If you’re a karaoke regular, you’ll know that the choice of song is almost more important than how well you can sing. Get the crowd on your side with a song choice loved by all, and you really can’t go wrong, even if you sound a bit like a crow when you sing it!
With that in mind, I’ve put together this list of twenty all-time classic karaoke songs that should have the bar rocking along with your efforts, no matter what level of talent you bring to the stage.
So, let’s get started with my list of the Most Popular Karaoke Songs of All Time…
- Top 20 Most Popular Karaoke Songs of All Time
- ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ – Cyndi Lauper
- ‘Angels’ – Robbie Williams
- ‘I Want It That Way’ – The Backstreet Boys
- ‘Every Breath You Take’ – The Police
- ‘Rehab’ – Amy Winehouse
- ‘Don’t You Want Me’ – The Human League
- ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ – Whitney Houston
- ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ – Guns N’ Roses
- ‘Mr. Brightside’ – The Killers
- ‘Hey Jude’ – The Beatles
- ‘Someone Like You’ – Adele
- ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ – Journey
- ‘Stand by Me’ – Ben E. King
- ‘Summer Nights’ – From the movie Grease
- ‘Say It Ain’t So’ – Weezer
- ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ – Queen
- ‘Sweet Caroline’ – Neil Diamond
- ‘I Will Survive’ – Gloria Gaynor
- ‘My Way’ – Frank Sinatra
- ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – Queen
- Need even more song options?
- Most Popular Karaoke Songs of All Time – Final Thoughts
Top 20 Most Popular Karaoke Songs of All Time
‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ – Cyndi Lauper
This 80’s classic was doing girl power way before the Spice Girls came along. It could be ironically attempted as a male vocalist, but it’s more commonly sung by drunken ladies on a girl’s night out.
It’s all about letting loose and having a good time while throwing the rule book out of the window. While that line describes the song, it also represents the ethos of Karaoke itself. As a woman, you can’t go wrong with this number. Even if you mangle it completely, your girlfriends and every other woman in the room will love it.
‘Angels’ – Robbie Williams
The song that really cemented Robbie Williams’s solo career after Take That is a hugely popular karaoke number, especially in the UK. Released in the late 90s, it’s popular with both young and old karaoke fans alike.
Maybe the reason for its popularity is that gives amateur crooners a chance to sing like Robbie Williams, the world’s leading amateur crooner. Let’s be honest, he’s no Frank Sinatra, and neither are most of us. It’s also quite an emotionally cheesy number that most people know. You’ll definitely have the crowd on your side with this one.
‘I Want It That Way’ – The Backstreet Boys
Another popular ballad from the late 90’s that everyone is familiar with. To be honest, the lyrics make very little sense but with one of the catchiest choruses of all time, who’s really paying attention to the nonsensical words.
It’s a great singalong for male or female vocalists; it can even be performed by more than one singer if you fancy throwing some harmonies around.
‘Every Breath You Take’ – The Police
This huge hit for The Police from the early 80s has stayed popular over the years and remains a Karaoke favorite to this day. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not a love song but rather about an obsessive ex-lover who seems to be wavering on the edge of becoming a full-blown stalker.
Despite its rather disturbing subject matter, a remarkably catchy guitar hook, and the remake by P Diddy/Puff Daddy (whatever he calls himself these days), I’ll Be Missing You has helped to keep this one in the public imagination for decades. It’s also quite easy to sing along with, making it a perennial favorite, probably for years to come.
‘Rehab’ – Amy Winehouse
A more recent Karaoke classic that must be sung in a state of complete inebriation. The start of this song launches straight into the chorus. This is always a winner as the audience will know exactly what you’re singing from the off.
The irony of singing this number, drink in hand, barely able to stand, will not be lost on a suitably lubricated crowd. With this in mind, it’s probably best sung towards the end of the night, followed by falling or staggering off stage dramatically.
‘Don’t You Want Me’ – The Human League
Another banger from the early 80s, this synth-pop classic is sure to get the crowd going every time. If possible, this one is best performed as a male/female duet. There’s not too much in the way of vocal gymnastics needed, just the ability to belt out that classic chorus that almost every last one of us can relate to.
