Let’s be real for a second: anyone who says they don’t like karaoke is lying. Who doesn’t love to sing their hearts out to their favorite songs? Whether you have the voice of an angel or can’t sing to save your life, this is such a fun thing to do with your friends at a party.
But, there are crucial elements that must come together to make the evening a success. I’m talking about the elephant in the room: the songs themselves. A successful performance requires classic songs that are well known and easy to sing. This way your friends can jump in and join you. As I’ve experienced, choosing good tracks is harder than you might think. Well, lucky for you, below is a list of songs that are sure to fill your night with debut performances and superstar spotting. It contains hype fast-paced songs as well as slower songs to give everyone a quick rest.
“Party America” – Miley Cyrus
It would be a shame not to start with this one. Everyone knows it and it’s sure to start your singing night off right.
“Love Story” – Taylor Swift
Another classic. It’s the perfect song to sing along with your friends and imagine yourself running through the field of grass like Swift did in her music video.
“Staying Alive” – Bee Gees
There’s no worse crime than not putting this one here. With its fast pace and famous lyrics, it guarantees a good time.
“Famous” – Kanye West
Any Kanye fan would demand this song be included. With the background chorus and the mix of rap and vocals, there’s something for everyone to try. And with Rihanna snippets, this song couldn’t get any better. When my friends and I sang it, each of us did a different part to create a rather impressive rendition. I think Kanye would be impressed.
“Fireworks” – Katy Perry
None of us can deny that this song was in a chamber mirror concert when you were younger. Even if a few of your friends haven’t memorized the lyrics, the amazing early build-up and disco beat brings out everyone’s best dance moves.
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson
Okay, you’re probably out of breath by the time you’ve played the songs before this one. But don’t worry, this awesome duo is here to give you a slightly slower classic. Although it was released long before our time, this song still reigns supreme and is one of my favorites.
“Sweet Caroline” – Neil Diamond
I have a slight bias with this one. Besides being a banger, going viral on TikTok, and being featured in every school dance, this song has a special place in my heart because one of my best friends is called Caroline. Even if you don’t have a friend to serenade with this song, it’s so much fun to have all your friends screaming to the famous “ba, ba, ba” chorus.
“Dark Horse” – Katy Perry
Dark Horse’s bass is enough to get it here. It’s time to shock your friends and unleash your freaky dance moves.
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” – John Denver, Bill Danoff & Taffy Nivert
The chorus of this Denver classic is so nostalgic and always takes me back to those hot summer days driving with the windows down on a wide open road. It will allow you and your friends to take a second, catch your breath and reflect on your happy memories.
“24K Magic” – Bruno Mars
I bet you were worried that I forgot. Arguably the best song from 2016’s epic album, “24K Magic” is a masterpiece where ’80s funk meets modern recording technology.
“She will be loved” – Brown 5
This playlist wouldn’t be complete without Maroon 5. Despite peaking in the early 2010s, the songs this band left behind aren’t going anywhere. “She Will Be Loved” in particular is a beautiful concoction of perfectly written lyrics and flawless musical accompaniment.
“Louder (which doesn’t kill you)” – Kelly Clarkson
Whether you’re recovering from someone, going through a rough patch, or just enjoying feeling the lyrics, this song is arguably the centerpiece of Clarkson’s career. Covers and spin-offs have been made, but nothing compares to the 2012 original.
“Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson (featuring Bruno Mars)
I was asking a friend of mine what he thought of this playlist so far and I’m ashamed to say I almost forgot to include “Uptown Funk”. Similar to “Famous”, this song has the perfect number of parts and background sounds to get all your friends to join in. Even if someone is just doing the “fucking hot” part, they are guaranteed to have a good time.
“Stronger” – Kanye West
I bet I would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t know the first five seconds of this song. The atmosphere is so good and it will definitely leave everyone in a good mood.
“Payphone” – Maroon 5 (featuring Wiz Khalifa)
Showcasing and acknowledging heartbreak and pain, it’s an anthem for anyone who’s done with love songs and desperately needs an outlet. As the song says, “all these fairy tales are full of…”, well you know what.
“Ocean Eyes” – Billie Eilish
You are all exhausted. You danced and sang your heart out to all the amazing songs on this list. Now you need a song to end the night on a high and get your heart rate back to normal. Eilish has a special place in my heart because I’ve been a fan of her since before she became famous. “Ocean Eyes” was her first song, and it’s the perfect emotional song to end an amazing night.
Good. You’ve got the playlist and you’re excited. Now all you have to do is gather your friends and unleash your inner singer. Even if you have any doubts about karaoke, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Let the music bring you to life!