some tips on how to feel more comfortable and "sell it" better?

Thanks for your time!(:

ShiningStar 4 years ago

what would one say on the pick of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from my Friends"?

ShiningStar 4 years ago

Oh, a couple other choices - Billy Joel "I may be crazy" & "Back in the USSR" Beatles.. you're thoughts? I'm pretty new to this, & don't mind making a fool out of myself (most are all drunk anyway) but am trying to find stuff I know well & would feel most comfortable singing (even if i don't know just how badly (or possibly okay) I sing -- I really haven't sung in front of anyone before (not since 3rd grade, anyway).. anyway, I know a LOT of Billy Joel, Beatles, Zeppelin, & Chili Peppers.. but i'd like to be comfortable w/o being a crowd killer.

stephentheking 4 years ago

Well, yeah, young people are the future of the music. Without them, no future. And they are singing better and better stuff these days. And plenty of older singers sing indifferent material. I guess I am just frustrated with the current music scene these days. It must appeal to someone, not really to me. The younger people are all singing Eighties, they are not exactly set on fire by the newer music either. That's because the record industry is Imploding right now, due to Piracy (yes, still!). There may be no music industry left to speak of in a few short years, and then ... Well then, we may be finally be looking at the end of the legendary Music Boom started by The Beatles in the Sixties. Something much smaller and less significant may take its place. Then Rock n Roll will become all Oldies all the time, it's almost there now. This is what the Computer, the very thing I am using now, did to contemporary music. It basically gutted it, the unrestricted Piracy sank it like the Japanese navy. The record industry was detested. So a new generation showed its disdain by cutting off its legs, by "sharing" rather than Buying. The only problem with this is that the Rock business is no longer a viable career. Even with constant non-stop touring, a band cannot make a meaningful living these days. Record sales are basically gone. So the new generation of Rock musicians are quitting and becoming Accountants in this new sour economic atmosphere. There has been nothing new and explosive in Pop music since the death of Kurt Cobain, that's close to a decade now. And that's a huge hiatus. How does this affect Karaoke? Well, the basic stuff I hear at each show sounds a bit Mummified now, and may become increasingly so in coming years. What I'm saying is Karaoke may be all that's LEFT of Ozymandias' empire if things don't start looking up. Young people, please, PLEASE somehow produce a New Beatles that will somehow turn all of this around, that will invigorate the Scene. The Beatles Big Bang was huge, but entropy is taking over now. Can't imagine a world without a music scene, unthinkable? Well ... Uh, you were right, my earlier words were too harsh, it's not anyone's Fault that the scene is Retro. Retro is shaping up to be IT at this point. But remember what the Wise Old Who said in Dr. Seuss: "You don't know how to YOP? Well son, you'd better try. Because if you don't, you're gonna be fried!" Generation Whatever, a NEW BEATLES, please! Please.

ShiningStar 4 years ago

I haven't read EVERY comment on here, but a bit... & I actually agree w/that last comment by stephentheking. I actually hardly listen to any current music, and get shamed at work all the time when I don't know whatever singer/band it is they are talking about. It all just sounds the same & no band/singer stands out to me as unique, so I kinda get lost listening to current stuff. Don't care for it at all, with very very few exceptions. The current music scene really bums me out.

kaila elizabeth 4 years ago

OMG! THANK you, i have an audition tommorrow but not like broadway, and i needed a song, so i think im doing heart breaker by pat benatar this is a very good article btw.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Flighty: I definitely agree that "I Will Always Love You" is horribly done most of the time. HOWEVER, I finally saw some girl rock it and it was amazing. So please only sing that song if you are an incredible singer. :)

breathe: I love me some Adele. I still listen to her songs regularly. Adele...not so great for karaoke though because her songs are HARD to sing. Can imagine there are a lot of people butchering them everywhere lol.

tinka: *bored.

rashelmija: I would love to see you do "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with your weird ballet moves...that sounds awesome! I think that's a good rule of thumb if you're going to do a song with a long musical break: Do something entertaining when you're not singing! Thank you for the country suggestions...I'm sure other readers will appreciate them :) Oh and your fiance story is ADORABLE. You're officially my new favorite person from south Texas!

