Preston & Steve®

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 26: Singer Shania Twain performs during halftime of Super Bowl XXXVII between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders on January 26, 2003 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Think about it, concerts are how we connect with our favorite artists, but karaoke is how we really bond with our favorite songs and friends.

What makes a great karaoke song? Is it a song that’s easy to sing? Is it a loud song? Is it one you and your entire group can jam to? Some songs may not be popular for karaoke because their vocals are too challenging or, because they don’t have that live-bar feel to them.

More often than not, our favorite karaoke songs are familiar, accessible, simple without being predictable, and reminiscent of a specific time and place without being stuck there. Most importantly, they all sound great at loud volumes and questionable pitch, and they all invite you to join in the fun with them.

Billboard has released their list of the 100 Greatest Karaoke Songs of All Time. It is a “road-tested set of classics you can find in most karaoke songbooks that are guaranteed to set the room on fire,” according to the magazine’s online article.

Surprisingly, “Sweet Caroline” didn’t make the cut!  Number 5 was definitely….a choice for a karaoke bar. And no one expected what song number one was going to be!

Scroll below to some of the top karaoke songs according to the list.

  • 20. The B-52s - “Love Shack”

    Type: Anything Goes

    Definitely a peak-hour song. The ad-libbing requires both energy and concentration to pull off properly. “Your WHAT????” “TIIIIIIIIIIN ROOF!…. rusted.”

  • 17. Bon Jovi - “Livin’ on a Prayer”

    Type: Crowd-Pleaser

    The back half of the chorus’ woah-ohhh! is make-or-break for this one. And there are a ton of ’em in the song. If you’ve got the range, hit it. If not, maybe opt for a different showstopper.

  • 13. Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats"

    Type: Crowd-Pleaser

    This song is a great unifier, especially for women in the bar. Underwood’s anthem of scorned ex-girlfriend rage can instantly make strangers into friends. It can convert the most unsuspecting city slicker into a proud country bootstrapper.

  • 8. Garth Brooks - "Friends in Low Places"

    Type: Group Sing-Along

    This one is quite easy to sing. Pretty much anyone can pull it off! Something about Garth Brooks’ music always makes for a crowd-pleaser. This is a great end-of-the-night tune.

  • 6. Alanis Morissette - "You Oughta Know"

    Type: Solo / Crowd-Pleaser / Group Sing-Along

    ALL THE RAGE! ALL THE YELLING! EVERYONE SINGING ALONG! Universal theme, right? F my ex! We all share that.

  • 4. Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody"

    Type: Anything Goes

    Hard to pull off, so proceed with caution. You get everything you could possibly want in one song. Big solo vocal moments, call-and-response sing-alongs, a breakdown section for stomping around (and of course, headbanging), and an epic climax that gives way to a mournful finish. You even get to end the night with a gong, for crying out loud.

  • Honorable mentions:

    A Few more that caught our eye:

    87. Bruce Springsteen, “Dancing in the Dark”

    80. Sonny & Cher, “I Got You Babe”

    67.  Blink-182, “All the Small Things”

    54.  System of a Down, “Chop Suey!”

    32.  Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin'”

    30.  The Killers, “Mr. Brightside”

    26.  Neil Diamond, “Sweet Caroline”

    Check out the whole list on Billboard.


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