20 All-Time Karaoke Classics

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20 All-Time Karaoke Classics

Posted on: April 22nd, 2014 by tommyj

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You can’t carry a tune? Me neither. But it doesn’t really matter. This is National Karaoke Week, when even tone-deaf singers have an excuse to belt out their favorite song.Karaoke is the great equalizer for pop tunes. Cornball songs like "Afternoon Delight" can work as well as certified classics like "You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’." They may even work better, because of the crowd-pleasing kitsch factor.There’s no definitive metric to rank the most popular karaoke songs ever, but here are 20 to get the party started. These songs are perennials in karaoke bars, Xbox sing-alongs, and iPhone apps. Many have even been featured in memorable karaoke scenes in movies and TV.20. "ABC." People may select this bubblegum classic because they figure singing it will be "simple as Do-Re-Mi, ABC, 1-2-3." Turns it out it’s not that easy to match Michael Jackson’s effortless charm (at age 11!). The Jackson 5’s original version hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in April 1970. 19. "Love Shack." The original version of this party classic by The B-52’s reached No. 3 in November 1989. 18. "The Climb." A pre-twerking Miley Cyrus introduced this ballad in "Hannah Montana: The Movie." Her version reached No. 4 in May 2009. It’s the oldest song on Smule’s list of the most popular songs on its "Sing! Karaoke" app. 17. "One Way or Another." Blondie’s original version of this frisky song reached No. 24 in August 1979. Piper Perabo sang a karaoke version in the 2000 movie "Coyote Ugly." Kristen Bell sang it on her TV show "Veronica Mars." One Direction had a top 20 hit in 2013 with a medley of this song and the Undertones’s "Teenage Kicks." 16. "Jolene." Dolly Parton’s original version of this country classic topped the country chart in February 1974. The White Stripes recorded it in 2000. Parton’s goddaughter, Miley Cyrus, covered it in 2012. 15. "Grenade." Bruno Mars’s original version of this song about unrequited love spent four weeks at No. 1 in January and February 2011. Pop princess Ariana Grande and metalcore band Memphis May Fire have covered the song. 14. "You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’." The Righteous Brothers’s original version of this blue-eyed soul classic reached No. 1 in February 1965. Dionne Warwick and Hall & Oates also had top 20 hits with the song. Elvis Presley performed it in concert. Tom Cruise sang a karaoke version in his 1986 blockbuster, "Top Gun." 13. "Dancing in the Street." Martha & the Vandellas’s original version of this Motown classic reached No. 2 in October 1964. Such top acts as the Mamas & the Papas, Van Halen, and the tandem of Mick Jagger and David Bowie have also charted with the song. The Grateful Dead and Mexican-American pop star Myra have also done it. 12. "Bennie and the Jets." Elton John’s original version of this R&B-edged song reached No. 1 in April 1974. James Marsden and Katherine Heigl sang a karaoke version in the 2008 movie "27 Dresses." Haley Reinhart sang it on "American Idol" in 2011. Miguel featuring Wale covered it on the recent "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" 40th anniversary reissue. 11. "Like a Virgin." Madonna’s tongue-in-cheek original version spent six weeks at No. 1 in December 1984 and January 1985. The song was a highlight of the 2001 movie "Moulin Rouge!" This smile-inducing song might be a good choice for someone singing karaoke "for the very first time." 10. "Rock and Roll All Nite." KISS’s original version reached No. 12 in January 1976. Poison recorded it in 1987 for the "Less Than Zero" soundtrack.  The power-pop band The Summer Set also covered it. Here’s a lyric every homework-avoiding kid in America can relate to: "I wanna rock and roll all nite/And party every day." 9. "Don’t Stop Believin.’" Journey’s original version reached No. 9 in December 1981. The "Glee" cover climbed even higher (No. 4 in 2009). The song was a highlight of the 2012 movie "Rock of Ages." Seth MacFarlane sang a karaoke version on TV’s "Family Guy." The song’s success "goes on and on and on and on." 8. "Brown Eyed Girl." Van Morrison’s zesty classic will brighten the mood at any party. Morrison’s original version reached No. 10 in September 1967. El Chicano revived it in 1972. Jimmy Buffett recorded it in 1984. 7. "Summer Nights." This bouncy song first appeared in the Broadway musical "Grease" in February 1972. The movie version by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reached No. 5 in September 1978. Amy Poehler and Jon Glaser sang it on the sitcom "Parks and Recreation." 6. "I Love Rock N’ Roll." The Arrows introduced this valentine to rock’n’roll in 1975. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’s hit version spent seven weeks at No. 1 in the spring of 1982. Britney Spears sang a karaoke version in her 2002 movie, "Crossroads." 5. "Let It Go." This power ballad has been ubiquitous since "Frozen" was released in November. Idina Menzel’s original version is a current top 5 smash. It beat out a pop version by Demi Lovato. 4. "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Pat Benatar’s original version of this feminist fireball reached No. 9 in December 1980. The song was covered in both "Rock of Ages" and "Pitch Perfect." 3. "Friends in Low Places." Garth Brooks’s original version of this genial song topped the country chart for four weeks in October 1990. Florida Georgia Line recorded the tune this year for its "iTunes Sessions" EP. 2. "Islands in the Stream." Bee Gees wrote this song for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, whose duet topped both the pop and country charts in the fall of 1983. Constantines and Feist teamed up on cover. Ten Feet had a go at it. Steve Carell and John Krasinski sang a karaoke version on their sitcom "The Office." 1. "I Will Survive." Gloria Gaynor’s empowerment anthem hit No. 1 in March 1979. It’s the most famous of all disco songs — and one of the best. The alternative rock band Cake recorded it in 1996. Jennifer Love Hewitt sang a karaoke version in the 1998 movie "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer."

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