We’ve all been there.
You’re at a karaoke place with your friends and one of them (maybe even you) chooses a song that’s way too hard for them.
They butcher it and it’s so painful to watch. The audience actually feels embarrassed just to witness this disaster, not to mention how the actual “singer” feels.
Don’t be this person.
Choose the right songs.
The best karaoke songs fit your vocal style and are easy songs to sing.
Even better if they’re high energy songs people know and love. Nothing helps you more as a singer than having a crowd that’s into your performance.
You feed off their energy and get even better as a result. Then you leave the stage a star.
That’s karaoke magic. And here is a long list of the top karaoke songs (with lyrics—just follow the links) that will get you there. Practice these at home, then nail them and bring down the house on your next karaoke (or videoke) night!
Table of Contents
(click a title to jump ahead)
Easy Songs To Sing That Are Always A Hit
If you’ve always considered yourself a bad singer, but make up for it with energy and style, these are good songs to sing. All are all easy karaoke songs, but fun songs to sing that everyone knows and loves.
The Rolling Stones — (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
This is a simple song that is almost monotone, but also energetic and sure to get the crowd involved. It’s one of the best sing along songs out there. Everyone knows it and you’ll almost certainly get a lot of people joining in on the chorus. It’s a classic karaoke song for sure. Lyrics here.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts — I Love Rock & Roll
This song is all about attitude and volume. If you have the right attitude, this is one of the best karaoke songs ever, which is why it has been so popular for so long. It helps that it’s also very easy to sing. Lyrics here.
Wheatus — Teenage Dirtbag
If you’ve watched any teen movies from the early 2000’s or any newer teen movies set in the early 2000’s, you’ve heard this song. It was everywhere. It’s also one of my favorite karaoke tracks, since it’s upbeat, catchy and easy to sing. Lyrics here.
Pharrell Williams — Happy
Happy is about as upbeat as a song can get and always lightens the mood. It’s easy to sing, though Williams’ high range can be a problem for many men. Luckily, you can just sing it in a lower range. If you really want to excite the crowd, do a crazy little dance while you sing. It’s also a great sing along song. Lyrics here.
Green Day — Boulevard of Broken Dreams
No Green Day song is all that hard to sing and most are good karaoke songs. I chose this one purely because I like it. And most people feel the same, so you’re sure to get a good reaction to this choice. Lyrics here.
George Michael — Faith
This is an easy song to sing and, while it has always been a popular karaoke song, it will be especially popular for the next few months, due to his recent death. That alone will score you some bonus points, even if you’re the world’s worst singer. Lyrics here.
Nirvana — In Bloom
I know, I know: Smell’s Like Teen Spirit. But Nirvana had a lot of other songs where Kobain didn’t mumble and/or scream every word, making them easier to sing and arguably more enjoyable for your audience. Give this one a try, or maybe Come As You Are, if you prefer that one. Lyrics here.
Des’ree — You Gotta Be
Des’ree sings this song in a low voice and a limited range, making it easy to sing for just about everyone. It’s not quite as energetic as a lot of the other songs on this list, but generally still goes over well. And everyone knows the chorus. Lyrics here.
Suzanne Vega — Tom’s Diner
Vega’s voice barely changes tone at all here, making this one of the easiest songs to nail, period. It’s probably not as well known as most of the others on this list (when it comes to karaoke anyway), but that makes it a better choice to sing, in my opinion. Lyrics here.
Red Hot Chili Peppers — Dani California
RHCP have a lot of great karaoke songs and I could have put any number of them here (and I did include Love Roller Coaster in the duet section below), but I went with Dani California, because it’s my favorite. It’s also great for karaoke: not too difficult, catchy and most people know it. Lyrics here.
Chumbawamba — Tubthumping (I Get Knocked Down)
This song has few lyrics and almost no real singing parts. It’s as easy as it gets, but the payoff is huge. Everybody will join in, despite no one ever admitting to liking it. This is the simplest way to be a hit at karaoke. It’s so easy, som actually consider it “cheating” to sing Tubthumping. Lyrics here.
Outkast — Hey Ya!
If you’re going to sing an Outkast song, you definitely want to choose one where Andre doesn’t rap. Very few people can keep up with him. This song, though, is quite simple. And it barely has any lyrics. It is definitely one of the easiest ways to get a karaoke bar going. Lyrics here.
