The definitive list of karaoke power ballads

Ever since I started watching this season of The Voice, I’ve wanted nothing more than an incredible singing voice. The only solace I have found in this, is knowing that I am not alone. Over 95% of the population probably has a crappy singing voice (don’t quote me on the stat), but it’s still no reason to fear the microphone–the karaoke microphone, that is.

Fortunately for us, a productive evening of karaoke only requires three simple things: good company, a positive attitude, and a list of karaoke power ballads. Though we may not be able to control our natural talents, we can control our song choices. So please, be responsible, and carefully consider your songs before belting them out. Here’s a list to help you:

1. TLC – “No Scrubs”

If you’re looking to ease yourself into the night, “No Scrubs” is a great starter song. You won’t feel any obligation to blow the windows out, but you will have to keep up with Left Eye’s rap, which is challenging.

2. Stevie Nicks – “Edge of Seventeen”

Really, any Stevie Nicks song is suitable for karaoke, but “Edge of Seventeen” has the horse-riding, giddy-up kinda beat that makes you want to move. If your company isn’t awkwardly bopping up and down in their seats, they are probably shimmying around and interrupting your “white-winged dove” lyric. I guess it just depends on where you are in your night.

3. Robyn – “Dancing On My Own”

Where would karaoke be without an emotional pop ballad? The infectious chorus is sure to bring some of your friends out of their seats to join you in a duet or quartet or flash mob.

4. Alanis Morissette – “You Oughta Know”

In the mood to make some bold statements and just let out all that frustration? Good. Sing it with conviction.

5. Natalie Imbruglia – “Torn” 

Bring back the feels of 1997 with Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.” Sure, it’s an emotional journey, but saying “torn” five different ways throughout the song makes it all worthwhile.

6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Maps”

I’m curious to see what every person would do with the “Maaa-aaa-aaaa-haaa-haaaa-ps” portion of this song. I think this calls for a karaoke case study.

7. Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”

This song and video may have shocked a few of us, but I think almost everyone can agree that “Wrecking Ball” is a great karaoke song. It’s perfectly challenging (level 8.5 difficulty), emotionally charged, and provides golden opportunities for dramatic dance moves.

8. Christina Aguilera – “Come On Over (All I Want Is You)”

Hooray for halter tops, low-rise jeans, and bejeweled bellies! We may not sound like Christina, but I think we can all get behind any uplifting favorite from ’99. Note: I think parts of this song have been stuck in my head for the last 15 years.

9. Gloria Gaynor – “I Will Survive”

It’s not karaoke until someone is tipsy brave enough to take on “I Will Survive.” Don’t worry, you can always take creative license and “make it your own,” as they say.

10. Pat Benatar – “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”

Are you the type to turn a karaoke session into a competition? Helpful hint: There’s no better way to unleash your inner warrior than singing a song by Pat Benatar.

11. Salt-N-Pepa – “Shoop“

Something about saying “shoop, shoop-e-doop” repeatedly, is gratifying. Tread lightly on these verses, though. They sneak up on you.

12. Tracy Chapman – “Fast Car”

You might be accused of sucking the life out of your party if you choose this song, but after a night full of power ballads, it’s okay to bring it back home with Tracy Chapman. You earned it.

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