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.
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.
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.
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 once...it 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 me...by 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 GnR...it'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.
Some Great Southern California Karaoke Bars:
- Elvis Karaoke Studios, Fountain Valley
- Pineapple Hill Grill and Saloon, Tustin
- Taka-ORestaurant.com - Celebrating 30 Years of Service!
- Patsy's Irish Pub, Mission Viejo
Laura on January 12, 2020:
LOL--well, it just so happens one of my go-to karaoke songs is "What is Life", so I guess I'm in serious violation of rule #10 about not doing songs with long instrumental breaks. However, my take on that rule is: if the long instrumental break is easy to dance to--no problem.
nycgirl on October 01, 2019:
Kent G, what? Karaoke is ALL OVER the city on a nightly basis. Especially around Koreatown, but you can also find quite a few really good ones downtown. And in Queens.
Kent g on March 22, 2019:
While japan has probably been doing it longer my sister and I went to maybe five or more karaoke bars in Portland Oregon regularly in the late 80s. They did karaoke most every night or all nights. It was popular there. But when my wife and I moved to nyc in 2003 i could find few karaoke bars. Even now the bars in nyc treat karaoke poorly, doing it every third Tuesday, for example. It’s annoying and i rarely go. We used to go most weekends. Ironic since nyc is considered a major destination for entertainment.
Meg on February 07, 2019:
90s and early 2000s alternative and rock anthems. I’ve had a really good reactions to The Anthem by Good Charlotte, Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down, and Misery Buisness by Paramore. The biggest thing about karaoke is KNOW YOUR SONG BEFORE YOU GO. Even I have made the mistake of thinking it would be a great song and then getting up and realizing I really only know the chorus. And some songs seem easy but aren’t. Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard is a huge crowd pleaser but the intro is so short that it’s hard to start in the right key. There are hundreds of thousands of karaoke songs on YouTube so my policy is to test them out on my own first. If it isn’t a crowd pleaser and the crowd doesn’t sing along to cover any mistakes I make, I want to make sure I can follow through and pull it off on my own.
Sonu on January 28, 2019:
Music is the best of every singer.
That's why, we are provide any type of music.
"https://melodytracks.com/" (Melody tracks)
Guest on June 02, 2017:
Honestly, that "white girls can't rap" statement is very racist and sexist. I happen to be a white girl and I've been told by a number of people that I CAN, in fact, rap. (They were surprised -I started randomly rapping in front of them and they were like, "Wait- you can rap? That's not right! Nerdy white girls can't rap!")
Ashleigh [aks Ashlee] on June 27, 2016:
I love rock and roll songs
Tyler on May 25, 2014:
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.
Colby on May 18, 2014:
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.
Kevin on December 28, 2013:
Any good Coldplay songs good for karaoke ?
Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on September 27, 2013:
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.
DonC on August 10, 2013:
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!
gsurvivor on July 25, 2013:
What's wrong with country songs? :) Still, an entertaining article, can't argue with the rock classics part, a vote up from here!
duxoop on May 11, 2013:
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.
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
Please, everyone, for the sake of what's left of our sanity, STOP singing these!
Angel on April 28, 2013:
I love this article. I think it's kinda funny. The "uh...no" songs to sing. I can't sing myself but this is great,
DJ Shannon Red on April 21, 2013:
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. :)
lisaoneal1 on March 16, 2013:
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 mumbling...delivery 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!!
Tyrone Bob on March 06, 2013:
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!!!
jmed on January 31, 2013:
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!!
NewKJ on January 13, 2013:
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.
Canadian karaoke guy on January 04, 2013:
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"
Michael Mackley on October 23, 2012:
darlin' you should come to Texas and rethink what you said about country and freebird and hotel california. they are very popular here.
Nicole on October 23, 2012:
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.
Abdel2208 on September 25, 2012:
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
Andrew on September 13, 2012:
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.
Dave on September 08, 2012:
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.
Bobby on July 24, 2012:
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.
Glenelg on July 03, 2012:
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.
Michael P. on June 11, 2012:
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. :(
Kellie on May 28, 2012:
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 :)
cindy on April 14, 2012:
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.
:) on April 13, 2012:
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.
MamaLulu on April 12, 2012:
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!).
Lindsey on April 10, 2012:
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.
Dugan on April 10, 2012:
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! :)
:) on April 07, 2012:
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 :)
haanah8 on March 22, 2012:
M. Rose (author) from Orange County, CA on March 16, 2012:
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!
VoronX on March 09, 2012:
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.
Kj on March 03, 2012:
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.
Red on March 02, 2012:
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
(These first three are great songs, but I have Never Once Heard it sung well!)
