Sometimes when singers see the classical, or should we say “Italian” terms in a piece of music, they panic a bit. It can be confusing until you know what they are and understand where they all fit. The term alto itself can be very confusing.
In Italian, it means “high.” But that is when it is referring only to a male voice. For the male range, it sits above the tenor but below the countertenor.
However, it is a different story for the female. If you are looking for the best karaoke songs for alto females, you need to be aware of exactly what you are looking for.
In a standard musical format, the alto is the lowest female voice. So, the Italian word doesn’t apply to females because the alto is low and not high.
We call it the lowest, but you will sometimes get a female who can go lower. This is the case with the British singer Cleo Lane. They are known as Contralto.
Bearing that in mind, if you are Alto, then you need to choose songs in the correct range for your voice. Let’s take a look at some.
Someone Like You – Adele
Everyone will be expecting this song so let’s get it out of the way early. If I am honest, it is a good song but not my favorite of hers. That is to come. It is a little too self-indulgent for me, but that’s just me.
But it is still a well-constructed song with an exceptional melody and is a great girls song for karaoke evenings. It is perfectly placed in the alto range and allows you to sing it comfortably and meaningfully. Certainly, one to put on your list.
Gimme One Reason – Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman of “Fast Car” fame had another successful record with this one. Released as long ago as 1995, it is still popular today. She tends to write and sing songs that are comfortable to sing, and this is a good example. A nice karaoke song for female alto singers that will make it easy to deliver a good performance.
Rolling in the Deep – Adele
I mentioned earlier that “Someone Like You” wasn’t my favorite song by Adele. This is the one I prefer. Additionally, this may well have been the song that established her as a top performer.
A good song for female altos to sing at karaoke as it allows you to voice your full expression. But, you can remain comfortable within your vocal range. Although, once again, an Adele song based on sadness. A good karaoke song and one most people will know.
I Think I Will – Faith Hill
Faith Hill is one of those singers that seem to be able to cross the genres. She is known in the US mainly as a country singer. But, elsewhere is recognized more as a “soft-rock” and “power ballad” singer. Songs like “Cry” are a good example of that. That was hardly country, more Roxette.
This song is somewhat of a mixture of many genres. It has a slight country feel to it, but the dominant theme is the soft-rock style I mentioned. It might not be so well-known, but it has a great tempo and strong melody and is a great karaoke song for women.
I Only Have Eyes For You – Cleo Laine
Henry Warren wrote the music and Al Dubin the lyrics for this masterpiece of a song. First published in 1934, it has been covered by too many people to mention. Art Garfunkel did a great job of it, but this is probably the best version.
Cleo Laine’s deep alto tones give it a rich sensuality that few others can match. The song has a technical vocal side. But it is a song that allows you to sing it as you wish, which makes it great for karaoke.
Summertime – Cleo Laine
Staying for one more from Cleo Laine, this one Gershwin’s masterpiece from 1935, Porgy and Bess. If you are feeling brave, then this could be one to have a go at. The slow, measured tempo leaves it open to plenty of interpretation and feeling.
Cleo’s contralto tones mean it will not be an easy song for the average alto singer. But, if you can hit those low notes, it is going to be a stunner. As a result, it’s one of the best karaoke songs for alto females.
Mamma Mia – Abba
You don’t have to say too much more than the word “Abba.” Just about everything they did over the years was excellent. Great singers with an even better composer in their midst, they could hardly fail. We won’t make any comment on the movie with the same name.
This was a 1975 release from the album simply called Abba. They had made plenty of recordings in Sweden by the time “Waterloo” set them up as world-beaters at the Eurovision Song Contest. That, of course, was a successful single.
“Mamma Mia” was their fourth single. A fun karaoke song for ladies, easy to sing with a great melody. One that everyone will know.
Believe – Cher
This lady seems to have been around forever. In modern-day pop music terms, she has. She will be celebrating 60 years in the business in 2023 and shows no real sign of slowing down at all.
The thing she has been able to do is to reinvent herself half a dozen times. Gone is the shy, coy image of “You Got Me Babe” with then-husband Sonny Bono. That has been replaced a few times and ended up with an image that women use as representative of empowerment. This song is all about that. When obstacles are placed in your path, move them.
Released in 1998, it became an anthem. It was the first song to use “auto-tuning.” The slightly distorted sound it produced became known as the “Cher-effect.” This is one of her songs that just about everyone is going to appreciate at a karaoke night.
If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher
Let’s stay with Cher and go back a decade in her career to another “image” and another “anthem.” Once more, a great performance and a great karaoke song to get everyone joining in.
From her huge-selling album, Heart Of Stone, this was the lead single, and you can understand why. Sometimes you can hear just a small part of a song and just know it is going to be a big one. This song was one of those.
That Don’t Impress Me Much – Shania Twain
Let’s pay a visit now to another singer who crosses genres with ease, Shania Twain. Billed in the early days as “country,” this Canadian singer burst that bubble with her album, Come On Over.
A mixture of some country-like songs and some good old rock n roll. It had some great songs and a bit of fun as well. This track was one of the fun choices.
She is a natural alto; therefore, most of the songs she sings will be suitable for the altos at a karaoke night. This, as we said, is a bit tongue-in-cheek, poking fun at a certain type of “acquaintance.” A hugely popular song of hers.
Rock This Country – Shania Twain
Let’s stay with her for a brief shot at some Rock n Roll from the Come On Over album. A song with “country fiddle” and “Chuck Berry-like” guitars. It seems as if she is saying take country music and soup it up, add some serious guitar, and you have rock n roll.
