Karaoke night! Some people make this a weekly ritual. Some do it for fun, and some take it very seriously… and even compete in karaoke contests!
No matter how you view karaoke singing, it’s a wonderful way to practice performing — especially if you’re a beginner singer. This guide is here to help you make the most of the night, including tips to prepare beforehand, how to choose the best song to sing for karaoke, and how to shine on stage!
How Karaoke Can Make You a Better Singer
Going to karaoke is a great idea if you’re pursuing music. Think of it this way: you’re not being judged as you would be at an audition or vocal contest, so it’s certainly less stress. You can try out new material here before you take it to the “big time”!
It also goes without saying that performing, in general, becomes easier the more you do it. Karaoke night is a great way to get over stage fright if you attend regularly — you’ll always have an audience, and they are usually very supportive and encouraging (especially if you go with your friends and family!).
I remember my friend going to the Lamplighter in San Diego – a karaoke bar filled with good times and pool tables. After getting up the courage to list his name, it was finally his turn. He sang U2’s “With or Without You” that was *pretty much* in tune. When he finished, the audience cheered for him and patted him on the back as he exited the stage. This encouragement eventually led to him taking singing lessons and becoming a front man in a local band. I caught up with him singing solo at an corporate event at Escala San Diego and he did a fabulous job!
How to Pick the Best Karaoke Song For You
Before you hit the stage, I’d recommend having a few songs in mind. Thinking ahead can be especially helpful for beginner karaoke singers, since it will take the stress away from choosing the song the night of. But there’s a lot more to it than just picking your favorite song and rolling with it…
Let’s say you just love the Beatles. That doesn’t mean you can SING it in the original key without straining! John and Paul had very high singing voices, and most males are baritones. So, ask yourself this: “When I sing along to my favorite songs, who am I most comfortable singing with?”
Maybe it’s Taylor Swift, a middle voice. Or perhaps a higher one, like Dolly Parton. Use this as your guide for picking your song.
Oh, and since karaoke is about fun, don’t forget to pick a song that you truly enjoy singing! It’s usually a better idea to choose something more up-tempo as it’s less likely for nerves to show. If you’re nervous and singing a ballad, things can get shaky.
5 Tips for Singing Karaoke
Here are some other things to keep in mind about how to have a successful karaoke night:
- Look confident! Start with a smile and with your feet planted shoulder width apart. Make no apologies for being on that stage!
- Pick a song you really know so you’re not always having to look at the lyrics on the screen. Don’t forget you have an audience that wants you to sing to them!
- Use good vocal technique. Breathe low, and keep your sound placed in your mask rather than shouting into the microphone.
- Practice at home! YouTube has many excellent channels, such as KaraFun, where you can pull up the song for free.
- Remember it’s about fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you pick a song you love, it will show in your performance. That’s when you can expect the compliments to pour in!
Ok, ready to find out the top karaoke songs? Here are our top picks, broken down by genre, category, and more! You can also jump to specific song recommendations using these links:
- Best Female Karaoke Songs
- Best Karaoke Songs for Men
- Top Easy Karaoke Songs
- Duet Karaoke Songs
- Best Group Karaoke Songs
- Funny Karaoke Songs
- ’90s Karaoke Songs
- ’80s Karaoke Songs
- ’60s and ’70s Karaoke Songs
- Best Karaoke Love Songs
- Best Rock Karaoke Songs
- Best Pop Karaoke Songs
- Best R&B Karaoke Songs
- Best Country Karaoke Songs
- Worst Karaoke Songs
Ladies, you’ve got so many great choices when it comes to karaoke songs! From powerhouse pop to girl-power classics, these songs are really fun to sing! Here are our picks for the best female karaoke songs.
- Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
- Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
- I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
- It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
- Single Ladies – Beyoncé
- Like a Virgin – Madonna
- Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
- Emotions – Mariah Carey
- Rehab – Amy Winehouse
- Black Velvet – Alannah Myles
- Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
- Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover – Sophie B. Hawkins
Guys, start warming up your voices for these top picks in all vocal genres: rock, pop, punk, and even lounge-style. Here are our picks for the best karaoke songs for men.
- Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
- Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
- Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
- Wonderwall – Oasis
- My Way – Frank Sinatra
- I Wanna Be Sedated – the Ramones
- Losing My Religion – R.E.M.
- Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
- 867-5309/Jenny – Tommy Tutone
- Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin
- If I Was Your Girlfriend – Prince
- When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars
Need something a bit easier to sing? If your vocal skills aren’t quite where you want them to be yet, don’t worry — there are plenty of easy karaoke songs that you can still rock out to.
