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Best Karaoke Songs To Sing

Updated on July 13, 2011

Too Many Choices Too Little Time

The Trouble with Choosing the Best Karaoke Songs to Sing

Every karaoke night is the same battle for me.

I approach the songbook like a gunslinger in the Old West. The theme song for "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" plays in my head. I brace myself for the bullet...

Maybe it's not that bad, but I swear that trying to pick a song to sing while I'm at the venue is almost impossible. I see titles and artists and versions and my mind takes a vacation.

What can I really sing?

It is always better to go into karaoke night with 3-5 song ideas. You want karaoke songs that you know you can sing well and that are really familiar to you. You want karaoke tunes close to your voice range that are crowd pleasing, too.  Don't worry if some notes are too high or too low, though.  Most KJs have the karaoke DJ equipment to cheat a song up or down a few keys into your comfort range.

To help you make a choice, I've assembled a couple lists of the best karaoke songs. I'm breaking them down into the top ten karaoke songs for men and the top ten karaoke songs for women.

Except I've had trouble cutting the list down to just ten. You'll see why.

Popular Karaoke Songs for Women

I laughed as I assembled this list.  There's no doubt that the karaoke music that women love to sing has a certain style. We like the songs about misery at work, uncertain love, and how great it is to be a woman. 

So here are the Best Karaoke Songs to Sing for Women.  (In no particular order.)

  1.  Goodbye Earl - The Dixie Chicks
  2.  9 to 5 - Dolly Parton
  3.  Man, I Feel Like a Woman - Shania Twain
  4.  I Love Rock’n’Roll! - Joan Jett
  5.  It’s In His Kiss - Cher
  6.  What’s Love Got To Do With It - Tina Turner
  7.  Torn - Natalie Imbruglia
  8.  Complicated - Avril Lavigne
  9.  I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
  10.  Think Before he Cheats - Carrie Underwood
  11.  Dancing Queen - Abba

Yes, I know that's 11.  Sigh.  Which one would you cut from the list?

A Little Fun with "Torn"

Top 10 Karaoke Songs for Men

As I was putting this list together, it struck me that men need something different from the karaoke songbook. The list strikes me as heavy on the syrup-sweet love songs. Do the men who sing karaoke choose their song in order to pick up women or to apologize to their current woman?

Oh well, that's probably unkind of me to say.

Another thing about this list - lots of genre variety. I think men are comfortable singing in certain musical eras. Are they heavy metal men? Or coffee house crooners? Or a little bit country? That affects what song men pick to sing with the machine karaoke.

So here are the Best Karaoke Songs to Sing for Men. (Again, in no particular order.)

  1. "Born in the USA" - Bruce Springsteen
  2. "Livin' on a Prayer" - Bon Jovi
  3. "Sweet Home Alabama" - Lynyrd Skynyrd
  4. "Friends in Low Places" - Garth Brooks
  5. "Pretty Woman" - Roy Orbison
  6. "Bad to the Bone" - George Thorogood
  7. "More Than Words" - Extreme
  8. "All I Need Is A Miracle" - Mike and the Mechanics
  9. "You Were Always On My Mind" - Willie Nelson
  10. "Open Arms" - Journey
  11. "Shook me all Night Long" - AC/DC
  12. "I’m Too Sexy" - Right Said Fred
  13. "She’s a Lady" - Tom Jones
  14. "My Way" - Frank Sinatra

And yes, I realize that I did even worse editing this list to size than the previous list. I could have more easily cut this list down to 10, actually, but I didn't want my own personal taste to throw off the facts. And the facts are that these 14 songs are popular karaoke songs for men to sing and crowd pleasers, too.

I'll gladly take suggestions for editing down or adding to these lists. Just write a comment below!

Here's the Danger of Choosing a Popular Song - Singalongs!

What Songs Did I Forget to List? Write A Comment to Tell Me!

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    • profile image

      Tom L. 6 years ago

      Love Karaoke!! Dean Martin - "Sway" and Frank Sinatra - "That's Life"

      Those days are long gone, but used to be able to do a great imitation of Dean Martin's

      "Sway? and also Johnny Ray's "Cry" and "The Little White Cloud That Cried", , afraid those days are long gone.. . . but sill love the Karaoke Bars!!!

    • profile image

      Wtf 6 years ago

      You guys r way too keen for karaoke... I laugh at u

    • profile image

      bonkersshe 6 years ago

      Holy Crow JimmyT! That dude was FEE NAM!! Definitely some mad karaoke skills there! I'm not much of a singer but I did get a standing O for Just the Way you are by billy Joel. So what the snack? I'm gonna try this one too! lol

    • profile image

      JimmyT 6 years ago

    • profile image

      stephentheking 6 years ago

      Karaoke is lots of fun. It's always fascinating to see what selections people will come up with. I only wish more recent music could be sung, it's becoming an Oldies fest.

