Karaoke is a favorite pastime of so many cultures around the world --- all the way from Asia to the USA.
In the United States, thousands of bars and restaurants host karaoke every week to allow everyday people to show the world their musical chops. While any karaoke song can be a fun choice if you’re in a good mood, there are some songs that stand the test of time.
Let’s take a closer look at the songs worth belting out every time you hit the stage (and give you some killer songs to play next time you're out on the town)! Remember to properly warm up your singing voice before trying to belt out these well-known high vocals!
30) Picture – Kid Rock (ft. Sheryl Crow)
If you’ve ever been to a karaoke bar in the south, there is no denying the popularity of this all-time hit. There’s no denying this is one of the best karaoke songs of all time. Between Kid Rock’s heavy vocals, the meaningful lyrics, and the sultry sounds of Sheryl Crow, this is always a welcome addition to any night on the town. Just don’t overstay your welcome by singing it more than once! Work on learning how to sing country to really wow your audience!
29) I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
This hit from Gloria Gaynor is a tune anybody can sing. With even the slightest bit of musical ability, you’ll be able to belt this one out in style. Not to be ignored, it’s also a great song to show off your dance moves!
28) Emotions – Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is a hard act to follow, but if anybody can do it, it’s you. Don’t be ashamed if you can’t hit her vocal range, just give this karaoke favorite a shot and let the cards fall where they may.
27) Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
Who could forget this absolute gem? This earthshaking ditty by Neil Diamond is virtually a second national anthem in the US. From baseball games to concerts to school pep rallies, “Sweet Caroline” is sure to get the entire bar rocking. Just make sure to hold on to your hat, you’re about to make a lot of new friends if you do it justice.
26) Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Whew, now we’re really getting into the greatest hits of karaoke. In case you’ve been living under a rock, this 1981 rock ballad has had everyone humming it for decades now. If you forget a line, don’t fret, there will be a dozen or more people surely singing along with you. This song is so well-known it's basically an American anthem! There is never a bad time to sing “Don’t Stop Believin’,” so don’t stop now!
25) It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
For anybody looking to liven up the night -- and possibly bring home a catch -- “It’s Raining Men” has been a karaoke hit ever since it was first released decades ago. By the time you’re done, the whole bar will be singing along to this lighthearted romp.
24) Single Ladies – Beyoncé
Moving into the 21st century, this stellar tune is one of Beyoncé’s easier songs to sing. While nobody can compete with Queen B, it never hurts to try. This one is an anthem to single women everywhere for a reason!
23) Like a Virgin – Madonna
You sure have big shoes to fill with this song, but if you can show your soft side for a few minutes, you’re sure to knock this one out of the park. While it may not be the best song to sing when you have the kids around, this melodic classic is sure to make you stand out from the crowd.
22) Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
This is the type of song you can just sing at the top of your lungs without a care in the world. In the spirit of Miley herself, go ahead and let your hair down for this one. Trust me, the bar staff will thank you later!
21) Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Now it’s time to test your strength against karaoke royalty. This song is always good for a laugh, as the many tones it combines are sure to bring out the performer in you. Don’t be afraid to let it all hang out! You can brush up on singing high notes here beforehand!
20) Wonderwall – Oasis
A nice sing-along never hurt anybody. “Wonderwall” has been rocking in the courtyard of every college dorm for over 25 years now -- feel old yet? Get your gang together, toast a drink to good times, and let everybody join in on the famous chorus.
19) My Way – Frank Sinatra
This classic from Frank Sinatra is sure to win over the older patrons in the bar. Sinatra is a staple in many karaoke bars for a reason. You just can’t beat Ol’ Blue Eyes. Grab a Jack & Coke and give it your best shot.
18) Rehab – Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse was a once-in-a-lifetime talent and her singing abilities will surely stand the test of time. What better way to remember her than by singing this gem to keep her legacy alive? Don’t worry about living up to her skill-level. “Rehab” was an international smash hit and is sure to get any room on your side!
