Top 10 Karaoke Songs

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Everybody loves karaoke! Whether or not you need an alcoholic beverage first, or already have your song picked in the car. Singing karaoke is as natural as leaving cookies out for Santa Claus. Although first invented in Japan, it didn’t take long for the entire world to catch on. Maybe it’s because deep down everyone wants to be a music star- to be on MTV and have a thousand adoring fans scream when you hit the stage. It could be argued karaoke was first invented in the shower. Before cars were invented and a person bathed themselves in a creek of water. We’ve seen it in cartoons. The beautiful princess searching for her prince who sings a love song in the pond. Or maybe during chores? Wherever it first happened, people love to sing! Naturally certain songs have become more popular than others. Below you will find the top 10 most common karaoke covers.

10. “There’s A Tear In My Beer” by Hank Williams Jr

This is a very common karaoke song for the simple fact a beer is involved. Sing this song at any local watering hole and chances are everyone in the place will raise their beer in the air. More than likely they will be singing along with you, too! “There’s a tear in my beer ’cause I’m crying for you dear!” Who wouldn’t want to join in on the fun?! Plus you can’t go wrong with any kind of love song. Drunk people love nothing more than singing songs that they can somehow relate to in their real life. Hank Williams of course being a huge country star and father to many other Williams singers.

9. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

Now this is a great song to karaoke! When choosing a good cover to sing ideally you want a song with changes. Something entertaining that jumps around musically. This song starts out very slow and wraps up very fast. It’s perfect! Songs that keep the same tempo the entire time can get boring and draw attention to just how bad your singing skills are. Pick this song and half way through everyone in the place will be too wrapped up with trying to remember the lyrics themselves to even notice how terrible you are! “Bohemian Rhapsody” was written by the late Freddie Mercury in 1975. Unfortunately Freddie passed away from complications brought on by AIDS in 1991. What better way to honor a great musician than murdering one of his best songs ever!

8. “Summer Nights” by Olivia Newton John and John Travolta

This one is a bit more complicated as you need both a man and woman, but if you can find a partner this one’s great. While most men might not know the words by heart, you can guarantee the girls will! This song became popular from the movie Grease in 1978. With other famous songs like “Sandra Dee” and “Greased Lightning”, you can’t go wrong with “Summer Love”. Plus it becomes much easier to stand on stage and sing with someone with you. The song was actually written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, but best-known from Olivia and John. Jacobs and Casey were in a band together called  “DDT & the Dynamiters.” If you’re a big fan of “Summer Nights”, you might want to check them out.

7. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

This one is mainly for the girls, but no doubt a favorite. Written by Jim Steinman and performed by Bonnie Tyler in 1983. Total Eclipse of the Heart is a popular karaoke cover coast to coast. Just about everyone in the world has heard this song and more than likely has seen someone sing it wherever there is karaoke happening. Bonnie Tyler first became famous in 1976 from a song called “Lost In France” and then became a huge world-wide music star with Total Eclipse of the Heart. While you may not know what this song is actually about, you’ll recognize it the second you hear “turn around.”

6. “YMCA” by The Village People

For obvious reasons this song is a favorite. Any time you’ve been drinking and you get to act out anything, you’re happy! First becoming popular within gay culture this song quickly became a hit in every circle. You can’t help but love a song that lets you form your arms into a letter. That and the fact you can even dress the part! The characters are a police officer, construction worker, cowboy, Indian chief, and a military man or biker. Walk up on stage wearing any of these six costumes and the crowd will lose their mind. Get the whole gang together and you could possibly start charging for tickets!

5. “Under The Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Written by Anthony Kiedis in 1992, this song is a classic karaoke cover. People enjoy the dark meaning and the slow heart-felt lyrics. This song was written during a time when Anthony Kiedis had achieved sobriety and felt isolation from his band mates, as they were still using drugs and alcohol. During this time Kiedis would wander the streets of Los Angeles alone and felt an unspoken bond between him and the city he lived in. This is all carefully documented in the lyrics. Keidis blamed his drug and alcohol addictions for destroying both relationships and his personal happiness. Just about every rock band has a song that’s similar. It seems to be a common thing in rock & roll.

4. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

First performed by Gloria Gaynor in October of 1978, “I Will Survive” has easily become a world-wide classic. It’s been covered by many, many, other top performing artist such as Cake, Diana Ross, and R.E.M. You really can’t go wrong with singing this song. Whether or not you’re male or female, the crowd will love you for it. The amount of different movies and TV sitcom shows this song has been played in is ridiculously long and not worth listing (it’s literally in the hundreds). I Will Survive is included in the karaoke circuit, one of disco’s biggest hits, and Gaynor’s most famous song to date.

3. “Like A Virgin” by Madonna

This song is typically performed as a joke and purposely overdramatic. Wherever you go sooner or later, someone, usually a female, will torture your eardrums with this now anthem. Maybe for it’s sexual reference or just the fact that Madonna sings it, whatever it is women love it. “Like A Virgin“was written by Madonna in 1984 and helped pave her edgy reputation. Weird Al Yankovic wrote a parody to this song titled “Like A Surgeon” where he played a doctor using operating tools such as chainsaws, drills, and blowtorches. This version may even be more entertaining as a karaoke cover than the original. Either way, “Like a Virgin” is a karaoke favorite and guaranteed to be performed by a girl who’s always thought of herself as Madonna.

2. “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet

Does this one even need any kind of explanation? “Margaritaville” is quite possibly the most popular karaoke song ever. Like stated before, anything to do with alcohol will be a huge hit at the bar. A person could easily get on stage and just start naming different cocktails and the crowd would be amused. Whether or not it’s “Wasted Away” or “Wastin’ Away” the world may never know, but one thing is for certain: singing Margaritaville will put a smile on everyone’s face. There is a lost verse to this song Jimmy Buffet only sings during concerts that goes “Old men in tank tops, cruisin’ the gift shops. Checkin’ out chiquitas, down by the shore. They dream about weight loss, wish they could be their own boss. Those three-day vacations can be, or become, such a bore.”

1. “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi

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The second hit from their album Slippery When Wet, “Livin’ On A Prayer” is a must-do karaoke cover. This song was actually a hidden track from the album 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong and at first disliked by Bon Jovi. After some convincing by band mate Richie Sambora, Bon Jovi recorded the song once again and agreed to include it on the Slippery When Wet album. Obviously Richie was right because the song quickly became a classic. People love watching this song being performed live because there really isn’t anyway to talk your way through it. When the chorus hits, you have no choice but to sing it at the top of your lungs. “Wooooo, Ohhhhhh! Livin’ On A Prayer! Take My Hand, We’ll Make It I Swear. Woooo, Ohhhhh, Livin’ On A Prayer!”


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6 Comments

  1. now i can understand some of the rage karaoke killings, wow! listening to that all night with alcohol in one of the states where you can carry a gun i'm suprised america hasn't had it's own string of karaoke violence.

  2. As a former karaoke host, I can attest that all of these are very popular on karaoke night. Another ten would be:

    Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice. Stop, collaborate, and listen…to it EVERY WEEK.

    Baby Got Back – Sir Mix A Lot. Usually sang by a gaggle of very drunk girls who giggle the whole time.

    Eye of the Tiger – Survivor. Most of the time, the people singing it only know the chorus.

    Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks. Good for a whole-bar singalong every time.

    Don't Stop Believing – Journey. Even before GLEE made it popular again.

    Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi. Because everybody likes to belt out the Richie Sambora part.

    Picture – Kid Rock and Sheryl Crowe. The perfect drunk duet. I bet, as host, I had to sing this song with 100 different drunk dudes who couldn't find a drunk girl to sing it with.

    Strokin' – Clarence Carter. Disgusting, but VERY popular.

    At This Moment – Billy Vera and the Beaters. Every now and then, some dude can really sing this. Most of the time, uh uh.

    My Way – Frank Sinatra. Most of the time (thankfully) it's done by a karaoke veteran. Sometimes, you're not so lucky.

  3. When I was deployed to Macedonia we had the UN civilians visit our Officer's club and I did "Living in America" for one hot Belgian chick. She loves this country and wanted to visit us one day. I hooked up with her later… THANK YOU JAMES BROWN!!!

  4. I think that the cover of Under the Bridge was Killer… That dude can sing.. & that dude singing "Living on A Prayer" was really good too… more info on the videos please….

  5. What a nice list…
    I was just practicing singing the song of Bonnie Tyler..
    TURN AROUND, I mean… TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART..
    🙂

  6. Whaaat? No mention at all of…. “Sweeeeet Caroline” BAH BAH BAH! That one is a crowd pleaser 100% of the time 🙂

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