Stephanie: I'm sorry! Come to California and we can sing non country music all night!

FutureExGirlfriend: You rock. I am the same kind of karaoke girl :)

ToMuchToHandle: Wow I'm impressed that you're 13 and you know about these songs from decades ago. Awesome! American Pie is a great song, but it is a little long. It depends on the audience I think. Some audiences are more apt to listen to longer songs as long as they're good (and American Pie IS a good song). Other audiences want short, sweet and fast songs. If you want other songs that everyone knows, classic songs like that are always safe. As for being more comfortable on stage, I think you get more comfortable the more you're on stage. It gets easier every time. And remember to have fun! Singing is a fun thing to do, so just try to relax and enjoy yourself. If you're having fun, other people will have fun watching you. Hope that helps dear!

ShiningStar: Pretty much everyone likes the Beatles. Think you're safe there. The Billy Joel song sounds fun too. All your ideas should be just fine. Just make sure you don't pick a song with a huge long instrumental section (some rock songs tend to do that) because it's awkward to stand up there for so long without singing. And know the songs before you sing. Other than that, just have fun!

stephentheking: I disagree partly when you say that piracy is imploding the music industry. I think that's more of a misnomer than anything. Online sharing (it's not really piracy, let's be honest) is CHANGING the music industry. [Piracy is when people a) steal a CD and b) make a PROFIT off of it. These people are the minority.] Songs are being shared/bought online instead of people buying CDs. Yes, some people steal albums and never give any money to the artist. HOWEVER, I sincerely believe most people either "steal" albums online with the intent of paying for them at some point OR they give money to the artist in other ways by buying merch, going to their concerts, etc. Which gives the artist more money directly than record sales. Let's be real: Artists hardly make ANY money from record sales. That's a known fact. AND, this is a very important point, THAT'S why the record companies are the ones complaining the most about "online piracy," not the artists. Most artists realize that people sharing their music online means they're getting MORE fans, not fewer, and their true fans will spend money on the artist. People sharing music online isn't any different than someone burning a CD for a friend--it's just easier online and more widespread. I've found A LOT of new music from online music sharing that I didn't have to pay for: Pandora, Spotify, all of these are great free ways to find new music. And I have then gone on to purchase CDs from these new artists I've found/gone to their concerts. Record companies need to get with the times and accept that the music industry is changing, not try to fight it. The future of music is online. No question.

*****And since both you and ShiningStar brought it up, here is my 2 cents on the current music scene: Yes, I completely agree that a lot of the current music sucks. There's not very much of it that I actually listen to. A lot of pop music sounds the same and is very unoriginal. HOWEVER, there is TONS of music out right now that doesn't suck. There are plenty of bands and artists creating amazing music right now. What you have to do is FIND IT. It's probably not going to be on the radio. It's probably not going to be shoved down your throat when you go anywhere. You have to go searching for it. There are artists with incredible voices like Adele (obvious), Matt Nathanson, Ingrid Michaelson, etc. There are bands that have actual talent in every genre you like who are coming out with new music. I've been very proactive about finding music that isn't mainstream since I was a teenager, so it's common practice to me. So not ALL current music sucks. Go find some underground music and listen to that if you don't like what's played on the radio. There's tons of it. Whew. That was the longest comment I've ever written!

kaila elizabeth: Glad I could help! Heart Breaker is a great song! Hope you nailed your audition :)