    • profile image

      stephentheking 6 years ago

      A song on the Karaoke List is Actually Druidically Accursed. Unless you are Carlos Castaneda, do not sing it, or exercise extreme caution. The song is called IN A BIG COUNTRY. If you sing it, Evil Spirits from the Hebrides will come, they will drive the audience Mad. I've seen it happen twice. Unless you have a working knowledge of the Black Arts, don't sing it. Think I'm kidding? Then Sing It!

    • profile image

      stephentheking 6 years ago

      All right folks, now listen up. THE VERY BEST KARAOKE LIST IN ALL OF LOS ANGELES BELONGS TO A CLUB CALLED (READY?).....KARAOKE BLEU! This is on Sawtelle, in Little Tokyo West, in West Los Angeles. Sure, DIMPLES in Burbank is the Oldest, they give you a free DVD, their Décor is great. But they have a below-average list, what's up? BRASS MONKEY has a slightly better than average list. A real fascistic club (that I don't recommend), called MOM's in Santa Monica, has VENUS IN FURS, a coup d'etat! But the management is strict, biased, and nuts! GABES has a good list, as does SONNY McLEANS. My beautiful GASLITE, the best ambience club, has an indifferent, falling-apart list that they are working on. But it is true that the Japanese have the Best Aesthetic Sense in the world, even for American things like rock 'n roll. Better than ours, anyway. Karaoke Bleu has the only list that I would say to be EXCELLENT in all of L.A. The Pineapple in Tustin twenty years ago had THE MONSTER LIST, every song you could possibly think of, but I don't know if they still have that. But the Pineapple in Orange County is the standard of excellence, by which I measure all other Karaoke Lists. I may go down there to see if their list is still as big as the Old Testament, though I hear it's computerized now. In the meantime, Karaoke Bleu gouges you for drinks, the owner thinks he is a yakuza. The sign on the door says they don't charge you a dollar a song any more, but they capriciously still do sometimes, as the mood strikes them. Their sound system is weird, the mixing non-existent (they just turn everything up as loud as it will go, and pray). In spite of all this, the LIST, ah, that Fabulous List! Songs you will find nowhere else, old Yes, King Crimson. Valley Girl and yes, that show-stopper SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER. Everyone is nice and polite, the hostesses are really cute. That List is so fantastic, I'm telling all you serious karaoke singers in L.A. to go there at least once. The wait time is zero usually, or a few minutes. I sang 35 songs in a row there once, which must be some kind of a record (it was a slow night). Again, the best karaoke list in Los Angeles is at Karaoke Bleu, on Sawtelle, in West Los Angeles. If you find a better list, please tell me.

    • profile image

      stephentheking 6 years ago

      Singing is a fairly common skill, most people can sing a little bit. It's not that common though. Unless you are fairly serious about singing, unless you have the Genes, unless you truly Love what you sing, you are unlikely to improve or become excellent, which should be your goal. If you have but modest vocal gifts, do not attempt a complex song, since you will just look like a fool. You have to love what you sing, but you also must have a modicum of Talent to be a Good karaoke singer. Half is singing Skill, but the other half is shrewd SONG SELECTION. That audience is hungering for something, they are looking for something, they want the TRUTH. So sing them the Truth. Don't sing things everyone sings, but don't sing unknown things either. Since COOL things, and you have to know what Cool or Ice Cold means. Since unexpected, lively, smart things that are fairly well-known. When you sing Old things, try to sing Timeless things. Sing Smart, the audience detests Dumb, or Oversung, or Predictable. You don't have to sing songs everyone likes, but songs that make people take sides, pro or con. Take risks, sing Edgy material. Having a "classically trained" voice can sometimes hold you back, such singers are afraid to sing harshly (essential in much rock) for fear of damaging their precious Vocal Chords. How wil they get on American Idol if they don't sing Slick, Overdone Pop? Well, most won't anyway. Those singing TV shows are the very Devil, they encourage Blandness and Soullessness. Don't be a "personality" who can barely sing, be Someone who imparts fire, who imparts the Truth into what you sing. Make your material Smart and Thoughtful, this is imperative. DUMB is not fun to listen to, though easy to do. Learn thouands and thousands of songs, learn everything you hear. You must be able to sing every genre, every Decade, whether you like them or not. You have to be able to do anything. Then, and only then, can you call yourself a Good karaoke singer. You have to be able to Rap and do Punk, and EVERYTHING in between. You have to know everything from 40's Pop to the Music of Right Now, you have to be conversant with every style. You have to be current, but this has to be reinforced with a Thorough Grounding in the music of the Past. You have to be well-rounded. Karaoke disc jockeys, do NOT shuffle the song selections around to create a "mix'" audiences hate that. An audience is usually sufficiently diverse to make its own mix, no need to Fiddle. A paper list with a fixed order is the fairest system, the one that provokes the least protest. To shovel new singers into the rotation ahead of the people who got there first is something many people consider to be unfair. Remember that the audience Detests List Tampering, they will depart in a Huff if you do this. Fairness, please! And people do not trust computer lists because they can not see them. Always take your karaoke shows seriously, act like you are singing at Albert Hall. If you sing your very best and impress the audience, they will follow suit and sing their very best. Then the shows are not just Fun, they begin to aspire to something like Art. And that is, or should be, the goal of all Karaoke. To become something so good that the world will not be able to ignore us! Well, those are a few tips, and I hope they are useful.

