Let’s face it. As fun as it’s supposed to be, karaoke can be a stressful venture.
You’re getting up in front of an audience (often strangers) and trying not to make a fool of yourself.
(Or, perhaps, trying TO make a fool of yourself if that’s your karaoke thing. In which case, feel free to skip on ahead.)
For the rest of us mere mortals, we don’t want to look like complete idiots when we get up to sing in public.
Having a duet partner can go a long way toward easing those karaoke nerves.
But only if you pick the right song.
A good duet song is like a good sandwich – plenty to share and all the right ingredients.
While I feel safe saying practically everyone will be fighting over who gets to sing “Shallow” for the next several years, there ARE other good karaoke duets out there.
Here are some of the best karaoke duets for satisfying those demanding crowds –
Good Karaoke Duets
1. Falling Slowly (Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová from the movie Once)
Not only is this love song a fairly easy song to sing with simple, memorizable lyrics, it’s also pronoun-free, making it work for any sort of karaoke match-up.
In the original inception, it’s not really a duet so much as a solo with one person providing essential harmony.
But, honestly, just switch up the verses. Bam. Duet.
And if you can pull off those sweet harmonies in the chorus, it’s sure to impress.
2. Somethin’ Stupid (Frank and Nancy Sinatra and others)
This classic duet is karaoke gold, and, again, not really a duet. Not in the back and forth solo sort of way.
At least, not usually.
Instead, it demands harmonies.
But it’s light, it’s fun, it’s a fairly easy sing (the quick lyrics and breathing are the tricky parts) and you can switch up the verses however you so please.
3. Scream (Michael and Janet Jackson)
You’ve got to have some talent to pull this one off. It ain’t your average sing.
But you can pretty much guarantee no one else will be attempting it.
It’s got a powerful, protesty feel on top of a hella sexy beat.
Not for the faint of heart or the weak of breath.
4. Islands in the Stream (Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers)
Everyone loves Dolly, so you may as well start out ahead of the game.
Seriously, it doesn’t matter how badly you sing it, people love this song.
And, again, no pronouns, so the sky is the limit when it comes to pairings.
On the right night with the right crowd, you might even get a singalong going.
5. A Bunch of Stuff From Disney, Broadway and Movie Musicals
When it comes to great duets, Broadway and Hollywood are some of the best places to look.
Obviously, you’ve got Disney with its slew of duet-y material, but there are plenty of other movie musicals that have never graced a stage.
Go looking, and you might find something unexpected that will take your audience for a wild ride.
The above video has ten, but that’s far from all of them. And, regardless of the video’s title, there are better ones out there.
Fun Karaoke Duets
While many of us want to sound our best when it comes to karaoke, karaoke isn’t just about sounding good.
It’s about feeling good and having a good time.
It’s also about giving the audience a good time.
These songs put the fun in “funtastical karaoke.”
6. Love Shack (The B-52’s)
While not a conventional duet (there are technically three solo parts here), it never has more than two overlapping components, making it easily adaptable.
A classically ridiculous ditty that is sure to get a big response and some toes a tappin’.
And it’s just plain fun.
7. Summer Nights (from the musical Grease)
This song is way overdone on karaoke nights.
But there’s a reason.
The lyrics are fun, a lot of people know it, and it’s absolutely sing-a-long material.
It’s heavy on the “boy”s and “girl”s in the lyrics, but once you get past the pronoun explosion, you’ll find it actually lends to easy adaptation for any duet pair.
8. You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly (Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty)
Karaoke is largely about audience response, which is why popular karaoke songs are so… well, popular.
Want to pull something out of relative obscurity (to younger audiences, at least) and still make a big splash?
This song should do it.
9. Schadenfreude (from the musical Avenue Q)
When it comes to good duets, Broadway is a treasure trove.
When it comes to funny duets, the offerings are somewhat slimmer, but there are still plenty of gems.
This song is so meanly fun, it will either give the audience the titters or get you several heartfelt glares.
It really depends on how many pearl-clutchers you’ve got in the crowd.
Try it and see what happens.
11. We Built This City
Anti-establishment vibe. Dancy, poppy music.
Top contender on multiple “worst of the 80s” lists.
What more can you ask for in a karaoke song?
And no matter how many “worst of” lists it makes, it’s still damn fun to sing.