We all knew that anyway, I suppose, but this is a great example of how to do it. At karaoke night? This is going to get them all going.
Black Eyes, Blue Tears – Shania Twain
Bear with me as I drag one more out of this album. It was packed with some great songs for altos. Most of which we aren’t going to include here. Songs like “You’re Still The One” and “From This Moment” could go on this list, but there was one I wanted to include.
Same as Cher, Shania Twain launched herself in a frontal attack on abuse to women with this song. Once again, we had an anthem. It’s not a bad bit of rock n roll either. Her own composition and a winner at a karaoke night.
I Have a Dream by Abba
Back to Sweden, we go for another Abba offering. This time from their sixth album Voulez-Vous. It was recognized by the record people as being a popular song, so it also came out as a single just before Christmas in 1979. A simple song with a simple but very effective melody. It isn’t a hard song to sing and, therefore, a popular choice for karaoke.
Holding Out for a Hero – Bonnie Tyler
Let’s continue globe-trotting and head down the M4 from London into Wales. Bonnie Tyler scares most singers because of her vocal style. But you haven’t got to sing it as she does. Don’t bother to try because no one could.
This is a good song for karaoke because it has plenty of energy and is sure to get the party going. And right at the center of it all is “that” voice. But it is an alto voice, even though she seems to be able to push it through the octaves a bit.
It’s Too Late – Carole King
Most people will remember Carole King’s album Tapestry. Still one of the best albums ever recorded. It was only her second studio album, but she gave us some wondrous work. One of those songs was this one.
A simple song about someone who has fallen out of love with someone else and is almost apologizing for it. Laid-back and thought-provoking, a good choice for a karaoke party if it all needs a bit of a relaxed cool-down.
Un-break My Heart – Toni Braxton
Dianne Warren wrote this great song impeccably performed by Toni Braxton. It was the second single from her second album and is the track in some people’s eyes she is most famous for. A great karaoke song for alto singing girls because of its recognizable and powerful chorus.
Killing Me Softly – Roberta Flack
This is just one of those songs that everybody seems to love. Written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, it originally goes back to 1971. Roberta Flack produced a memorable performance on this song two years later that was wrapped in mystery.
There were so many suggestions about who it was about. At the time, many people seemed to think it was about a Jimi Hendrix concert that Roberta Flack had been to.
Not The Case…
The song was written in collaboration with another singer Lori Lieberman who released it as a single first. She was involved in the writing of the song on an advisory basis after seeing Don McLean in concert in 1971. That was the inspiration. And that is who they are singing about.
The Roberta Flack version didn’t come out until 1973. It is a great karaoke track, packing a simple song with great emotion. And being one of the best karaoke songs for alto females, you are bound to get them listening to this one.
No Scrubs by TLC
Give me One Good Reason by Tracy Chapman
Raise Your Glass by Pink
Rehab by Amy Winehouse
Royals by Lorde
Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
Style by Taylor Swift
Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin
Feeling Good by Nina Simone
Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
My Favorite Mistake by Sheryl Crow
Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House
You’re so Vain by Carly Simon
Million Reasons by Lady Gaga
Send my Love to your New Lover by Adele
One Fine Day by Carol King
There Are Worse Things I Could Do by Stockard Channing
You Learn To Live Without by Idina Menzel
I Can Hear The Bells by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaimann
No More Fear by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt
Something Better Happen by William Finn
I Don’t Know What I Would Do Without You by Ribert Freeman and Steven Lutvak
If You Knew My Story by Edie Brickell and Steven Martin
Where Did The Rock Go by Andrew Lloyd Weber
Mein Herr by John Kander and Fred Ebb
One Way or Another by Blondie
Memories by Trevor Dunn and Andrew Lloyd Webber
One More Night by Maroon 5
At Last by Eta James
Firework by Katy Perry
The Dog Days Are Over by Florence and The Machine
Here We Are by Gloria Estefan
Lithium by Evanescence
Road by Katy Perry
Back to Black by Amy Whinehouse
Sugar by Maroon 5
What’s Up by 4 Non-Blonds
The Kiss by Faith Hill
Make You Feel My Love by Adele
Valerie by Amy Whinehouse
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This by Eurythmics
The Look of Love by Diana Krall
Video Games by Lana Del Rey
How Do I Know If I Am An Alto?
You can work it out for yourself if you have a piano or a keyboard. Alto is the lowest standard female voice, as I said earlier. Only contraltos, like Cleo Laine, go lower. And in her unique case, higher.
You can usually identify yourself as being alto if you can sing the notes between a low G and a D on the stave. That is the ‘G’ below the stave up to a ‘D.’ If you can go higher than the D, it likely means that you are a Soprano.
It is true they are quite rare, although as we have seen, there are plenty around. Many of the pros can sing either above or, in some cases, below alto pitch. So defining them as alto is doing them an injustice.
Love Singing Karaoke Songs?
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And don’t miss our handy articles on the Best Duet Karaoke Songs, the Top Karaoke Songs That Anyone Can Sing, the Best Sing-Along Songs, Voice Types Explained, Choose the Perfect Key to Sing In, and Types of Vocal Timbre for more information about singing and karaoke options.
Best Karaoke Songs for Alto Females – Final Thoughts
Alto voices are often appreciated. Being lower in the register, they tend to be warm and have a richness in the tone. They aren’t too shrill. A unique vocal sound if you like. If you are alto, then you are lucky. These are 17 songs that sit in and around Alto. All of them are great songs to sing for your karaoke party.
Until next time, let yourself be heard.