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15 Group Songs That Will Bring Down The House At Karaoke

The definite guide for group karaoke.

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Here are a few essential tips to keep in mind before you hit the karaoke stage:

* Never sing "Bohemian Rhapsody." First of all, it's just too long. Secondly, it's way too complicated to actually do well.

* Also, don't sing "YMCA." Yes, it's a fun song. Yes, everybody know the words. But we hear it a LOT in non-karaoke settings. Enough. Too much.

* The songs listed below are songs that were originally recorded by groups, thus making them extra-ideal for group karaoke.

* Finally: The tips in this karaoke guide are merely suggestions. If a song has three singers, it's OK to go on stage with five friends. It's also OK to sing that same song by yourself.

1. "Bootylicious" - Destiny's Child

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Destiny’s Child songs are so much fun to sing. The best one for a group is one that features vocals evenly split between Kelly, Michelle, and Beyoncé. However, on most Destiny's Child songs, Beyoncé rightfully dominates the vocals. So, what's a fun Destiny's Child song the audience will know, that also features singing by Michelle and Kelly? The answer is “Bootylicious.”

How many people sing this song?: Three. (Kelly, Michelle, and Beyoncé)

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Easy.

Performance notes: You don't have to do any crazy moves with your butt while you sing this song. But at least sing it with confidence.

Bring down the house: The "scat some jazz" part of the song is a great touch. If you and your group are super dedicated, try learning the harmonies.

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Easy (if you don't do the jazz part).

2. "Love Shack" - B-52's

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How many people sing this song?: Three. (One guy and two girls — not that you have to keep it that way.)

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Intermediate.

Performance notes: Everyone in the audience is waiting for the “TIIIIIIN ROOF… RUSTED” part, so make sure you don’t screw it up.

Bring down the house: In the recording, the B-52's begin the "Bang, bang, bang, on the door baby" segment quietly. They then crescendo into a loud, scream-y, funk. Audiences love a good build-up, so do them a favor and take them on that journey.

Harmonies?: Yes. (The only harmonies in this song are sung by the two women.)

Harmony difficulty: Easy.

3. "Bye Bye Bye" - 'N Sync

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How many people sing this song?: Five. (Solos: JC, another mini solo by JC, and Justin)

Should you sing it drunk?: No.

Song difficulty: Intermediate.

Performance notes: There are harmonies throughout the song. If you do them, the song is kinda tough. If you don't, it will be a lot easier to perform.

Bring down the house: Do the iconic waving dance move.

Harmonies?: Yes. Lots.

Harmony difficulty: Hard.

4. "Where is the Love?" - The Black Eyed Peas

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This song features a great mix of vocals. It's got rapping and singing.

How many people sing this song?: 5.

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Easy.

Performance notes: OK, THIS IS IMPORTANT: A common style of delivery in rap groups features every member saying the last word or phrase of the line in unison. This happens throughout the song. (Especially this part.)

Bring down the house: Do that classic "everybody clap at the end" thing they do in movies and musicals. Make the audience join in.

Harmonies?: None.

5. "Wannabe" - Spice Girls

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How many people sing this song?: 5

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Easy.

Performance notes: DO NOT SCREW UP THE LAUGH IN THE BEGINNING. Also, the first “Yo” of this song (sung by Scary Spice) will set the tone for the rest of the performance. So make sure you do the laugh, and make sure you do that “YO” loud and with a lot of attitude. This isn’t a song that should be sung standing still. So do something. Even if it's just jumping up and down.

Bring down the house: Make sure whoever is doing the Scary Spice parts is ready to commit 100%. The Scary Spice part, with its iconic rap, is the energetic glue that holds this song together.

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Intermediate. It will probably be easier to sing the song without harmonies. But if you’re going to do any harmony, make it the “slam your body down and wind it all around" part.

That part goes like this:

[In unison, without harmony]: Slam your body down and wind it all around.

[With harmony]: Slam your body down and wind it all around.

That call-and-response part with the unison and the harmony will really impress your audience. It makes the song sound ultra-rehearsed when really it's only one line of harmony, and it's only split into two parts.

6. "ABC" - The Jackson 5

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Because of its popularity, this song is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

How many people sing this song?: 4, actually. (Michael, Jermaine, Tito, and Jackie.)

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Easy.

Performance notes: It's important to remember that Michael Jackson was very young when he sang this song. If you're a man, it's going to be tough to sing this one. Singing it down an octave would be fine, but would definitely sound a bit off considering Michael was known for his high and powerful voice. If you want to rotate Michael’s solo between your group, that would also work. While not historically accurate, it would allow the vocals to be more evenly shared.

Bring down the house: Have everyone do the "Awww, yeah!" part. (Which is actually a sample of a song by The Meters.)

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Hard! These harmonies are tricky because they only exist in the background vocals and in short bursts. ("Ahs" and "Ooohs.") It might be easier to just leave that part out.

7. "Lady Marmalade" - Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, Pink

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How many people sing this song?: 4.

Should you sing it drunk?: No.

Song difficulty: Hard.

Performance notes: The singers in this song (Mya, Pink, and Christina Aguilera appear in order of difficulty. Mya’s easiest, then Pink (tough but doable), then Christina. She begins her verse with three crazy vocal ones, the third of which starts on a note that basically requires screaming. After that, she sings three “Heys”, each more difficult than the last. Then she finally begins her verse, which is full of really difficult riffs and belting. (Like, what the hell?)

Bring down the house: At 3:52 Missy Elliott introduces each of the vocalists, one by one. This would be a great chance for you and your group to show off your chops, quickly. It’s an opportunity for a mini solo. It’s a memorable part of the song, so try to do it as accurately as you can.