stephentheking 4 years ago

HMM. With all due respect, rock artists USED TO make a lot of money from record sales. On-line sharing means people do not buy records, why should they? They are getting it for free. Yes, the future of pop music is on-line, because everything else is trashed, destroyed. No more record stores, did you notice? Drastically cut back inventory in the few places that still have CD's, did you notice? No. Because you get everything for free, on the Net. People INTEND to give the artist SOMETHING, at SOME POINT!? GREAT, BUT THAT "SOME TIME" NEVER HAPPENS, AS YOU WELL KNOW. On-line sharing is a form of Piracy, you are ruining the ARTISTS THEMSELVES, not just the Record companies. There is no more money in this business any more, Musicians are quitting and becoming Accountants. Old ancient groups are the only ones who survive, they invested wisely before this tremendous crash. If you are getting your music for FREE on the Internet, you have only yourself to blame if the music industry, if the artists Themselves, are now quitting. Nothing good has happened musically since HEY YA. That is disgraceful. The Eighties were a musical Wasteland, because the Baby Boom was busy having You. Our Brat Siblings dropped the ball with the Techno stuff. The Eighties came back when Kurt Cobain killed himself (no doubt because of Piracy!). The New Eighties have lasted for TWENTY YEARS now, this could be the END! But it's all you know, so you are not alarmed. People who remember how The Beatles made all their dough are very alarmed, very alarmed. In your Avidity to sink the corrupt Businessmen of the Music Industry, you also killed the ROCK ARTISTS THEMSELVES. And that spells DEATH for the Rock Culture. We have you, our very Children, to "thank" for that, you and the fabulous Internet, that Eliminator of Jobs. You think I'm wrong? Explain then, please explain, why all of the Twenty-Somethings are singing THIRTY YEAR OLD SONGS wherever I go. No new music? Did they all quit? Due to no more money? Due to Piracy, whether you call it that or not? And so you see. I am not trying to be a Grouch, more like good old Cassandra who was thrown over the wall for bringing Bad News. :)

Diana 4 years ago

Love Karaoke. I thought it was lame, then I met my husband (2005). It took me a few years to feel comfortable singing in public. My favorites are: White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane; Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler; Blue (And yes I am awesome at it) by Leann Rimes. I live in Wisconsin,but we try to mix it up!!

alyssa 4 years ago

Omg! I loooved the side note about singing Michael Jackson.... I have a friend that I go with that insists on singing MJ every time...and sings like three in one night! It's gotten to the point now where we all groan and boo when he goes up. I mean cmon bro....seriously?

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

stephentheking: This conversation is very intriguing, I must say. I wasn't aware that rock artists used to make a lot of money from record sales. For the past few decades (aka my entire existence), that hasn't been the case at all. While we disagree on some points, I think we both agree that one of the huge problems with the music industry is GREED. Greed from record companies, greed from consumers. It's all greed, and greed is never good. I understand why YOU see the death of rock culture, but I listen to tons of "new" rock music. Hundreds of rock bands are putting out music left and bands are adapting to the new times. The ways you find said rock music are different than how it used to be. It's not on the radio or MTV. You have to go find it. But it's out there, I assure you. Oh and to answer why 20-somethings are singing 30 year old songs, it's because the 20-something generation has a huge nostalgia for music they listened to growing up. It's fun to sing 70s & 80s songs. AND karaoke books are notorious for not keeping up with current music. It's easier to find older music. Thanks for taking the time to share your's always interesting to me to hear from the older crowd :)

alyssa: Tell your friend that variety is the spice of life. LOL. That's too many songs of any one artist for one night.

JimmyT: Insanely awesome! Very great voice. Great song too. Mad props!

stephentheking 4 years ago

Oh well, maybe things aren't as bad as I thought. There's still plenty of stuff on the radio, so somebody must be making some money somewhere. People even sing recent stuff once in a while, it's not all oldies all the time. The karaoke scene is flourishing, so maybe it's premature for doom and gloom. I enjoy the stuff I do hear, it doesn't have to be recent.

Mr. Chris 4 years ago

Last Thursday, I saw two guys go up and do a a duet of "Total Eclipse of the Heart". It was, by and far, the best performance of the night. Granted, they were piss-drunk and over-performing on every line, but it was the only song that held the attention of everyone in the bar for five minutes straight.

Just goes to show all these "worst" songs can become the "best" songs in the right inebriated hands.

Grrr 4 years ago

You need to get one thing straight- white girls and guys CAN rap. When you say "leave it to the rappers" that throws me off. How do you think rappers got to where they are? They practiced. So next time you post something like that think about it first. It offended me, my friends, and probably a whole bunch of other people.

