The 20 Hardest Karaoke Songs to Sing

Karaoke is more enjoyable when you try to sing the most difficult karaoke songs. Music has a way of bringing people and it’s not only a great activity to bond over, it helps to learn about their musical tastes while sharing their passion for singing. Those feel-good pop songs that are simply hard to sing will add challenge to an otherwise regular karaoke night.

From classic songs sung by Freddie Mercury, Mariah Carey, or Whitney Houston, you’ll need a more extensive vocal range and have to be an expert to hit all those notes. On the other hand, songs by Eminem would require you to work more on rhythm, primarily due to their fast-paced tempo.

If you want to know about the hardest karaoke songs to sing – perhaps to avoid singing them – we’ve listed down 20 of the most difficult songs in karaoke across different genres. Feel free to karaoke your heart out with these great songs on the list!

1. “Chandelier” by Sia

Sia - Chandelier (Official Video)Sia – Chandelier (Official Video)

Chandelier is one of those songs that has a lot of belting notes in it. Despite its soaring and outrageously high melody, Sia’s lead single from her sixth album which was released in 2011,   Chandelier has a sad tone. It centers around the life of a party girl, with Sia discussing her drug and alcohol addiction.

The song has received massive commercial success and critical acclaim because of its hard-hitting lyrics on top of the big belting chorus. There’s a reason why many people often use this song in auditions – it takes a great singer to nail the high notes. If you’re up for a challenge, why not give this song a try?

2. “My All” by Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey - My All (Official HD Video)Mariah Carey – My All (Official HD Video)

Mariah Carey is famously known for her high notes, whistles, and flawless runs and riffs. Her unique singing style and stellar voice have made her one of the powerhouse vocals in her generation, and a timeless figure who has strengthened her place in history.

That being said, if you’re an aspiring singer yourself, expect a Mariah Carey song to challenge your vocal prowess. My All specifically tells the story of ‘falling in love’ which is reflected by the song’s overall theme of bold, unadulterated passion that’s risky at most.

3. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You (Official 4K Video)Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You (Official 4K Video)

Everyone knows that if you can sing this Whitney Houston song from beginning to end, you’re a fantastic vocalist. Sung by the Queen of Power Ballads, Houston’s songs will test your vocal prowess. The chorus will do more than enough to blow your wits away because of the large belting notes you’ll have to hit.

4. “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera - Hurt (Main Video)Christina Aguilera – Hurt (Main Video)

This song by another powerhouse vocal is on the list because of the song’s overall complexity. You’d have to concentrate not only on hitting the high notes, but also on the dramatic pauses, key changes, and the wide vocal range throughout the song. Give it a shot and see if your vocal cords can keep up with you!

5.”Rap God” by Eminem

Eminem - Rap God (Explicit)Eminem – Rap God (Explicit)

When it comes to hard karaoke songs to sing, it isn’t only exclusive to songs with belting notes or opera-like singing styles. Rap God by Eminem is a testament to this.

Sung by the Rap God himself, this song will have you feeling dizzy because it is hard to keep up with the song’s lyrics.  The fast-paced rhythm will keep you jumping around. Even so, it’s still worth a try for anyone who wants to try their hand at rapping!

6. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Official Music Video)Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (Official Music Video)

Smells Like Teen Spirit is perhaps one of Nirvana’s most well-known songs, propelling them to fame in the early 1990s. This legendary song is a seminal grunge single that took their album to the top of the charts and marked the beginning of alternative rock’s mainstream acceptance. This song was dubbed the “ultimate hymn for apathetic youngsters” and is extremely difficult to sing due to its loud-quiet dynamic, which can be difficult to master.

7. “Listen” by Beyonce

Beyoncé - Listen (GRAMMYs on CBS)Beyoncé – Listen (GRAMMYs on CBS)

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without Queen B making an appearance. The trouble is that just hearing the song makes you doubt your ability to sing it because of the tremendous vocal skill required to pull it off successfully. This tune will have you flailing or failing to reach the appropriate notes, and it’s a daring challenge.

8. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Official Video Remastered)Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Official Video Remastered)

This song is an ultimate classic and a legendary karaoke song. In fact, in 2020, it was recognized as the third most popular Singa karaoke song.

Despite this, the song is undoubtedly one of the most difficult to sing along to due to the overlapping voices that are so important to the song. There’s a mix of high and low sounds as well. If you’re feeling brave, try singing this with your buddies!

9. “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato - Stone Cold (Official Video)Demi Lovato – Stone Cold (Official Video)

‘Stone Cold’ is certainly up there with Sia’s Chandelier in terms of popularity. This Demi Lovato track is one of those ‘target songs’ that most karaoke singers and vocalists attempt to sing because of the immense popularity it enjoys. People have even uploaded recordings of themselves successfully singing the song on YouTube, and if that isn’t proof enough, we don’t know what is!

