The best karaoke songs for any situation

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I hardly know a parent in my circle who doesn’t confess to the guilty pleasure that is karaoke. Oh admit it–there’s nothing more fun than a private room with a few friends on babysitter night, a couple of hot mics, and a few bottles of…well, something that gets you more willing to belt out Bon Jovi than you might have been earlier that day.

As for me, I actually grew an appreciation of karaoke a little later than most, probably because as a former music therapist, my everyday existence was kind of like a karaoke bar. (Well, except the booze was replaced by sippy cups and the audience was a bunch of adorable children who were mildly entertained by my skippy rendition of “Wheels on the Bus.”)

Since then I’ve done my fair share of singing (with the blackmail photos to prove it) and in that time I’ve developed a knack for playing DJ with my friends, and picking the best karaoke song for any situation. In fact, I’m a firm believer that, like a bangin’ little black dress and a pair of great heels, every woman should have at least one go-to karaoke song in her repertoire.

The following are just a shortlist of my picks for best karaoke songs for any person, for any situation.


Best karaoke song to get the party started
Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go, Wham
Runner Up: ABC, Jackson Five

Best karaoke song for showing off the rapping skills
Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice
Runner Up: Whatta Man, Salt + Pepa

Best group karaoke song for when there are no men around
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Cindy Lauper
Runner Up: It’s Raining Men, The Weathergirls

Best karoke song to sing when you’re hugely pregnant and I would know
Papa Don’t Preach, Madonna
Runner Up: Sexual Healing, Marvin Gaye

Best guaranteed crowd pleasing karaoke song
Walk this Way, Run DMC
Runner Up: Tiny Dancer, Elton John

Best karaoke song if your performance can make up for your lack of singing skills
Hit Me Baby One More Time, Britney Spears
I’m Too Sexy
, Right Said Fred

Best karaoke song to clear the room (helpful if there’s a wait)
Hotel California, Eagles
Runner Up: Sweet Caroline
, Neil Diamond

Best male/female karoke duet even if everyone hates you for it
Summer Lovin’, Grease soundtrack
Runner Up: Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Meatloaf

Best karaoke song after a few too many tequilas

Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard

Runner Up: Livin on a Prayer, Bon Jovi

Best karoke ballad for the closet pro – female
Must Have Been Love, Roxette
Runner Up: The Rose, Bette Midler

Best karoke ballad for the closet pro – male
Runner Up: Every Rose Has its Thorn, Poison
Runner Up: Crazy, Aerosmith


Best karoke song to get the whole crowd singing

Don’t Stop Believing, Journey
Runner Up: Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Best karaoke song to force your normally shy husband to sing Baby Got Back, Sir Mixalot
Runner Up: Anything by Prince

Best karoke song to start winding things down
Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler
Runner Up: Sister Christian, Night Ranger

Best karoke song if you really don’t care how badly you’re going to butcher it
Sweet Child of Mine, Guns and Roses
Runner Up: Wanted Dead or Alive, Bon Jovi

Best karaoke song if you never want a karaoke invitation again
My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion
Runner Up (but not by much): Mmm Bop, Hanson

Whatever you pick, just keep in mind that we’re living in a time when everyone has a video camera on their smart phones. You get my drift. -Kristen (with help from Liz)

So…spill it! What did we get right? Or very very wrong?










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4 Comments

  • Reply June 8, 2012

    Alyssa S.

    How can you NOT love MMM Bop? I totally sing that in my car all the time. I’m a not so closeted Hanson fan. And yeah, anything from Neil Diamond repertoire will make me leave!

  • Reply June 8, 2012

    Karen

    What? No Delta Dawn? (THAT is a room clearer)

    Free Fallin’ gets the bar going.

    And Independence Day by Martina McBride is good for an almost-pro.

    Sweet Caroline – really depends on the crowd. 70′s kids? Sing along. 80′s-90′s kids? Clearing out.

  • Reply October 17, 2012

    Father Muskrat

    Was just seearching for new ideas for my upcoming Halloween karaoke party and came upon this post. I agree with most of the above, but I also like to do a lot of rap, as it surprises everyone (given my extreme whiteness).

  • Reply March 17, 2014

    Jeremy

    The super young spring-breakers down here love Sweet Caroline. Any song that has crowd participation should not be on your list. Maybe you just were not meant to sing it. I have heard this song rock the night away many-a-times to these youngins’ half my age.

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