Old Old Country songs that are straight up Mono-toned
My heart Will Go On
Love Shack is getting There
I got You babe
I touch myself
Man i feel like A Woman
Side Note: If TV Shows have to make fun of the song, Good hint.
destiny on March 02, 2012:
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
SleezeMan on February 28, 2012:
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?
Grrr on February 23, 2012:
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.
Mr. Chris on February 15, 2012:
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.
stephentheking on February 15, 2012:
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.
M. Rose (author) from Orange County, CA on February 15, 2012:
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 right...smart 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 opinion...it'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!
alyssa on February 05, 2012:
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?
Diana on January 27, 2012:
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!!
stephentheking on January 26, 2012:
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. :)
M. Rose (author) from Orange County, CA on January 26, 2012:
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.
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 :)
kaila elizabeth on January 23, 2012:
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.
ShiningStar on January 23, 2012:
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.
stephentheking on January 23, 2012:
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 on January 22, 2012:
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.
ShiningStar on January 22, 2012:
what would one say on the pick of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from my Friends"?
ToMuchToHandle on January 18, 2012:
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!(:
FutureExGirlfriend on January 17, 2012:
I'm a Billy Idol, Journey, Bon Jovi and Metallica kind of karaoke girl. =)
Stephanie on January 17, 2012:
I wish no one cared about country here in Iowa but pretty much everyone sings country here.... it sucks, lol!
rashelmija on January 14, 2012:
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
Gunpowder and lead
All jacked up
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 :)
tinka on January 13, 2012:
breathe on January 12, 2012:
Thanks so much for your work - very helpful.
In your opinion, are Adele songs tired now, or on the way to becoming classics?
Flighty on January 10, 2012:
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!
M. Rose (author) from Orange County, CA on January 08, 2012:
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.
stephentheking on January 08, 2012:
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! :)
stephentheking on January 06, 2012:
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.
Ty on January 06, 2012:
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'?
henry on January 05, 2012:
I would absolutly love this post if you didnt hate on country so much. other than that good advice!
ScottishStu on January 04, 2012:
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.
stephentheking on January 04, 2012:
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! :)
Juststopsinging on January 03, 2012:
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 on January 03, 2012:
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!
MissWatever on January 02, 2012:
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 on January 02, 2012:
MY LIST OF TEN MOST OBNOXIOUS KARAOKE SONGS (Songs That Will Actually Make Me Walk Out!): 10.)POUR SOME SUGAR ON IT; 9.)YOU OUGHTA KNOW; 8.)DEAD OR ALIVE; 7.)KILLING ME SOFTLY; 6.)BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY 5.)FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES; 4.)DON'T STOP BELIEVING; 3.)SUMMER DAYS; 2.)AMERICAN PIE; 1.)SWEET CAROLINE (yecch!). This is just the Tip of the Iceberg, but These are ANATHEMA!
MaraCD on December 30, 2011:
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!
Katie on December 21, 2011:
Killing me softly is THE most overdone song at my local bar.
M. Rose (author) from Orange County, CA on December 19, 2011:
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.
jinglesmar on December 08, 2011:
Midwest bars love when we sing Bad Touch (I'm female, so even better!!).
sarah on December 07, 2011:
u guys r so old school....i do like classics.....but where r the fun..modern songs?
Jana on December 07, 2011:
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."
whoever on December 03, 2011:
oh and from your pic your what 19 or so, so you would really know what others like i guess:)
whoever on December 03, 2011:
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
Bradley on November 30, 2011:
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,
Matthew on November 27, 2011:
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...
Tyler on November 26, 2011:
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
Charlos on November 26, 2011:
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.
Melody on November 23, 2011:
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.)
Alyma13 on November 15, 2011:
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 :)
M. Rose (author) from Orange County, CA on November 14, 2011:
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!
Crap Singer on November 12, 2011:
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.
BrookeBacon on October 29, 2011:
Do you think Fix You by Coldplay would work? What about these:
1.)Boyfriend Jessica Simpson
2.)Love Shack B52
vashort1 on October 20, 2011:
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!
welshvocalist` on October 19, 2011:
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
bingaling on October 10, 2011:
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??
EmmaZyden on October 04, 2011:
Shorter versions of Hot Patootie is HILARIOUS to sing with friends xD
megan on September 25, 2011:
heeeyyyyy i dont know what to say LOL
Peter on September 22, 2011:
Try some Dire Straits
desolation0 from SW Pennsylvania on September 21, 2011:
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?
Anthony on September 20, 2011:
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 mind.no 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.
M. Rose (author) from Orange County, CA on September 19, 2011:
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!