The thumping beat is a real foot tapper, and you’ll be sure to have the crowd eating out of your hand if you can pull this one off.
‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ – Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston songs are not easy to pull off. She has an incredible vocal range, and very few people can do her songs justice.
This energetic classic is definitely one of her less demanding numbers, which is probably the reason why it’s such a karaoke favorite. People who think they’ve got a decent voice will often pump for this one. They’ll usually butcher it, but it won’t stop them from trying. However, if you can do a passable impression, then you’ll probably get a standing ovation.
‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ – Guns N’ Roses
One for the rockers out there. Axl Rose’s vocal style isn’t the easiest to replicate, but as this is rock n’ roll, who cares, right? Summon your inner screaming banshee and let it rip. If you can get anywhere near that shrieking crescendo at the end, you’ll raise the roof.
There’s also ample opportunity to lay down some air guitar chops on your appreciative audience. From the opening bars to the iconic solo midway through, fans of invisible instruments can have a whale of a time hamming it up to this classic.
Want to find out more about his superb singing voice? Then check out our in-depth look at Axel Rose’s Vocal Range.
‘Mr. Brightside’ – The Killers
This massive hit from 2004 has remained a very popular karaoke song to this day. It’s not a particularly challenging song to sing. In fact, almost anyone can have a go at this one as the singing is more of a talkative, chanting style than any kind of virtuoso performance. This has served to make it a popular choice for guys who aren’t known for their singing voices.
Its mainstream appeal and anthemic-like qualities are sure to make this a popular choice with the punters who can sing along just as badly as you.
‘Hey Jude’ – The Beatles
What self-respecting list of Karaoke classics could not have a Beatles song on it? Not this one. Hey Jude is often the go to number for those looking to bust out a Beatles track. It’s also relatively easy to sing. And who doesn’t like singing ‘naaa naaa naaa na na na naaaa’ after five pints of ale.
However, the older this song gets, the less popular it will likely become. Until then, there are still enough old-timers knocking around to keep this one firmly on our list.
‘Someone Like You’ – Adele
Again, this is not one of the easiest songs to attempt on my list of the Most Popular Karaoke Songs of All Time, but that hasn’t seemed to stop an army of jaded ex-girlfriends having a go anyway. There’s a seemingly never ending supply of ladies willing to try this one out.
Have you suffered a recent break-up but are still tragically in love and think you’ve got a good voice? This could be the karaoke number for you (if you can make it through to the end without breaking down in tears, that is?).
‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ – Journey
Accusations of melodramatic fromage will always be leveled at this 80’s anthem from Journey, but its popularity as a karaoke stalwart is undiminished 40 years later. Maybe it’s the relentlessly upbeat positivity of it all, the solid message of hope, or the fact it’s not too difficult to sing. Who knows?
A new generation of fans were born when the song featured in the hit show Glee. This kind of exposure will only ensure that this song remains in the hearts and minds of karaoke fans all over the world.
‘Stand by Me’ – Ben E. King
In my humble opinion, this is one of the greatest songs ever written. The fact that it has been covered over 400 times is testament to that alone. It’s a beautiful and evocative song that, if even only passably sung, is sure to tug at the heartstrings of even the most hardened member of your audience.
This is a stone cold classic, and there is no doubt that this song will be on the list of favorite karaoke songs for generations to come. The timeless beauty of songs from a bygone era
‘Summer Nights’ – From the movie Grease
Summer Nights has to be one of the most popular Karaoke duets of all time. It is certainly one of the most well-loved movie songs ever, which explains its enduring popularity as a karaoke classic.
If you’re into group karaoke, then there’s plenty to work with within the confines of this song. Most people feel less self-conscious singing on stage if they’re not the sole focus of attention and this song’s a group classic. If this is your thing, you can certainly have fun with it.
It also helps if you’ve got a crowd that’s into musical theatre, as that’s exactly what this is. To be clear, this is karaoke abuse, no matter how well it is sung. I would have no choice but to register my dismay on recognition of the first few bars. Sorry Grease fans. Just my opinion.
‘Say It Ain’t So’ – Weezer
This monster track is sure to wake the audience up. A titanic guitar riff coupled with that “Say It Ain’t So” chorus line is sure to get the blood flowing if performed with gusto, particularly after Summer Nights. Great air guitar opportunities abound to show off some righteous licks. It’s a track that’s pretty much made for karaoke performance.
