100 Best Karaoke Songs For When You Want To Kill It On The Mic

Photo: shutterstock
50 Best Karaoke Songs For When You Want To Kill It On The Mic

Very few phrases in the English language incite as much fear as they do excitement, as much feverish anticipation as they do dread. If you’ve ever heard your BFF tipsily proclaim, “We’re going to karaoke!” you know this feeling exactly.

Karaoke is fun and goofy and a great way banish the workweek blues, but it comes with some drawbacks. Like, what are the best karaoke songs? What if you have no idea where to start in that thousand-page book of All The Songs Ever? What if you aren't drunk enough to take on the task of selecting one?

But you can still crush it when you step up to the mic. 

Here are 100 of the best karaoke songs, guaranteed to play up your strengths and banish any pre-performance jitters. Pick the one that suits your style in advance and get ready to slay. Just don’t forget to drop the mic when you’re done.

The 100 Best Karaoke Songs Of All Time For You And Your Friends To Sing Along With

RELATED: 45 Best Motivational Songs To Keep You Inspired All Day Long

8 Best Karaoke Songs of All Time

1. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston

You should be in the mood to shake it, because that's going to be expected with this classic Whitney song..

2. "You Know I'm No Good" by Amy Winehouse

Perfect for the jazzy improviser who isn’t afraid to go there.

3. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

You already sing this to yourself when you’re in the car. Now you can bring it to the karaoke stage.

4. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA

Whether it was your mom or dad who blasted ABBA all day and night growing up, you know this one by heart. So, show yourself off.

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

Do people know what it looks like to be truly lovesick? Do they understand how deeply complex Bonnie Tyler's predicament was when she was writing this song? They're about to find out.

6. “I Love Rock 'n' Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts 

Clapping is good! Make sure they keep clapping!

7. “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

Perfect for a ladies' night out, you can even get your girls on stage with you to sing this bop!

8. “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

Channel the energy of Tommy and Gina as you sing this song from the depths of your soul.

10 Easiest Karaoke Songs

9. "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba

You have a built-in choir of inebriated fools to shout this with you, so go for it and don't look back.

10. "Wonderwall" by Oasis

The entire bar will shout-sing the chorus as you take us back to a happier time when Liam and Noel were chill enough to be in the same room together... sort of.

11. "Lola" by The Kinks

Great for any nightclub scene, you don’t even have to be a good singer to get up and show your love for Lola.

12. "Wild World" by Cat Stevens

Go on, you old soul.

13. "Lovefool" by The Cardigans

Double down on the youthful nostalgia with some Romeo + Juliet vibes and a bubbly tune that everyone loves, whether they admit it or not.

14. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers

You'll certainly get participation on this one, but not everyone will be cheering. Luckily, those who love it will be screaming so loudly the others will have no choice but to plug their ears and take it.

15. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

After a few drinks, who doesn’t feel happy? Be sure to smile while you let this one out.

16. "Slide" by The Goo Goo Dolls

Who doesn't wanna wake up where you are?

17. "Rich Girl" by Hall and Oates

Hidden among all the other karaoke songs is this, the crown jewel of the evening. Hall and Oates forever, baby.

18. “MMMBop” by Hanson

You definitely know this song by heart, and sang it all the time as a kid. All you really need to know is the chorus, anyway.

15 Top Fun Karaoke Songs

19. "Like A Virgin" by Madonna

Fun, light, cheeky, and extremely sing-a-long-able.

20. “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

On a first date or trying to impress your crush? Sing this right to them.

21. "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond

You've already killed it by the time the intro is over.

22. “Hey Ya!” by Outkast

Feel free to dance around the stage for this one. There’s just no way you can do this song without wanting to move around.

23. “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit

For those who may be a little tone deaf, belt this one out and pray the audience sings along.

24. “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers

This song has a tendency to make everyone go wild.

25. “My Way” by Frank Sinatra

You, the stubborn one of the bunch, singing this song? They'll love it.

26. "Jack Sparrow" by The Lonely Island feat. Michael Bolton

You aren’t trying to make this a singing competition. Give the bar a night they won’t forget.

27. “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin

Give Ricky Martin a run for his money when you talk about that attractive woman’s devil-red lips.

28. “Two Princes” by the Spin Doctors

Not only is this so much fun to sing, but the lyrics are great, too. Forget those two Princes — you're a Queen/King!