    • profile image

      stephentheking 6 years ago

      Well, your list is a little unadventurous. Here is my list of TOP TWENTY KARAOKE SONGS TO SING, Guaranteed to make the alcoholics stop drinking and listen: 20.) PICTURES OF LILY; 19.)LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS (Beatles); 18.)POSITIVELY FOURTH STREET; 17.)SORROW(Bad Religion); 16.)PLAY WITH FIRE; 15.)DOWN ON ME; 14.)SOMEBODY TO LOVE(Jefferson Airplane); 13.)IT'S BEEN AWHILE; 12.)TELEGRAM SAM; 11.)MAN IN THE BOX; 10.)ONE BOURBON ONE SCOTCH ONE BEER; 9.)GOLDFINGER; 8.)I SECOND THAT EMOTION; 7.)A FOOL SUCH AS I; 6.)TURNING JAPANESE; 5.)CINNAMON GIRL; 4.)TIME HAS COME TODAY; 3.)CRANK DAT SOULJAH BOY; 2.)STONE FREE; 1.)SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER (a satirical show-stopper!). Try these songs, you will see I am right. You will surge to the Top of the Pack with these songs!

    • profile image

      Maggie 6 years ago

      @ Russ:

      It depends on the song. Moving it up a key might make it more comfortable to sing it down the octave. (That makes sense, I swear).

      "Moving it down a key or two" literally means changing the key so instead of starting on, say, the note F, you might start two notes lower on a D.

      "Singing it down the octave" means instead of starting on the high, girly F, you would start on an octave lower on a low F. The same note, but in your manly register. But, let's say this made the song actually too low to sing in certain parts. Then, to get it in a comfortable range, you would move the key up, so you start on maybe a G, and when you sing the song in the lower register, it will be comfortable.

      Basically, if you know your range, you can sing in a comfortable octave and tweak the key so it fits your range.

    • profile image

      Russ 6 years ago

      To sing a song by a female artist it would seem appropriate to ask for the song to be brought down a key or two.

      But equally, I've heard it should be moved UP a key. Is there any validity in this suggestion?

    • Lottie Lane profile image

      Lottie Lane 7 years ago from Cheltenham

      I love to sing!

    • profile image

      Chris 7 years ago

      DK, it's you.

      A wide variety of people sing karaoke...some like to sing songs from their generation, some like to sing older songs, some like to sing songs written before they were even born.

      I think you should make a Hub that answers your question...the Top Pop Karaoke Songs of 2010? I know there are people who would like that list, too. XXX

    • profile image

      Dk 7 years ago

      Hey, is it me or does everyone else know these except meee well I'm more a POP kinda person xxxxx

    • profile image

      Dk 7 years ago

      Can u put modern songs up please like Taylor s beyonce katy perry I've only heard of one annd that's by avril l thanks xxx

    • profile image

      Ciara 7 years ago


      ok so I'm 13 almost 14 and ive heard almost all of these songs,(making 1 excption for the girls and 3 for the guys) this is great! I LOVE these songs!!!um well the ones i didn't know were: Torn - Natalie Imbruglia, "All I Need Is A Miracle" - Mike and the Mechanics, "More Than Words" - Extreme, "She’s a Lady" - Tom Jones. So those are probobly the ones i would cut otherwise... Great song choice

    • A.Villarasa profile image

      Alexander A. Villarasa 7 years ago from Palm Springs

      Yes I have... not so totally surprising considering that Filipinos are the most Karaoke-crazy people in the whole wide world. I should know I am one of them.

    • ChristineSheridan profile image

      ChristineSheridan 7 years ago from Cleveland Ohio USA

      Have you read about the "My Way Murders" in the Philippines? That is a dangerous song to sing badly in some parts of the world. Much better to pick a song you know makes a small tizzy, I say. Keep on rockin' the karaoke!

    • A.Villarasa profile image

      Alexander A. Villarasa 7 years ago from Palm Springs

      As I am writing this, I am listening to the video clip of a guy singing My Way, rather badly. I do love to sing, and when going to a Karaoke bar I already have a list of what songs I'd sing that has the potential for wowing the crowd. When I sing Josh Groban's "You're still you" the crowd goes into a tizzy...well maybe a little tizzy. I am obviously not quitting my day job yet.


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