Smashmouth — All Stars
This song is one of the most popular karaoke songs ever. It’s simple and everyone knows it. That said, Walking on the Sun is a much better song by Smashmouth and I recommend trying that one instead. I included it below in the Less Common Karaoke Songs section. As for All Stars, you’ll find the lyrics here (like you don’t already know them).
Best Karaoke Songs For Women
Yes, I included a section with songs specifically for the ladies and I don’t have a corresponding section for guys. Sorry. But most songs are good for guys to sing and I just wanted to highlight a few of the top karaoke songs by strong women, for strong women.
No Doubt — Hella Good
Whenever someone sings No Doubt, it’s either Don’t Speak, Spiderwebs or maybe Just a Girl. Why not be different? With Hella Good, No Doubt moved away from their Ska roots and went a bit funkier. Out of all their songs, this one will get a crowd going the most and it’s also the easiest to sing. Lyrics here.
Garbage — Stupid Girl
I could have put any number of songs by Garbage here. Vocally, they are all easy to sing. The key to any Garbage song is Shirley Manson’s attitude. If you can match (or even just come close) to Shirley, you’ll be a huge hit. Just be glad she doesn’t sing with her Scottish accent. Lyrics here.
The Cardigans — Lovefool
If you’re old enough, you’ll remember this song was absolutely everywhere in 1996 and 1997. This Swedish pop tune is about as sweet and innocent as a song can get and it is sung in a fairly narrow range. It’s not hard and will bring back a lot of memories if your audience is old enough. Lyrics here.
Vanessa Carlton — White Houses
I know A Thousand Miles is much more famous and very popular as a karaoke song. It’s also easier to sing. But I chose White Houses for this list, because it means more to me. It reminds me of my college days and hanging out with my girlfriends. The lyrics spoke to us more than any other song back then. She goes fairly high with this song, but if you have a higher range, it’s not too difficult. Lyrics here.
Destiny’s Child — Independent Women
Yes, before Beyonce went on to rule the musical world, she was just one part of a musical trio, albeit the most important part and the only one that didn’t constantly rotate out. This song is slightly more challenging than some of the others on this list, but it’s fun, catchy and definitely empowering. Lyrics here.
Wilson Phillips — Hold On
This song was released in 1990, but enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity due to the 2011 movie “Bridesmaids.” It’s a lighthearted song with no difficult parts and an incredibly catchy chorus. You won’t be the only one singing. Lyrics here.
TLC — No Scrubs
This classic girl-power anthem has a fairly narrow range and is easy to sing. There’s even a rap portion you can have fun with. Get your friends in on the action by having them sing all the “no’s” for you. Lyrics here.
Fiona Apple — Criminal
Apple sings this song in a low vocal range that most women can imitate fairly easily. At least at the beginning. It gets a bit more challenging toward the end, but it’s worth the effort. True, it’s a bit of a dark song, but it has an upbeat tempo that makes it a hit with any crowd. Lyrics here.
Shania Twain — Man! I Feel Like A Woman!
Even if you don’t like country music, this is enough of a crossover song that anyone can enjoy it. It’s not too hard to sing and upbeat. If you nail the attitude, you’ll have the whole bar rocking. Lyrics here.
Best Karaoke Duets
Good karaoke songs for two are hard to find. That’s not because there aren’t any good duets out there; it’s because most of them are quite difficult to sing. I was tempted to include songs here like Under Pressure by David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, but come on….how many of us can even come close to the perfection of those two guys. I did manage to find a few that aren’t too hard and are good songs to sing for two people.
Olivia Newton John and John Travolta — Summer Nights
Absolutely everybody knows this song from the movie “Grease”, so even if you’re alone, you’ll have no problem finding someone to partner up with for this duet. And anyone within earshot will join in to sing the “tell me more, tell me more…” part. Lyrics here.
The B52’s — Love Shack
Another song where everyone can get involved in the chorus. If you’re singing the male part, try imitating the guy’s unique voice and accent. The crowd will love this. As for difficulties: there aren’t any. Lyrics here.
Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley — (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life
A lot of the classic duets come from soundtracks and this song from the movie “Dirty Dancing” might be the most famous of them all (ok, after “Grease”). It’s not the easiest song to sing, but it’s simpler than most duets and absolutely everyone knows the song. Lyrics here.
Club Nouveau — Lean On Me
This is a great song if you’ve got one person who can sing and one who can’t. The less talented one can take the verses and the better singer can handle the chorus. Unless everyone is already drunk: then it doesn’t really matter. Lyrics here.