29. "Wild Thing" by Tone Loc

Serve attitude on the lyrics you know ("Wild thing") and mumble the ones you don't (all the rest).

30. "Jump" Van Halen

A single syllable punctuated by a fist pump couldn’t be a more perfect option for you after numerous failed attempts at forming actual sentences.

31. Salt N' Peppa, "Push It"

Because when Drunk You wants a challenge, Drunk You gets a challenge.

32. Meredith Brooks, B***h"

Meredith Brooks is the karaoke crush no one knew they needed, and everyone will be thanking you.

33. Aretha Franklin, "Respect"

You'd better be ready to bring the house down with this one. Snag a friend or two to really sell it.

RELATED: The 50 Best Love Songs Of All Time

9 Most Popular Karaoke Songs

34. “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot

Seriously, who doesn’t know this rap in its entirety?

35. “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

If you love a good MJ song, this is perfect for anyone, no matter their singing range.

36. “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia

Put your all into this song, especially that “lying naked on the floor” part.

37. “Like a Prayer” by Madonna

You won’t have the gospel choir behind you, but your voice is just as good.

38. “Someone Like You” by Adele

Nobody compares to Adele, but this song will speak to the audience, especially if you’re actually heartbroken.

39. “Creep” by Radiohead

A great choice when you want to emotionally decimate the crowd, but also indicate you've been feeling a little ignored in the group text thread lately.

40. “Love Shack” by the B-52s

No one will mind if you make this performance less of a song and more of a Fred Schneider impression.

41. “Santeria” by Sublime

Every stoner should be lining the stage when this comes up in the queue.

42. Journey, "Don't Stop Believing"

Need I say more?

10 Best Country Karaoke Songs

43. "All My Exes Live In Texas" by George Strait

Because the idea of banishing everyone who ever broke your heart to a single state is very satisfying.

44. “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton

Though it’s a little slower for a karaoke song, keep the crowd engaged by doing your best Chris Stapleton impression.

45. "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" by Shania Twain

This song would be even better if sung by a guy. Just saying.

46. "Stand By Your Man" by Tammy Wynette

For those who want something different, a western song like this hits the spot.

47. "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown Band

Nothing says “country” like a song about pecan pie, homemade wine, and fried chicken.

48. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood

If you’ve been betrayed, there’s no song as powerful as this one for a scorned woman.

49. “Jolene” by Dolly Parton

Because you just can’t pass on a song about a hotter woman trying to steal your man.

50. "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks

Sing this right to your friends in the crowd who love to get wild and messy with you.

51. "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash

Take your calm bass-baritone register and love of country onto the stage. Bonus points if you have a friend who can play guitar and make it acoustic.

52. “Take Me Home Country Roads" by John Denver

The staple of country music, make everyone long for a slice of western life.

11 Best R&B Karaoke Songs

53. “Pony” by Ginuwine

Belt out this sexy tune and turn heads with every verse.

54. "Hold Up" by Beyoncé

Because you still haven't decided whether being jealous is worse than being crazy, you will take the entire bar on a terrifying journey through both states of existence.

55. “Are You That Somebody?” by Aaliyah

Pay homage to one of the greatest R&B artists with this classic, complete with a sultry voice to get the message across.

56. "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)" by Blu Cantrell

Everyone will instantly remember how much they loved this song and worship you for the rest of the night. Period.

57. “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill

Guys/girls, you know you better watch out when you start singing this catchy song.

58. “Killing Me Softly With His Song” by the Fugees

If you have the voice of an angel and think you can take this song on, get on up there and let it out!

59. “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly

Inspire the audience to remember this song from Space Jam. Just don’t actually fly off the stage.

60. “I'm Goin' Down” by Mary J. Blige

Another karaoke song that requires a little bit of skill, it’s perfect for a good singer who’s a bit broken hearted.

61. “No Ordinary Love” by Sade

Sade? Karaoke? It doesn’t seem like a match, but if you’ve got a sultry, smooth voice, make her proud.

62. "You Make Me Wanna" by Usher

Maybe crawl into someone's lap for this. You know, for effect. They'll understand.

63. “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan

Electrify everyone else in the bar and get them moving!