SleezeMan 4 years ago

Just discovered weekly karaoke at the bar next door to me in San Fran. I'm wondering about songs to impress the ladies... These are my ideas so far -

Total Eclipse of the Heart (totally killed when I did it a year ago)

Summer Nights - from Grease (with a male friend, duet)

Lionel Richie - Hello (too boring?)

Natalie Imbruglia - Torn

Frankie Valli - cant' take my eyes off of you

R Kelly - Ignition (remix)

ABBA - Fernando

4 non blondes - what's up

billy joel - just the way you are

MGMT - time to pretend

Ben folds - Brick (too heavy?)

This may be a bad list, but any suggestions to get the ladies excited?

destiny 4 years ago

hello im 9 years old and i love to sing and im looking for songs that somebody is giving away to people and i find this there is any like what im talking about uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh ); what ever

Red 4 years ago

Hey, My husband and I read this list and laughed so hard at the worst part I choked on my short Rib. All we could say was that was all we have ever said about each of those rules! Long time Karaokers. We have been together for 5 years, in fact we met at a karaoke bar. I go for the singing, he goes for the bar. It works out. I'm a Tina Turner, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Journey, Queen, and Evanesence singer. I save my "Proud mary" For lively crowds and I belt like Christina. I'm trying to look for more songs to sing, and work. Suggestions?

Also, I have recommendations for No-No songs:

Turn the Page

Wanted Dead or Alive

Simple Man

(These first three are great songs, but I have Never Once Heard it sung well!)

Anything Grease

Old Old Country songs that are straight up Mono-toned

My heart Will Go On

Love Shack is getting There


I got You babe


Purple rain

I touch myself

Man i feel like A Woman

Side Note: If TV Shows have to make fun of the song, Good hint.

Great Article.

Kj 4 years ago

Jeramiah was a bull frog... if played all will sing and they don't even need the words.. some will even get up and dance.. and Wooly Booly.. is another karaoke favorite.. I know it sounds like a strange pick but they love those 2 songs.

VoronX 4 years ago

Songs I've done that have gotten a great crowd response:

Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) by the Offspring

(I can ride a bike with no) Handlebars by the Flotbots

Bad Touch by The Bloodhound Gang (maybe our bar is a little more naughty than some)

It's the End of the World as We Know It by REM. (nailed it!)

I tend to do better with the "rappier" songs, but then again, I don't have the best voice but have incredible memorization skills and a quick tongue.

I think with a bit more practice/prep I actually might brave Without Me by Eminem.

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

stephentheking: I feel you. All we can do is hope people keep making good music! Thanks for the conversation bud.

Mr. Chris: Absolutely the worst songs can become the best in the proper hands. Some people are just karaoke magic.

Grrr: I get what you're saying, and maybe what I wrote was a little harsh. I said MOST white girls and guys can't rap, not all of them. Which I've found to be true, just from watching hours of watching karaoke. But you're right- people get good by practicing. So, I'll reword that part.

SleezeMan: The only 2 I'd veto are "Hello" by Lionel Richie and "Brick" by Ben Folds Five. Wayyyy too heavy on the last one! Though it's a great song. And I just don't like "Hello." Maybe with the right crowd it could go well. The others are great!

destiny: 9 years old! I've got a 9 year old on my hub! You keep singing little girl!

Red: I'm glad you enjoyed this article, though I hope you didn't choke too hard on your short ribs. I would hate to be the cause of a hospital visit LOL. Love all your suggestions!

Kj: Now those are 2 songs I would never have thought to suggest! Thanks for sharing them!

