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15 of the Most Requested Karaoke Songs

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Picking the perfect karaoke song can be a tough choice. The song has to be popular enough so people can sing along with you, but easy enough for a karaoke beginner to master. In honor of National Karaoke Week, which kicks off today, here are 15 of the most requested karaoke songs.

1. Michael Jackson — “Billie Jean”

One of the key reasons why this is one of the perfect karaoke songs is because it gives you  the opportunity to do the Moonwalk (or try to do the Moonwalk) in front of an appreciative group of people. "Billie Jean" is the second single from Michael Jackson’s sixth solo album, Thriller, and is one of the easiest to MJ songs to sing.

2. Weezer – “Say It Ain’t So”

From Weezer’s first self-titled album (also known as the Blue Album), “Say It Ain’t So” highlights catchy rock vocals and gives people the opportunity to play “air guitar” on an amazing guitar solo. The song also launched Weezer into icon status as one of the best rock bands of the '90s.

3. Natalie Imbruglia – “Torn”

What better way to honor a one-hit wonder than to sing their song, which is one of the most requested karaoke tracks of all time? The opening lead single track from Australian Natalie Imbruglia's Grammy-nominated debut album, Left of the Middle, is actually pretty tough to sing, so make sure to warm up with something a little easier before attempting this one.

4. Kings of Leon – “Sex on Fire”

The first single from Kings of Leon’s fourth album—Only by the Night—“Sex on Fire” was an international number one hit song in the United Kingdom and Australia, but never found that type of success in the United States. The song gained popularity when it won a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and was later featured on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show compilation album.

5. Adele – “Someone Like You”

The inspiration behind Adele’s “Someone Like You” was a past broken relationship. It serves as a popular request by the newly broken-hearted; while the song seems easy and simple, it’s not for karaoke novices. Its piano accompaniment cannot hide vocal mistakes and its range goes from deep to high at a short moment's notice. “Someone Like You” is a pro level karaoke song, so drink up and don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself if you’re not a pro.

6. Radiohead – “Creep”

A very popular song among newly jilted young men, Radiohead’s “Creep” conveys strange painful feelings in a perfectly timed pop song. Radiohead’s debut single from their first album, Pablo Honey, is easy to sing and is the best way to live out your rock n’ roll fantasies as you pine over your former lover’s memory.

7. Madonna – “Like a Prayer”

Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” is one of the most requested songs by karaoke enthusiasts. The music video was controversial thanks to its use of Catholic imagery, while the song’s gospel-like structure and hooks make it really easy to sing along to.

8. Bruce Springsteen – “Born in the U.S.A.”

Is there a better song to rally an audience with American patriotic passion? Bruce Springsteen’s most popular single is also his most misunderstood. While many mistake its American nationalism surface for unbridled patriotism, “Born in the U.S.A.” is a song about the negative effects of the Vietnam War on working-class Americans. Its catchy arena rock structure masks its deeper themes.

9. Sir-Mix-A-Lot – “Baby Got Back”

With the first line in the song—“I like big butts and I cannot lie”—Sir-Mix-A-Lot conveys so much about what we perceive as beauty and what we actually find beautiful and attractive. The song was the only number one hit from the Seattle-based rapper; “Baby Got Back” serves as the perfect novelty song and a popular karaoke choice. Sir-Mix-A-Lot also won a Grammy Award in 1993 for Best Rap Solo Performance.

10. The B-52s – “Love Shack”

Although The B-52s have been making music since 1976, “Love Shack” became their biggest hit song in 1989. The song stands as the perfect mix between a novelty and nostalgic pop song, which makes it one of the most requested songs at karaoke bars across the country.

11. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – “I Love Rock N’ Roll”

Originally written and released by the rock band Arrows in 1975, “I Love Rock N’ Roll” was popularized when Joan Jett & The Blackhearts covered the rock song in 1981. The song continues to be an anthem of youthful rebellion and casual sex as the music video launched MTV in the music cable network’s early beginnings. “I Love Rock N’ Roll” is one of the most requested songs because it’s simple to sing for karaoke beginners and pros alike.

12. Sublime – “Santeria”

Released after lead singer Bradley Nowell’s death in 1997, “Santeria” is the punk-ska band's biggest pop song as it crossed the niche genre into mainstream pop culture status. The song cracked the Top 5 on Billboard’s music chart and continues to be popular on video games like Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 3.

13. Alannah Myles – “Black Velvet”

This song from Canadian singer/songwriter Alannah Myles hit number one on Billboard’s music chart in 1989. The song stayed on top of the charts for two weeks and earned Myles a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocalist. The song was inspired by a bus ride to Graceland in Memphis for the 10th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. “Black Velvet” continues to be a karaoke staple around the world.

