Karaoke is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you have Mariah Carey’s octave range or if you sing like Oscar the Grouch on a weekend bender: on that stage, wherever it may be, every voice is equal. But choosing the right karaoke song is crucial. No one wants to hear you growling a 20-minute stoner metal dirge or stumbling over your own tongue as you try to keep up with some Eminem speed-rap marathon.
It’s also not a place for snobbery – there are plenty of specialty nights out there if you want to tackle your favourite Pavement b-side or attempt to approximate Kate Bush’s warble. In most situations, though, you’ll want to stick to the standards: party jams, melodramatic love songs, theatrical arena rock belters, rap songs that everyone knows (and don’t contain any problematic language that’ll make the whole bar cringe depending on who’s performing). Choose one of these 50 all-timers next time you’re heading out for a night of soused singalongs and you’re sure to receive the standing ovation you deserve.
Written by Nick Levine, Adam Feldman, Hank Shteamer, Sophie Harris, Zach Long, Gabrielle Bruney, Tolly Wright, Bryan Kerwin and Matthew Singer.
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