VoronX: Great songs!

haanah8 4 years ago


:) 4 years ago

I love karaoke its so much fun. my favorite songs to do are Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and Amy Winehouse's "Valerie" Thanks for the tips :)

Dugan 4 years ago

I'm one of the 'older' guys, but still have some good pipes. You're pretty spot on in your article. 'Footloose' is a great song that always gets people dancing (yes, even the younger girls), as does the Eagles' 'All She Wants To Do Is Dance'. When I want to show off, I get great responses to the Beatles' 'Oh, Darlin', and even an old Tom Jones tune, 'Delilah'. Best leave the last two alone unless you've got a high top end, though. They can hurt you! :)

Lindsey 4 years ago

If you are willing to act and really get into character, Tribute by Tenacious D is an excellent choice. Most places have the short version so it's not awful.

And at my favorite hole-in-the-wall bar (we call it "the Walmart of bars"), an obnoxiously catchy song called I'm on a Boat is the favorite. It's a white-boy rap song, but it's got a good, shoutable chorus, so it's a great crowd-bonder.

MamaLulu 4 years ago

I'm a BIG karaoke fan, love your article! I'm going to an 80's festival soon where there will be karaoke with a live band, so excited! (sad, I know, but I love it!)

I was reading this for inspiration for a great song to sing, got a few good ideas to try out so thanks!

In my local, popular choices are Perfect by Fairground Attraction and Metloaf's Paradise By The Dashboard Light, but by far the most popular is a song you may not be familiar with, "I Useta Lover" by Saw Doctors (YouTube it!).

:) 4 years ago

heads up all you parents out there. NEVER sing paradise by the dashboard lights while your 13 year old daughter is there. It gets very akward... especially if the bathrooms aren't sound proof.

cindy 4 years ago

I just did karaoke for the first time last night, I picked the song 'Bad Girls' by Donna Summer because I love the song. I had no business attempting this as Ms. Summer is way out of my league. In the future I will stick to listening to Donna, rather than pathetically attempting to stand with the Gods. Lesson learned and a new respect gained.

Kellie 4 years ago

I agree with absolutely everything you've said here and I'm so glad you've said it so that I don't have to now. I am known as the karaoke-er of all my friends and people have actually started to ask me for advice about what I call the "unspoken rules of karaoke". Now I can just point them to this page! Woo hoo!

btw, I am a white girl and I sing Snoop Dogg but I have actually been told that I can rap by more than one person so I think it's ok :)

Michael P. 4 years ago

I don't mean to be rude, but I have to say that I disagree with a number of your "rules."

You have laid down a ton of absolutes in an area of endeavor with so many variables, it's not even funny. How well the crowd likes a long song, for example, depends entirely on A) the crowd, B) the singer (and their talent level), C) the song (how well it resonates with the crowd), and D) about a zillion other minor but collectively important criteria.

In short, many of the observations you have made are completely conjectural, and inaccurate in many situations. Sorry, but that's the way I see it. :(

Glenelg 4 years ago

I have to respectfully disagree with this entirely, not only for the songs selected but also for the judgement placed on those who just want to have a bit of fun. If people want to sing ballads, country music or indeed if white girls want to rap they should be free to do so. The only people who are bad at karaoke are those who take themselves too seriously and make fun of others, which is all this really seems to do. It is such judgement and stigma that stops people from letting loose and having a good time.

I don't really understand why you think you deserve t have such an authority over this subject or why you feel you are indeed such a crown pleaser yourself. What I do know is that if someone was so judgemental about you when all you were trying to do is have a little fun, you wouldn't feel so good.

As I see from previous posts you do not seem to take criticism too well. Maybe if you looked beyond on your own opinion you would maybe understand that its all just a bit of fun, and the people who ruin that are indeed people like yourself.

Bobby 4 years ago

Turn to Stone is one of the best songs for me. I definitely do not like Disney Pixar songs like I Can't Wait to be King.

Dave 4 years ago

Whoever wrote this is retarded and goes by what they want to hear and not by what's good kareoke. I hate country just as much as you do but that doesn't mean all country kareoke is shit. There's a lot of people who can pull it off. Honestly your list is a list of top 10's. You're writing your list to have a fucking blog and that's about it. I bet you're mild mannered in life and only listen to people sing. Then you write blogs about it. I'm sorry at myself for spending this much time commenting on a douchebags blog.