- 500 Miles – The Proclaimers
- These Boots Are Made for Walking – Nancy Sinatra
- Crazy – Patsy Cline
- Happy – Pharrell Williams
- Copacabana – Barry Manilow
- That’s the Way (I Like It) – KC and the Sunshine Band
- Celebration – Kool and the Gang
- Funkytown – Lipps, Inc
- Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
- Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
Grab a friend for twice the fun! Duet karaoke songs let both singers shine — check out the list below for our top picks.
- The Boy is Mine – Brandy and Monica
- Cruisin’ – Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow
- Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
- Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
- All I Have – Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J
- Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
- Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
- Ebony and Ivory – Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
- Dream a Little Dream of Me – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
- Hunger Strike – Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell
For those of you that hit the bar with a bunch of friends, these group karaoke songs will let you all join in on the fun at the same time!
- We Are Family – Sister Sledge
- California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
- ABC – Jackson 5
- Wannabe – Spice Girls
- Push It – Salt ‘n Pepa
- No Scrubs – TLC
- Lean On Me – Club Nouveau
- Rapper’s Delight – Sugar Hill Gang
- YMCA – Village People
- Supersonic – JJ Fad
Want to just have fun, without worrying about your vocal skills at all? Pick one of the funny karaoke songs below, add in a splash of confidence and stage presence, and the crowd will love you.
- Rock Lobster – B-52s
- Just a Friend – Biz Markie
- Tubthumping – Chumbawamba
- MMMBop – Hanson
- Mickey – Toni Basil
- Party All the Time – Eddie Murphy
- The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades – Timbuk 3
- Whip It – Devo
- If You Like Piña Coladas – Jimmy Buffet
- Rico Suave – Gerardo
’90s kids, listen up! Whether you grew up with rock or pop princesses, these crowd-pleasers will get everyone singing along with you.
- Closing Time – Semisonic
- Time of Your Life – Green Day
- You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
- Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
- I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders
- Genie in a Bottle – Christina Aguilera
- Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It – Will Smith
- Who Am I? (What’s My Name) – Snoop Dogg
- Santeria – Sublime
- Don’t Speak – No Doubt
More a fan of ’80s music? Here are our favorite jams to sign up for.
- Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
- I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
- I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany
- Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – Wham!
- Don’t You Want Me – Human League
- Tainted Love – Soft Cell
- I Can’t Wait – Nu Shooz
- All Night Long – Lionel Richie
- Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
- Part-Time Lover – Stevie Wonder
Break out the bellbottoms and get your best John Travolta impression ready for these disco tunes.
- Dancing Queen – ABBA
- Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees
- I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan
- Rapture – Blondie
- Do Ya Think I’m Sexy – Rod Stewart
- Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
- Brick House – Commodores
- Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
- You’re So Vain – Carly Simon
- Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye
Can you feel the love tonight? If you want to impress your sweetie in the crowd, pick one of these top karaoke songs about love.
- Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
- Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
- Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding
- Come to My Window – Melissa Etheridge
- The Sweetest Thing – U2
- I Melt With You – Modern English
- That’s the Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson
- Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
- She Loves You – the Beatles
- Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor
Love singing rock music? Here are some of the best rock karaoke songs to consider.
- Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
- Creep – Radiohead
- Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen
- Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister
- Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi
- Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Piece of My Heart – Janis Joplin
- Zombie – The Cranberries
- Enter Sandman – Metallica
Pop songs are just plain fun to sing! Here are some of our favorites.
- Royals – Lorde
- Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
- Push – Matchbox Twenty
- Treasure – Bruno Mars
- Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
- Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
- Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
- The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
- Timber – Ke$ha and Pitbull
- All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
Feeling that rhythm and blues? Put your heart and soul into these top R&B karaoke songs.
- This is How We Do It – Montell Jordan
- Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
- Poison – Bel Biv Devoe
- End of the Road – Boyz II Men
- No Diggity – Blackstreet
- Doo Wop (That Thing) – Lauryn Hill
- Un-break My Heart – Toni Braxton
- Not Gon’ Cry – Mary J. Blige
- He’s So Fine – The Chiffons
- Chain of Fools – Aretha Franklin
More of the honky-tonk type? Whether you prefer classic country songs or modern-day hits, here are the best country karaoke songs.
- Man! I Feel Like a Woman! – Shania Twain
- Something to Talk About – Bonnie Raitt
- Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
- Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
- Stand By Your Man – Tammy Wynette
- Friends In Low Places – Garth Brooks
- Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
- Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood
- Celebrity – Brad Paisley
- All My Ex’s Live in Texas – George Strait
And whatever you do… avoid these WORST karaoke songs!
- Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
- I’ve Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher
- Picture – Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock
- Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot
- Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
- Barbie Girl – Aqua
- My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
- Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffet
- Boyfriend – Justin Bieber
- Friday – Rebecca Black
Readers, what top karaoke songs did we leave out? Add a comment with your favorites!