These 16 great songs choices for your next karaoke bar experience will entertain, titillate, shock, disgust, and embarrass and they’re a surefire cure for the blues.
Madonna – “Like a Prayer”
Church choir singalongs, sexual innuendo, and a fantastic climax make this singalong song an instant classic for karaoke crowds.
Whitney Houston – “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”
This smash single gets the entire bar dancing and it’s especially entertaining when sung by a group of all males. The high-pitched key change climax and synthy funk back beats help this pop classic lead to an insanely good time.
The B-52’s – “Love Shack”
“Love Shack” is another jam that everyone in the place knows the words too. Don’t be afraid of older women coming up onstage to join in on the festivities. This song makes people want to get together and dance and sometimes that’s all you need in life.
Bon Jovi – “Livin’ on a Prayer”
While Bon Jovi is defined by awkward white people belting out their lyrics while wearing questionably tacky clothing and sipping Budweiser, you can’t deny the magnetism this song holds. It’s so fun to scream the “Whoa-oh!” during the chorus that even non-fans will lend their voices.
Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Though some might say “Bohemian Rhapsody” has a bit too long of a runtime for your average karaoke performance, I would tell those people to go watch Wayne’s World and shut up. The key changes, speed changes, and myriad of different singing styles make terrible cover versions an entertaining feast for the senses.
Wham! – “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”
Screaming “Jitterbug” in a crowded bar amongst your peers and/or coworkers never loses its charm. In memory of the late George Michael who so recently passed away, please go make an ass out of yourself singing this song and swinging your hips in front of a crowd of drunk onlookers.
Grease – “Summer Nights”
No karaoke session is complete without a requisite duet. This Grease classic can support groups of vocalists ranging from groups of men and women to one lonely freak. It’s fun to sing and the end of the song is impressively epic.
DMX – “What’s My Name?”
Arguably the most hardcore bad ass of a rapper of all time, DMX’s lyrics are so fun to belt out and yell angrily. If you’re able to spit this entire song without missing a word and keeping on beat, you’ll be an undisputed karaoke champion.
Sir Mix-A-Lot – “Baby Got Back”
If you’re more in the mood for a party rap tune, “Baby Got Back” will get every woman in the bar twerking. There’s nothing like an anthem strictly devoted to a thick woman’s booty. It’s respectful and eloquent and makes folks get hyphy.
Wilson Philips – “Hold On”
Even before this song was made popular again by Bridesmaids, this has always been the jam. This is the song 90s women sang along to with their friends in the car on their way home from work. This is a song about sisterhood and staying strong. We need a few self-affirming songs in any good karaoke set list.
Backstreet Boys – “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”
Anyone who lived through the boy band crazy of the late 90s knows that this tune gets everybody’s feet stomping. With everyone in the bar doing their best impression of Michael Jackson’s creep dance from the “Thriller” video, this song brings people together.
Nelly – “Hot In Herre”
If you want to make the dance floor sweat, request this song from the karaoke MC. Just like DMX, you’ll earn yourself mucho credit by not fucking up any of the verses. If you’re not down with the St. Lunatics, don’t even bother.
TLC – “No Scrubs”
Another girl power song makes the list. This one is about loser guys hollering at you from the car windows of their best friend’s ride. They’re not worth your time, so sing to the heavens about how much they suck.
Miley Cyrus – “Party in the USA”
I had to include a Miley song on this list. She’s my often-misunderstood, sometimes hated muse and I couldn’t make a list of singalong songs without referencing my girl. Complete with throwing your hands up in the air, this tune will get the patrons participating and shouldn’t go unloved.
Journey – “Don’t Stop Believin’”
Like “Livin’ on a Prayer,” this Journey classic goes without saying and represents a large majority of awkwardly drunk white people. If you’re doing karaoke or you’re a shitty local cover band, this better be your closer or you’re doing it wrong.
Mariah Carey – “Always Be My Baby”
If you know me at all, you’ll know that I’ll always save the number one spot for the goddess of pop herself, Mariah Carey. Despite your recent snafu, I still love you, baby. I used to watch your music videos replayed ad nauseam on MTV as a child and I never got tired of hearing your angelic voice. Hearing drunk men try and recreate your vocals in front of strangers is truly the icing on the cake.