Andrew 4 years ago

Country music is actually pretty popular in California (up and down the coast). The author's circle of people/bars probably don't expose her to much of it, but that's fine. I'm an Asian dude that was born in LA to immigrant parents and I grew up listening to country music off cassette tapes while going on family camping trips. A lot of the classic hits from the 70s have roots in country, so chances are she likes country without knowing it. I do agree that a lot of the newer stuff sucks, but then again there are some fun songs that are just guilty pleasures... like eating chicken fried... cold beer on a friday night. Okay, I'll stop.

Abdel2208 4 years ago

Thank you so much. Me and my friends are going to a karaoke bar next friday for the first time (we only practiced on Sing Star...) and what you wrote was really helpful. I was planning to sing Bohemian Rhapsody but now I know I shouldn't do it

Nicole 4 years ago

A group of 10-20 friends of mine all get together to sing karaoke every Wednesday. A couple of notes of disagreement: I can't tell you how many videos there are of all of us singing and dancing to Bohemian Rhapsody. Also, Total Eclipse of the Heart is great because we sing it the Old School way and whoever is singing has to chug a beer during the 22 bar instrumental.

Your list is dead on, though. Having witnessed karaoke in many cities with many different crowds, I can say the guidelines you've listed will win over most crowds in most situations. Of course there are exceptions, people. You don't have to rip the author apart about it.

Michael Mackley 4 years ago

darlin' you should come to Texas and rethink what you said about country and freebird and hotel california. they are very popular here.

Canadian karaoke guy 3 years ago

Great article... in the songs that are fun but too long for Karaoke, add in one of my favourite songs to listen to for the first 3 minutes.... "One bourbon, one scotch, and one beer"

NewKJ 3 years ago

I just started to kj. LOVE IT! We have a great and diverse group of singers. A Scot, Brit, old and very young. We live in a small town with 2 theater groups. The best thing I ever saw was a guy got up and sang a duet, alone, from wicked. It was nine minutes, but he hammed it up and acted out the male and female parts so well, that EVERYBODY exploded with cheers. Do whatever song you want, just do it with all your heart. Great hub! Thanks a bunch.

jmed 3 years ago

I've read some really good stuff here. I am a dj on the fence for getting into kj. Very good tips from everyone here. And i have to say i applaude your remarks, after good or not so good opinions. Great job!!

Tyrone Bob 3 years ago

Spot on! I found this post looking for ideas for songs to sing (and not to sing!). Thanks for admitting to doing some of the bad ones- I can't tell you how many times I've done Sweet Caroline and Brown Eyed Girl!!! For the older crowd, I recommend these, but they MUST be sung with respect :) - My Way. I know, groan, and it ain't even my favorite Sinatra, but, #1- Carnival Cruise has a 'legends' show where you audition at the karaoke bar (how cool!)- I lost to a young man who ACED it! Don't feel sorry for me, they gave me Crocodile Rock... google it. #2 this song has a following- I discovered a while back that when I did sing it (right), strangers would come up to me and say good job- my ultimate reward!; Mack the Knife- you gotta practice this one, but if you put on a show with it, it kills! Watch Kevin Spacey doing it, I like mimicking him; Convoy- another one to practice AND figure out which recording to sing with (sound choice is always a safe bet). This one'll go over well in a biker bar. Whatever the song, just get up and sing it!!!

lisaoneal1 3 years ago

Ok. I do not sing, but I love to go to Karaoke! So here it is from a spectators point of view.

1. I'm originally from Colorado and now I live in Houston...I'm not "country", but I like a lot of country music...most of the places I go/have gone (in both states), they don't sing very much country...just sayin'.

2. My experience is, it's the black guys that CAN NOT RAP!!! Last night, a group of (younger) black guys got up and tried to sing a rap song (that I've never heard, probably because I'm OLD, 43, haha)...they only knew the chorus...stood around looking very uncomfortable for most of the song. Another black guy sang The Humpty Dance...we all know and love that song, but again...he/we only really knew the chorus...

My take is...KNOW THE SONG...and if you find yourself in this situation, HAM IT UP...make us laugh, don't stand there can fix almost any song.

