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Karaoke is a Japanese word that translates to “empty orchestra”

If you’re like most Americans, you have either been to a “karaoke night” somewhere or have even participated in singing. Perhaps you’re brave and sang solo, but most likely you were not alone onstage. After all, it takes bravery and maybe a couple of drinks to get the confidence necessary to take the stage.

What Song Would You Sing?

The one and only time I sang karaoke solo was at a Christmas party my wife and I threw many years ago and we had borrowed a machine from a friend of ours and after a few cocktails I was coerced by my wife to take on a Frank Sinatra classic, “The Summer Wind’.

Let’s just say, the audience was very forgiving of my less than sterling performance, I got a standing ovation, because everyone was already standing and clapped. Lol.

Choose wisely!

If you find yourself in a karaoke bar or situation, choose your song carefully and know your limitations, for instance, if you can’t hit the high notes, you might want to avoid any song by Mariah Carey or Steve Perry.  Although, “Don’t Stop Believing” is always fun as a group sing. And for the love of god, do not even try singing Minnie Ripperton’s “Loving You” because you think the audience will get a kick out of it. Not happening.

Here are the Fine Nine Karaoke songs to take on

The folks at Billboard magazine put out a list of top 100 best songs to sing Karaoke to. They explain why the song is a good choice, when to sing it and what are the best circumstances in which you should sing them. They are not all solo’s so grab some friends and grab the microphone!

  • 9. Bonnie Tyler "Total Eclipse of The Heart

    The Experts Say: I love when people sing this song because I can sing the backups on it, and some people are pretty surprised. They’re like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know if someone was gonna do the [sings] “turn around.”’ I definitely plug that in there for them. And then you of course have the Dan Band version [from Old School], which a lot of guys will do when they get up to sing: [Sings] ‘I f—ing need you toni-ight!’ It’s always an end-of-the-night song. Never a starter.” — Kiki Park

  • 8. Garth Brooks "Friends in Low Places

    The Experts Say: “Always a crowd-pleaser… There’s something about [Garth Brooks’ music] that I feel no matter who you are, you can relate to it. No matter your situation… And I think that’s one of those bar songs that if somebody wants to sing it, everybody starts singing along. It doesn’t matter. Age, gender — none of that matters.” — KJ Danny

  • 7. Nicki Minaj "Super Bass"

    The Experts Say: “I love that song. It was one of her biggest hits when she first came out, and also a little bit of rap is impressive in a karaoke room. So yeah, it’s a fun dance one. You can’t go wrong with fun dance.” — Kiki Park

  • 6. Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know"

    The Experts Say: “They’re universal themes, right? F–k my ex, that sociopathic, narcissistic a–hole. We all share that.” — Joey Park

  • 5. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper " Shallow"

    The Experts Say: “Oh my God, it’s the worst, but people love it. I just think it’s a downer. Like, pick a song for the crowd so the crowd gets into it. And any time that song comes on, people go outside.” — Liz Lewis

  • 4. Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody


    The Experts Say: “A lot of times we get a bunch of people that sing it. Some people really go crazy, it gets rocking at the end. It can hit really big on a weekend — the whole place could be singing it.” — Joe Zara

    “Is [the greatest karaoke song of all-time] ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’? It basically has to be a song that you know all the words to – and you don’t have to sing it great – but also the crowd knows. It’s all about reading the room. If people want a successful karaoke experience – you know, you don’t want everyone to leave and go on a cigarette break, so it has to be a good song. I would say, yeah, probably ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’” — Liz Lewis


  • 3. Gloria Gaynor " I Will Survive"

    The Experts Say: “That’s a big go-to for my people who want to do epic songs. It’s a very inspirational song. So yeah, you’ve got a woman song, an inspirational song — those are all huge go-to’s for karaoke.” — Kiki Park

  • 2. Backstreet Boys " I Want It That Way"

    The Experts Say: “‘I Want It That Way’ is like the ultimate karaoke song to me for a number of reasons… It immediately breaks down the barrier of anyone in the bar taking themselves seriously. It’s like, ‘Oh cool, now we can all kinda relax together. You’re up there being silly, and I can be silly too.’ And then it implements this call-and-response lyric… You have the audience participating with you, and it gives them an opportunity to jump in and share how much they love the song as well.

  • 1. Shania Twain

    The Experts Say: “That’s always a girl-empowerment song that gets the room going. And the best is when a drunk guy sings that song. It’s just the best entertainment.” — Kiki Park

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