It doesn’t take major talent to rip this one out, but when done properly, you’re sure to inject some adrenaline into proceedings. That’s not to say you’ll have an appreciative audience. It’s pretty heavy by karaoke standards. Still, that’s part of the fun of karaoke; you never know what people are going to sing. If they need waking up, hit them with this.
‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ – Queen
Trying to sing like Freddie Mercury is a forlorn task for most karaoke singers, but that doesn’t stop people giving it a shot. This is actually one of their slightly easier tracks to sing, and yet you’ll still require an incredible range to get anywhere near Freddie.
No, the main reason this is one of the Most Popular Karaoke Songs of All Time is that it’s so much fun to sing. The energy encapsulated in the song is infectious. Being Queen, there’s plenty of chances for dramatic performance here too. No one expects you to pull off a Mercury level performance here, so you can relax and enjoy yourself.
‘Sweet Caroline’ – Neil Diamond
This karaoke classic is a staple all over the western world. It’s from all the way back in 1969 yet is still sung at Karaoke nights to this day. It’s played at a number of high profile sporting clubs around the world which may go some way to explaining its enduring popularity. The Heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury also enters the ring to this song.
One other reason is that any old karaoke drunk could probably do a half decent ‘Sweet Caroline.’ It’s not a complicated number. Some might say it’s almost impossible to screw it up. There’s also a good opportunity for crowd participation in the chorus, which makes it something of a drunken crowd pleaser.
‘I Will Survive’ – Gloria Gaynor
This dance floor classic from the late 70s has been a karaoke favorite with the ladies for decades now. This break-up anthem has obviously resonated with the women over the years and become something of a favorite when you need to tell the world that nothing’s going to keep you down.
It’s a brave vocalist that attempts this one without a strong voice to back it up, but it seems there’s no shortage of people willing to have a go, vocal chops or not.
It’s certainly an uplifting number certain to get feet tapping even if you can’t quite match the vocal range of Gloria Gaynor.
‘My Way’ – Frank Sinatra
He really does have an amazing voice. Couple that with the bravado on display in the song, and it’s no surprise why generations of male karaoke singers have chosen this song as their karaoke call to arms.
Once again, you really need a belting voice and bags of confidence to pull this number off, but if done well, this song always goes down a storm with any crowd.
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – Queen
As with our previous Queen entry, nobody seriously entertains the idea they’ll ever replicate Freddie Mercury singing. Nope, the fun to be had here is trying to reproduce the pomp and opera in this wildly rambling song. Anything goes, really. You can do it seriously or jokingly, and more than one singer can get in on the act; after all, all four members of Queen feature prominently on the original song.
To be performed properly, there has to be a solid bout of Wayne’s World head banging at the right moment. In short, if it’s maximum fun you’re after, this is a difficult song to beat.
Need even more song options?
Then check out the Top Karaoke Songs That Anyone Can Sing, the Best Duet Karaoke Songs, the Best Karaoke Songs for Alto Females, and the Best Sing Along Songs.
Or if you need to upgrade your home Karaoke setup, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Karaoke Machines, the Best Karaoke Microphones for iPhones and Smartphones, the Best Karaoke Speakers, plus the Best Karaoke Microphones you can buy in 2023.
Or for more useful karaoke information, take a look at our guide to Everything You Need For a Karaoke Setup, the Best Karaoke Apps for Smart TV, How to Get Karaoke Songs for Free, How to Do Karaoke on Xbox, How To Set Up Karaoke On Playstation, the Best Karaoke Games, and our in-depth guide to Karaoke CDs and CDG.
Most Popular Karaoke Songs of All Time – Final Thoughts
So, that’s my take on a far from comprehensive list of the most popular karaoke songs ever.
If any of you are wondering why there are no Aretha Franklin songs on this list, that’s because nobody should ever, EVER attempt to karaoke an Aretha track. It wouldn’t be right. Some music is not meant to be butchered by mere mortals. For that reason, a few other artists were also left off this list. They shall remain nameless.
Who’d be on your list of Karaoke classics?