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17) Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
Although “Rick Rolling” has become a thing of the past in internet circles, this jam will never give up on its fame. It’s an easy song to sing, easy to remember, and easy to love!
16) 867-5309/Jenny – Tommy Tutone
80s babies rejoice, everybody’s favorite number song is still as awesome today as it was back then! We just hope Jenny called him back.
15) I Wanna Be Sedated – the Ramones
It’s time to rock! Any child of the 70s will remember this head-turner. The good news is that you don’t have to have pipes to do this song justice, just put your heart into it and let that angst out for all to enjoy.
14) Losing My Religion – R.E.M.
Michael Stipe and the rest of the R.E.M crew are a goldmine for karaoke hits. This song is the perfect blend of mellow and upbeat at the same time, sure to deliver all your karaoke needs!
13) Jolene – Dolly Parton
You tell em’, Dolly! This song is a true blast from the past and it still holds up as one of the best vocal performances to date. Show some emotion and have fun out there with this captivating choice.
12) Rock Lobster – The B-52s
Every karaoke bar needs a wildcard. Shake things up a bit with this wild ride from the absurdist behemoths known as The B-52s. Athens, Georgia sure has produced a lot of karaoke legends, including friends on the list like R.E.M!
11) Love Shack – The B-52s
One more gem from The B-52s can’t hurt. “Love Shack” is a full-spectrum performance that may require a friend or two to truly do it justice!
10) Hey Jude – The Beatles
Of all the legendary songs from The Beatles, perhaps no tune is more deserving of the karaoke treatment than “Hey Jude.” Just make sure to read the room a bit before you dive in, as this slow jam can add a somber tone to the evening.
9) Kiss From a Rose – Seal
As one of the greatest love songs of all time, this hit from Seal is sure to catch the attention of your crush across the room. Whether you’ve just met or been married for 40 years, there’s never a wrong time to show them how much you care.
8) Don’t You Want Me? – The Human League
Another sexy tune to consider is this fabulous karaoke track. Add some gyrating hips into the mix and you’re sure to turn the room into an absolute frenzy.
7) Whip It – Devo
It’s time to lighten things up. Everybody knows the chorus to this one, so bring a friend on stage and have some fun with it!
6) Dancing In The Dark – Bruce Springsteen
This is the type of song that lingers long after the music stops. Patrons will surely thank you if you do a good job belting out this breathtaking performance.
5) Piano Man – Billy Joel
Hey, it’s 5 o’clock on a Saturday somewhere. Now get up there and get the whole room singing along to one of the biggest hits by Mr. Piano Man himself. You don’t have to be a fabulous singer to pull this one off.
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4) Killing In The Name Of – Rage Against The Machine
It’s time to let your anger out! Show the system what it’s doing wrong by putting some pizzazz into this rebellious delight. Before trying this - you may want to work on learning how to sing raspy safely!
3) We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel
With dozens of hits to his name, you can’t have enough Billy Joel at a karaoke bar. This song is a good one to commit to memory, as the complicated lyrics can prove to be a great party trick if you can pull them off. Let the trip down memory lane commence!
2) Sympathy For The Devil – The Rolling Stones
High energy, killer lyrics, fun for the whole room! You can’t go wrong with any song by The Rolling Stones. This is the perfect tune to get the room rockin’ and rollin’. If this song seems a bit out of your vocal range, try out some easier Stones hits like “Angie” and “Start Me Up.”
1) Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
You didn’t think I would forget this one, did you? After all, no list would be complete without it. Everybody and their mother has heard this anthem sung in a karaoke bar, and for good reason. It’s true, after all. Girls do just wanna have fun.
No matter which of these best karaoke songs you pick, don't be afraid to pick up the singing mic, give it your best, and let the good times roll. However, it may be wise to improve your singing before you try your hand at live karaoke (unless you're drunk, of course, then it doesn't matter)!
Didn't see a song you love to belt out at every karaoke bar you go to? Chances are you'll find it here (and possibly some other gems that I didn't mention)!
Last Updated on October 31, 2020 by James C.