9 Best Duet Karaoke Songs

64. "Empire State Of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

This song is fun and might just get the crowd on their feet, depending on your group's opinion of the Yankees.

65. "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" by Meagan Trainor feat. John Legend

A beautiful melody with the potential to make the crowd weep with your combined loveliness.

66. "The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy and Monica

A total favorite of likely everyone you know with tons of room for playful, just-kidding-we-really-get-along sass.

67. "Need You Now" by Lady A

If you love harmonizing, this song is your chance to show off.

68. "I Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher

Bonus points if you bring an alarm clock to bash, a la Groundhog Day.

69. "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" by Meat Loaf

Those who get it, get it. Those who don't can go find another karaoke bar.

70. “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Since you’ve heard everyone and their mother singing this song since A Star Is Born came out, this should be the perfect duet.

71. “Summer Nights” from Grease

Bring your boo on stage while you channel Sandy and Zuko.

72. “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Great for lovers and couples, harmonize with one another and show everyone that love knows no bounds.

RELATED: Top 15 Timeless Beatles Songs That Perfectly Describe Your Love

9 Best 90s Karaoke Songs

73. “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

Make Celine proud with this song that literally everyone knows.

74. “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind

Who cares about the lyrics? Just get to that “doo-doo-doo, doo doo doo-doo” part already!

75. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

Grunge may not seem appropriate for karaoke, but you’ll surely get the crowd riled up using your best raspy voice.

76. “Closing Time” by Semisonic

If the bar is close to closing, well... you know what to do.

77. “Time of Your Life” by Green Day

It may be overplayed and annoy some people, but you know a good karaoke song when you hear it.

78. “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette

Everyone loves a scorned woman. Now, channel your inner Alanis and make the audience go wild.

79. “Hit Me Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears

Bonus points if you show up in a school girl outfit.

80. “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It” by Will Smith

Great for people who don’t like cursing, have everyone sing along when you hit the chorus.

81. “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt

Another song perfect for a great vocalist. Don’t let Gwen Stefani down.

11 Best 80s Karaoke Songs

82. “Take On Me” by A-ha

The first music video on MTV deserves a spot in your karaoke queue.

83. “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner

Known as one of the greatest all-time songs, now you’ll make it even more famous at your local karaoke spot.

84. “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” by Wham!

A fun bop to really stir up the crowd.

85. “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell

Feel free to add your own spin on this song, just like Rihanna did with “SOS.”

86. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears

Because you just can’t go wrong with a Tears for Fears song that will be stuck in your head for days.

87. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard

Be careful with this one. Some people may find that they want to take all their clothes off when it comes on!

88. “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar

Be your own quintessential rock goddess while you bust this tune out.

89. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds

You’ve already watched The Breakfast Club dozens of times. Forget the lyrics prompter on this one!

90. “Africa” by Toto

You may need some help with the verses, but the chorus here is undeniably catchy.

91. “I Can’t Wait” by Nu Shooz

Don’t forget to bust out some moves, too.

92. "Purple Rain" by Prince

Perfect for late in the evening when the mood is shifting and your makeup is starting to run.

8 Best Group Karaoke Songs

93. "Don't You Want Me?" by The Human League

Those not singing yet will begin singing, those who were singing will begin chanting, the chanters will start shouting, and so on until you drop out, completely satisfied with your ability to work a crowd.

94. “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge

Get a bunch of your closest buds to get up with you, and sing that chorus all together.

95. “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang

You’re out with your friends, mingling and drinking. Cheers to that!

96. "So Fresh, So Clean" by Outkast

No one will be able to resist the urge to echo, "So clean, clean!" back at you.

97. “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls

Don’t forget to split the verses up between you and your pals with this one. Girl power!

98. "ABC" by Jackson 5

If you don't bounce to this beat, check your pulse.

99. "The Boys Are Back In Town" by Thin Lizzy

All you have to do is keep up with the rhythm and the notes will sing themselves.

100. “All Star” by Smash Mouth

You’ll have everyone in the bar hooked with that first line: “Somebody once told me..."

RELATED: The 50 Best Lip-Sync Songs To Have Fun On The Mic With

Alexandra Antonopoulos is a writer living in New York City. She has bylines on Bustle, Elite Daily, recently wrapped her first short film, and will always ask for a salt rim. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!

Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. ​