Len — Steal My Sunshine
Let’s just get this out of the way: this is a bad song. There are a few songs on this list that aren’t the greatest, but this is probably the worst of all. But if you’ve got a room full of drunk people and you want a song for two that will get the audience participating, this will do it. Lyrics here.
Red Hot Chili Peppers — Love Roller Coaster
This might not be your standard duet song, but it works. One person can sing the chorus and the other handle the male interruptions and the pseudo-rap. It’s a highly energetic song that presents no challenges whatsoever. It’s the perfect song for karaoke. Lyrics here.
Less Common Songs That Your Audience Will Love
These are fun karaoke songs you don’t hear quite as often as the ones above, but they’re just as good, if not better. Sing one of these and you’ll win a lot of fans. People love being reminded of songs they used to listen to all the time, but have forgotten about over the years.
The Cranberries — Dreams
Yes, I’m aware of Zombie. It’s great and one of the most popular karaoke songs out there. But this is a great song, too. Give it a try; it’s certain to be a hit. And as long as you skip the parts where O’Riordan wails (or try them; whether you nail them or fail miserably, the crowd will love the effort) it’s actually an easier song to sing than Zombie. Lyrics here.
Weezer — Buddy Holly
I was going to pick Hash Pipe for this list, because it’s a more energetic song, but his falsetto is impossible for most guys. This song is much easier and almost as catchy. And everybody loves Weezer, so you could really choose any one of their songs. Lyrics here.
Smashmouth — Walkin’ On The Sun
I included Smashmouth’s All Stars above, because I felt like I had to, but this is their best song. It’s not quite as easy to sing, but still doesn’t present any real challenges. And it’s insanely catchy. Lyrics here.
Johnny Cash — Ring of Fire
Pretty much any Johnny Cash tune is a great karaoke song, because none of them are difficult. I chose Ring of Fire because it’s the most famous. It might be a bit low-energy for some, but most karaoke nights end up with one ballad after another, so this actually makes for a nice change of pace. Lyrics here.
Peter Gabriel — Steam
This song is a bit more difficult than most of the others on this list, but it’s not something you hear a lot at karaoke. Everyone over a certain age remembers it, so it will always go over well. Sledgehammer is another great karaoke song from Gabriel, but not really any easier. Lyrics here.
Alien Ant Farm — Smooth Criminal
Obviously, Michael Jackson’s original is more famous, but this one is much easier to sing. And everyone sings Michael Jackson. How many people sing Alien Ant Farm? Lyrics here.
Kenny Rogers — The Gambler
This is one of the best karaoke songs for a room full of guys good toward the end of the night, when everyone has had a lot to drink and they’ve already gone through the standard list of ballads (notice there’s no Journey on this list). Switch it up with a Kenny Rogers song. If you’re out with a lot of “The Big Lebowski” fans, try Just Dropped In instead of The Gambler. Lyrics here.
Filter — Hey Man, Nice Shot
If you want to do some screaming, this song about a politician’s suicide on live TV gives you a chance to do just that. It’s a fun karaoke song, but if you’d rather try your hand at a Filter song with less screaming and more singing (and more challenging as a result), give Take A Picture a try. Lyrics here.
Cat Stevens — Wild World
Another good karaoke song for the end of the night once things have gotten more mellow. It’s not a difficult song and has been covered by countless artists already, so you might as well add your own take to the mix. Lyrics here.
The Toadies — Possum Kingdom
This song doesn’t present too many singing challenges. If you can alternate talking and light screaming, you can nail this song. It’s not really what you’d call a top karaoke song, though. You might get a crowd full of people who don’t know it, but I guarantee they’ll want to know it pretty quickly and will almost certainly join in during the “Do you wanna die?” part. Lyrics here.
I realized as I was writing this post that I could keep listing songs forever. There are so many popular karaoke song out there and so many more that aren’t that popular, but are still great songs and tons of fun to sing.
I recommend picking one or two of your favorites and practicing them at home. I wrote a post full of techniques on improving your voice, which might be worth a look, too. You can implement some of the tips in that post instantly and sound better today. If you want to sound professional, you might even consider an online singing course or a vocal coach.
Then once you’re comfortable singing your songs at home, it’s time to debut them in front of your friends. They’ll be amazed at how great you suddenly sound!