10. “Who’s Loving You” by The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 "Who's Loving You" on The Ed Sullivan ShowThe Jackson 5 “Who’s Loving You” on The Ed Sullivan Show

The strong vocals of the iconic ensemble are enough to make this song difficult to tackle in the first place. The song is about the collapse of a relationship, as well as the anxiety that comes with wondering who they’re currently associated with.

11. “Dream On” by Aerosmith

Aerosmith - Dream On (Live - HD Video)Aerosmith – Dream On (Live – HD Video)

This Aerosmith power ballad was one of the band’s biggest songs, catapulting them to the top of the charts. You’ll find yourself trying to balance the spirit of pop ballad with heavy metal while still being able to hit the notes.

12. “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” by The Darkness

The Darkness - I Believe In A Thing Called Love (Official Music Video)The Darkness – I Believe In A Thing Called Love (Official Music Video)

Sung by the popular English rock band, the Darkness, “I Believe in A Thing Called Love” incorporates a heavy rock and roll theme that requires you to have an expansive upper vocal range to sing successfully. It may also be worth saying that this song’s highest note is G#5.

13. “Welcome to The Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance

My Chemical Romance - Welcome To The Black Parade [Official Music Video] [HD]My Chemical Romance – Welcome To The Black Parade [Official Music Video] [HD]

This track by My Chemical Romance song is not only popular because of its great melody but also because of how it saved the lives of fans and pulled them out of the pits of depression. The album’s concept revolves around the story of a cancer patient who passed away and eventually joined The Black Parade – a fictional destination meant for the dead where everything is dull and black with a marching band taking the reins.

14. “Imagine” by Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande - imagine (lyric video)Ariana Grande – imagine (lyric video)

The famous singer is widely admired for her wild vocal runs and belting notes. But besides this, Ariana has also made a name for herself when it comes to songs with fast-paced tempos and rhythms. Written in the F minor key, this R&B and pop ballad song has a 125 BPM tempo, with insane whistle notes that are difficult to pull off.

15. “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston - I Have Nothing (Official HD Video)Whitney Houston – I Have Nothing (Official HD Video)

Of course, another Whitney Houston song makes the list. This vocally challenging song is almost impossible to get right, but pulling it off is considered a great feat already. Not only will you have to worry about hitting the high notes, but also make sure you’re controlling your breathing perfectly.

16. “Crawling” by Linkin Park

Crawling [Official HD Music Video] - Linkin ParkCrawling [Official HD Music Video] – Linkin Park

This song by the famous American rock band Linkin Park revolves around finding flaws and mistakes in yourself and the anxiety that comes with wanting to change these things. If you want to know why this song is on the list, the band itself says that this is one of the hardest songs of theirs to ever sing live.

17. “Titanium” by David Guetta feat. Sia

David Guetta - Titanium ft. Sia (Official Video)David Guetta – Titanium ft. Sia (Official Video)

Don’t let this song’s amazing beat and melody fool you. Once you get to the chorus, you may find yourself struggling to reach those notes without pausing to catch your breath. What else can we say? This song is just a testament to the singer’s incredible vocal skills.

18. “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone (VIDEO)Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone (VIDEO)

You’ll immediately know why this song makes the list just from its first lyric and melody alone. Good luck sustaining those high notes in extended periods – if you can, that is.

19. “Loving You” by Minnie Riperton

loving you minnie ripertonloving you minnie riperton

Minni Riperton is a phenom when it comes to singing high notes that are impossible for the average person to pull off. Her song ‘Loving You’ is a great proof of that.

20. “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith

Sam Smith - Stay With Me (Official Video)Sam Smith – Stay With Me (Official Video)

The song focuses on the moments that occur in the morning after an impulsive one-night stand, where you’re finally left alone by yourself. Sam Smith’s rich, soulful voice and the song’s bass make it challenging to pull off the song’s vocals while keeping the emotions it aims to convey.

Conclusion

There are a lot of songs you can choose to sing in karaoke. While you can always dial in your go-to songs and favorites, it’s fun to take a little challenge. You may have tried to sing a song you enjoy but struggled to reach the notes, or the rhythm maybe something you can’t quite grasp. 

When it comes to the most difficult karaoke songs to sing, everyone’s answer will be slightly different. Female vocalists may find it more difficult to perform songs with exaggerated bass tones, whilst male singers may find it more difficult to sing songs written for sopranos. Whatever the case, dial at least one of these songs to put your vocal abilities to the test!