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Intermediate. Since this song mostly consists of separate melody lines, the harmony only appears whenever ”Voulez vous coucher avec moi” is sung, the “Marmalaaaaade” part, and during ”Now he’s back home doing 9 to 5." These harmonies, though they only appear briefly, are pretty tough.

8. "California Dreamin'" - Mamas & The Papas

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How many people sing this song?: 4.

Should you sing it drunk?: No.

Song difficulty: Intermediate.

Performance notes: This is a great song. It’s got really cool harmonies. Without them, the song is a bit bland. There are a few solo lines that allow for melodies without harmony, but the background vocals are still harmonized. Make sure your group doesn't just stand there on the stage during the weird flute solo.

Bring down the house: An easy way to avoid an awkward moment with the flute solo is if you have someone from your group play the air-flute. It might make the audience laugh, which will also help you loosen up on stage.

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Hard. (Here’s the sheet music, though.)

9. "It's Raining Men" - The Weather Girls

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How many people sing this song?: 2. (But there are enough harmonies for 4 people, at least.)

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Hard.

Performance notes: If you decide to do this song, it's best not to think about it as a song you're singing. It's really a performance. If you watch the video, it's almost as if it came straight from a show on Broadway. And it's important to treat it as such. Honestly, if you don't know this song in-and-out, don't do it.

Bring down the house: Find a hunk in the audience and bring him on stage!!

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: VERY hard.

10. "I Want It That Way" - The Backstreet Boys

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How many people sing this song?: 5.

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Intermediate.

Performance notes: THE KEY CHANGE IN THIS SONG IS SO IMPORTANT. Let’s break it down:

It starts at 2:12, with “You are my fire. The one desire. You are….” That’s only sung by one person. That solo ends by holding out the last note on “You aaaaareeeee…” It’s important that this person comes in on time because this line begins the dramatic build up to the key change.

At 2:22 the other vocal parts enter one by one on the words "You are..."

Then, whoever decides to sing the “Don’t wanna hear you” (the actual key change) part has to enter loudly and with confidence. Because this is what it’s all been building up to. And if they fuck that up, then consider the rest of the song fucked up as well.

Bring down the house: All you have to do to bring down the house is nail that key change.

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Intermediate. The main harmonies happen during the chorus. They’re easy harmonies, though. There are some backup harmonies during the verses, but they aren’t as important and the song will still sound good without them.

11. "Stayin' Alive" - Bee Gees

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Disco music is great for karaoke. A good rule for karaoke is: If It’s A Disco Song, Do It!

How many people sing this song?: 3.

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Intermediate.

Performance notes: If you don’t do the harmonies in this song, it might be a bit boring to do with a group. Without the harmonies, you could just as easily sing the song by yourself. Also, before you pick this song, keep in mind the Bee Gees were known for their super-high and nasally voices. (Remember this great SNL sketch?)

Bring down the house: Honestly, all you have to do to bring the house down is do any of the moves John Travolta does in Saturday Night Fever. Seriously, any of them.

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Difficult.

12. "Dancing Queen" - ABBA

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HELL YEAH, ANOTHER DISCO SONG.

How many people sing this song?: 4.

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Intermediate.

Performance notes: It’s really important to have more than one person sing the melody. On this song, the two female vocalists sing in unison, which creates a really strong sound for the verses. In addition, each verse contains a note that's a lot lower than the rest of them. ("You come to look for a king," "You're in the mood for a dance," etc.)

Bring down the house: In the video, ABBA is performing the song on the stage. Pick up on some of their dance moves and see if you can bring them to your own stage.

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Easy! Besides this recurring part, the only harmonies in this song happen during the chorus.

13. "Bang Bang" - Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj

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How many people sing this song?: 3.

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Hard.

Performance notes: Jessie J and Ariana Grande are some of the best pop vocalists of our time. (I mean, seriously. Holy shit. You need to watch this, by the way.) This is a fun song, and that’s in large part because Jessie and Ariana sing the shit out of it. Also, Nicki’s raps tend to be very theatrical. This one especially.

Bring down the house: On all of the “Bang bang” parts in the chorus, ask the audience to sing along. All you have to do is point your microphone out toward the audience. This is the universal sign for “OK, audience. Now it’s your turn to sing.”

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Hard! Easily, the best harmonies in this song are at 1:49 when Ariana sings “Show me what your mama gave.” She’s harmonizing with herself, but if you and your group can pull off that harmony, it would impress the shit out of your audience.

14. "Summer Nights" - The cast of Grease

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How many people sing this song?: 3+

Should you sing it drunk?: No.

Song difficulty: Hard.

Performance notes: Like "It's Raining Men," it's important that this song is more of a theatrical performance than a song that's merely sung on a stage.

Bring down the house: Choreograph the song so that on one side of the stage you have Sandy and her friends, and on the other side, Danny and his friends. Also, do any of these dance moves.

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Intermediate. The only harmonies happen on the back up vocals, which is just a lot of "shooby-doo" nonsense words. The song will still sound good without them.

I know you're probably thinking: "Hey, where's that song from the end of Bridesmaids? That part was so funny and I want to pretend to be Kristin Wiig and Maya Rudolph with my friends."

FINE. If you want do do "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips, OK. But here’s how to make it good:

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The song itself is kinda boring, but this is why it worked in Bridesmaids:

Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph's characters are best friends in the movie. They are also good friends in real life. That performance at the end of movie looks like they've been singing this in the car together their whole life.

So, I can't stress this enough: The relationship between you and your group is the most important part of performing this song!

15. "Hold On" - Willson Phillips

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How many people sing this song?: 3.

Should you sing it drunk?: Yes.

Song difficulty: Hard.

Performance notes: (See above)

Bring down the house: (See above)

Harmonies?: Yes.

Harmony difficulty: Intermediate. They appear frequently throughout the song, but the harmonies themselves are easy.