Who doesn’t love a good old karaoke session with a bunch of close friends? It’s where you get to unleash your ‘inner’ Adele, or G.E.M. for the C-Pop fanatics. Belting out those high notes like no tomorrow – without the fear of getting judged, and bonding over duets, is probably what we love most about our frequent Karaoke sessions. Below is a list of 20 old school English and Chinese songs for your next karaoke session:


1. I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys

  • Not too long ago, you might have seen that video clip of Jake from the U.S Television series Brooklyn Nine Nine intensely serenading to this song whilst trying to identify a suspect. Yes, it is still relevant 19 years on. Even if you’re not holding onto the mic, you might find yourself subconsciously mumbling or screaming to the lyrics that have already been ingrained into your mind.


2. Umbrella – Rihanna

  • “Under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh”. Everyone knows the lyrics to this song but how many of us can successfully finish singing the entire song? It does get a little repetitive after a while but nonetheless, it’s a good song to sing along to.


3. Single Ladies – Beyoncé

  • You can think of it this way: this song is for all the confident and independent ladies out there or for the ones who are #foreveralone. A decade later, this R&B single never gets old.


4. Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne

  • Before the likes of Camila Cabello, there was Avril Lavigne. A pop punk icon known for her punk rock style, ‘Girlfriend’ proved to be one of her most iconic songs, due to its catchiness and lyrics, making it a hallmark of pop music in the late 2000s.


5. … Baby One More Time – Britney Spears

  • From her debut album, this was probably one of the songs that catapulted Britney to stardom, proving that she was the reigning queen of pop music back in the 90s.


6. Poker Face – Lady Gaga

  • You’ll know that this song is on once it plays: from its  instantly recognisable introduction. You’ll find yourself singing, or humming along to the song, with its irresistible hook.


7. The Man Who Can’t Be Moved – The Script

  • For the emotional ones out there, this song would probably be on the list during your k-sessions. As this song falls under the soft rock genre and proves to be more mellow, it acts as a good respite from all the more ‘intense’ songs above.


8. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swfit

  • #Throwback to the good old times before Taylor boldly proclaimed that the old Taylor is dead. This song screams karaoke potential due to its repetitive spoken lyrics, that are easy to sing along to.


9. A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton

  • You might find yourself and your group of friends trying to dramatically imitate the intense piano playing of this song. This ‘one hit wonder’ is still a popular anthem for most karaoke goers.


10. She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

  • No karaoke session is complete without a Maroon 5 song. From Maroon 5’s debut album, this song is still a jam 14 years on, proving to be one of the band’s most successful singles.


Now that we’ve rounded up a list of must sing old school English songs, it’s time to move on to timeless Chinese songs which are almost always chosen at every K-session you find yourself in:


1. “Tui Hou” – Jay Chou (退后 – 周杰倫)

  • Hailed as one of the most successful mandopop singers, it is not surprising that Jay Chou is the first on the list. 退后, which literally translates to retreat in English, is a must sing for all the mandopop lovers out there. Don’t worry, this song is easy to follow as he doesn’t mumble as much here.


2. “An Jing” – Jay Chou (安靜 – 周杰倫)

  • You will know the lyrics by hard if you’re a Jay Chou fan, or simply because this is such a popular go-to-karaoke song that contrary to its title 安靜 (silence), you’ll find yourself screaming the lyrics to the song.


3. “Na Xie Nian” – Hu Xia (那些年 – 胡夏)

  • From the 2011 movie You Are The Apple Of My Eye, this piece is one to take you on a trip down memory lane. After all, the title of the song which translates to “those years” is all about reminiscing the past, and the chances that one missed or didn’t dare to take.


4. “Jian Ao”- Lee Jia Wei (煎熬 – 李佳薇)

  • Arguably the most difficult song to sing, this is for those who wish to showcase their singing ‘skills’. 煎熬, which translates to suffering, can literally make your friends around you suffer as you struggle to hit each note that subsequently gets higher.


5. “Ta Shuo”- JJ Lin (她說 – 林俊傑 )

  • Known for producing his own songs, Singapore songbird JJ Lin’s 她說  is a mellow piece about unrequited love, and remains to be one of the most sung Chinese songs during karaoke sessions.


6. “Wu Ding” – Jay Chou & Landy Wen (屋顶 – 周杰倫 & 温岚)

  • This duet piece talks about finding love and hanging out on rooftops. A manageable duet, you won’t have to find yourself struggling to hit those notes with your partner.


7. “Ji Mo Ji Mo Jiu Hao” – Hebe Tian (寂寞寂寞就好 – 田馥甄)

  • For the emotional ones out there, this song is for you. The lyrics allude to wanting to be alone and shutting oneself out from the world. This poignant piece is sure to bring you on an emotional roller coaster ride.


8. “Ni Hao Bu Hao” – Eric Zhou (你,好不好 – 周興哲)

  • New kid on the block – Eric Chou, might have entered the mandopop scene not too long ago but has already racked up a few emotional ballads, with 你,好不好 being one of them.


9. “Liu Xing Yu” – F4 (流星雨 – F4)

  • If you’ve been a follower of Taiwanese dramas for the longest time ever, Meteor Garden would definitely have been on your watch list. As an accompanying theme song to the series, this piece is one that will bring you back to the era of pretty flower boys with long hair.


10. “Peng You” – Wakin Chau (朋友 – 周华健)

  • A great way to end of your karaoke session, this heart-warming and uplifting song is one that celebrates friendships, and a look back at how far each of you have come since the beginning.


So go forth. You’re now ready for your next karaoke session.