3. My list of faves that I've heard other people sing...

Several songs by the Go Go's

Walk Like An Egyptian

Holding Out For A Hero - Footloose Soundtrack

Valerie and Rehab by Amy Weinhouse

Man, I Feel Like A Woman by Shania Twain

(I don't really like her music and/or this song, but when someone else is singing it @ karaoke, I just love it!)

Be Good To Mama by Queen Latifa from the Chicago Soundtrack

(this one you HAVE TO KNOW and you have to WORK IT)

Come And Get Your Love by Redbone

Use Me by Bill Withers

Tell Me Something Good by Rufus

Tell It Like It Is by Aaron Neville

Come On Over by Christina Aguilera

Wait A Minute by The Pussycat Dolls

Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding

I know some of these songs are HARD TO SING and some are kinda slow, but they are always crowd favorites and not the same old, same old...Plus, I have to say, our "group" has some pretty AWESOME singers/performers, so they can sing ANYTHING!!

DJ Shannon Red 3 years ago

I am a karaoke host, and I have to say most of this is accurate at the places I work. Anything "mainstream" is a crowd-pleaser, and when I say "mainstream", this means any popular song from any decade that got airplay on the radio or TV. Country is actually pretty popular, and can be lots of fun if the right songs are chosen. However, there are certain songs that, as a karaoke host, I would rather slit my wrists with rusty barbed wire than play them. Please, for the love of all that is holy, STOP SINGING "PICTURE" BY KID ROCK/SHERYL CROW! This is the most requested song in the NATION....which means it drives KJs crazy! After hearing enough drunken renditions of this song, I cringe every time I hear it. I'd rather hear "Bohemian Rhapsody" any day! At least that's a song everyone knows and it's fun to sing along to. :)

Angel 3 years ago

I love this article. I think it's kinda funny. The "" songs to sing. I can't sing myself but this is great,

duxoop 3 years ago

After consulting with my fellow KJs, I can tell you the top ten songs we're SICK OF HEARING at karaoke. Our 3 main criteria: Songs that are just plain stupid, are sung way WAY too often, and rarely if ever sung well.

1. Picture

2. Before He Cheats

3. Gunpowder And Lead

4. Don't Stop Believin'

5. Sweet Caroline

6. Total Eclipse Of The Heart

7. Chicken Fried

8. All Summer Long

9. Need You Now

10. Wannabe

Please, everyone, for the sake of what's left of our sanity, STOP singing these!

gsurvivor 3 years ago

What's wrong with country songs? :) Still, an entertaining article, can't argue with the rock classics part, a vote up from here!

DonC 3 years ago

Hi! I just found this article, and though it was written long ago (in internet terms), I want to get in to the conversation.

I'm a karaoke fan in my mid 40s, and the people I enjoy listening to fall in two broad categories...they're either good singers or not-so-good singers who can entertain the audience. Some combine both, and those people are amazing.

As for what I sing...I've been blessed with a great tenor voice that can hit those high Steve Perry notes. In fact, I get requests from people at my regular Karaoke joint to sing "Don't Stop Believing" at 2-3 times a month. If you got it, flaunt it, baby. :)

I generally agree with the points you make here, except for the remark about country music, but you've been beat up enough on that. I only have a few country songs I sing; there are people at my regular hangout that sing them much better than I do.

Thanks for the article!

AvineshP profile image

AvineshP 3 years ago from Chandigarh

Nearly 300 comments !! I love this hub. I personally like Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n Roll, Wham "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go", Deff Leppard "Pour some sugar on me".

Great hub, keep posting.

Kevin 2 years ago

Any good Coldplay songs good for karaoke ?

Colby 2 years ago

Umm haha to be honest "The Bad Touch" is always a good song, but I guess my karaoke bars is just way cooler than yours.

Tyler 2 years ago

Honestly, the Top 10 Best section is primarily made up of overdone songs that shouldn't be done and should be included under #1 of the Worst section.

Ashleigh [aks Ashlee] 3 months ago

I love rock and roll songs

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