A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of indulging in something so fun, something so vital for emotional stability: karaoke night. It doesn't matter how "adult" you consider yourself to be, everyone is allowed to participate in karaoke night. Unless you're underage, in that case, don't drink the shitty (but cheap!) beer. Stick to soda and the free popcorn that the bar probably offers because let's be real, any bar that offers karaoke also offers a weird special on trash food that will make tomorrow's hangover feel that much better.
Karaoke bars offer tons of song options but really, there are only 14 songs you need to pay attention to, and we have them listed for you right below. If you've never participated in karaoke before, first of all, I am so sorry. Second of all, know that it is much more important than it sounds. It is an unforgettable experience that will take you on an emotional roller coaster that consists of either extreme laughter or a river of tears. Either way though, it's a good time. If you sing any of these songs, you're guaranteed to put on the performance of your life.
1. "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers
Is this not the most obvious one? I'll be honest, The Killers' "When You Were Young" is my personal go-to, but I'm keeping it to the song that everyone knows and loves the most. As soon as this song comes on, everyone will start chanting along. It has an infectious sing-a-long rhythm to it, paired with the perfect amount of angst. It'll make you cry but also jump up and down a lot. Bonus points if you don't run out of breath.
2. "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette
Oh my god, what an obviously good choice. This one doesn't get old, does it? Whip this bad boy out if you see your ex at the bar with his new GF, probably drinking something fruity… Like a frozen strawberry daiquiri. The anthemic angst this song offers is sure to provide you with the empowerment and closure you've been searching for... just make sure you're drunk enough to sing lyrics like "Is she perverted like me? Would she go down on you in a theater?" Yes, scream it!
3. "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
Only if you do it just like Lorelai in Gilmore Girls
4. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey
Some people might get mad at you because it's so overplayed, but c'mon, it's a classic! Especially for the bros in the crowd. You know who I'm talking about. Take your good amount of drunkness and mix it with this feel-good tune and you're going to feel on top of the world.
5. "Cheerleader" by OMI (Felix Jaehn Remix)
This song is a good choice if you're trying to take the night down a more corny route (as if there's a non-corny karaoke option). One thing's for sure, you'll have the whole room boppin' along.
6. "Wonderwall" by Oasis
This song is for the guy who still only listens to Oasis, with maybe a little old school Coldplay thrown in there. All his friends want him to move on to modern music but it ain't happening. Let him indulge you guys, because AFTER ALLLLLLL
, this is a really satisfying song to sing along to.
7. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
This song is perfect for when you're trying to pick up the pace a little bit. It's emotionally light, super upbeat, and guaranteed to lift all participants' spirits. Every karaoke session needs the special, groovy Marvin Gaye touch.
8. "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin
THAT DAMN CHORUS
. Choose this one only if you're capable of singing sort of on pitch, ‘cause it requires a lot of vocal power and no one came here to listen to a dying cat screech its heart out.
9. "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie
Looking for the perfect duet? Here you go. Exercise that gorgeous falsetto of yours.
10. "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
Feeling ambitious and want to try rapping? You might just give the term "mumble rap" a whole new meaning! Ha… Anyway, this was a personal karaoke favorite when I was a wee baby. There's nothing more satisfying than rapping the iconic lines, "His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy / There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti." It's gross, but it's amazing.
11. "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper
Slow things down with this classic from 80s pop queen Cyndi Lauper. Nothing will feel better than closing your eyes and drunkenly swaying while you scream TIME AFTER TIMEEEE!!!
12. "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore" by Prince
Last time I went to karaoke with my friend, this is the only song she was set on performing but they didn't have it. She was, naturally, very sad. She sang it beautifully at a karaoke bar in Florida one time though. This one's for her, because that's what karaoke is all about: friendship. Also ripping that stage to shreds. That's what it's about, too. Yes, karaoke can be a competitive sport.
13. "Love On The Brain" by Rihanna
If you're really looking to sing your heart out - and that's why we're here after all - try singing it like Rihanna in this pretty much perfect performance. Bonus points if you don't cry. Extra bonus points if you can throw a spontaneous vocal run somewhere in there.
14. "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera
Everyone loves this empowering song, it's another classic that fans can't help but scream along to. If you're at a ladies' karaoke night, this would be especially good too.