14. “Summer Nights” from the Grease Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The most requested duet was made popular by the film adaptation of the musical Grease. The song was a big hit in the United States and the United Kingdom, while the record went gold and platinum, respectively. In the film, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John sang the duet about a high school summer romance, while couples re-enact the absurdity of wholesome Americana in karaoke bars.

15. Journey – “Don’t Stop Believin’’”

“Don’t Stop Believin’” is often described as the perfect rock song and an anthem for anyone who hasn’t lost hope in the face of adversity. The song found new life in 2009 when the TV drama Glee performed it in their premiere episode. The song is the biggest hit from the San Francisco-based rock band and remains Journey’s most popular song; in 2011, it became the most downloaded song on Apple's iTunes store with over 5 million digital copies sold.

Sources: US Karaoke Alliance; Squidoo; 999thepoint; RequestYourSong.com; PartySpecialists.com; the writer's personal karaoke experience.

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10 Surprising Facts About The Babadook
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In 2014, The Babadook came out of nowhere and scared audiences across the globe. Written and directed by Aussie Jennifer Kent, and based on her short film Monster, The Babadook is about a widow named Amelia (played by Kent’s drama schoolmate Essie Davis) who has trouble controlling her young son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), who thinks there’s a monster living in their house. Amelia reads Samuel a pop-up book, Mister Babadook, and Samuel manifests the creature into a real-life monster. The Babadook may be the villain, but the film explores the pitfalls of parenting and grief in an emotional way. 

“I never approached this as a straight horror film,” Kent told Complex. “I always was drawn to the idea of grief, and the suppression of that grief, and the question of, how would that affect a person? ... But at the core of it, it’s about the mother and child, and their relationship.”

Shot on a $2 million budget, the film grossed more than $10.3 million worldwide and gained an even wider audience via streaming networks. Instead of creating Babadook out of CGI, a team generated the images in-camera, inspired by the silent films of Georges Méliès and Lon Chaney. Here are 10 things you might not have known about The Babadook (dook, dook).

1. THE NAME “BABADOOK” WAS EASY FOR A CHILD TO INVENT.

Jennifer Kent told Complex that some people thought the creature’s name sounded “silly,” which she agreed with. “I wanted it to be like something a child could make up, like ‘jabberwocky’ or some other nonsensical name,” she explained. “I wanted to create a new myth that was just solely of this film and didn’t exist anywhere else.”

2. JENNIFER KENT WAS WORRIED PEOPLE WOULD JUDGE THE MOTHER.

Amelia isn’t the best mother in the world—but that’s the point. “I’m not a parent,” Kent told Rolling Stone, “but I’m surrounded by friends and family who are, and I see it from the outside … how parenting seems hard and never-ending.” She thought Amelia would receive “a lot of flak” for her flawed parenting, but the opposite happened. “I think it’s given a lot of women a sense of reassurance to see a real human being up there,” Kent said. “We don’t get to see characters like her that often.”

3. KENT AND ESSIE DAVIS TONED DOWN THE CONTENT FOR THE KID.

Noah Wiseman was six years old when he played Samuel. Kent and Davis made sure he wasn’t present for the more horrific scenes, like when Amelia tells Samuel she wishes he was the one who died, not her husband. “During the reverse shots, where Amelia was abusing Sam verbally, we had Essie yell at an adult stand-in on his knees,” Kent told Film Journal. “I didn’t want to destroy a childhood to make this film—that wouldn’t be fair.”

Kent explained a “kiddie version” of the plot to Wiseman. “I said, ‘Basically, Sam is trying to save his mother and it’s a film about the power of love.’”

4. THE FILM IS ALSO ABOUT “FACING OUR SHADOW SIDE.”

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Kent told Film Journal that “The Babadook is a film about a woman waking up from a long, metaphorical sleep and finding that she has the power to protect herself and her son.” She noted that everybody has darkness to face. “Beyond genre and beyond being scary, that’s the most important thing in the film—facing our shadow side.”

5. THE FILM SCARED THE HELL OUT OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE EXORCIST.

In an interview with Uproxx, William Friedkin—director of The Exorcist—said The Babadook was one of the best and scariest horror films he’d ever seen. He especially liked the emotional aspect of the film. “It’s not only the simplicity of the filmmaking and the excellence of the acting not only by the two leads, but it’s the way the film works slowly but inevitably on your emotions,” he said.

6. AN ART DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT SCORED THE ROLE AS THE BABADOOK.

Tim Purcell worked in the film’s art department but then got talked into playing the titular character after he acted as the creature for some camera tests. “They realized they could save some money, and have me just be the Babadook, and hence I became the Babadook,” Purcell told New York Magazine. “In terms of direction, it was ‘be still a lot,’” he said.

7. THE MOVIE BOMBED IN ITS NATIVE AUSTRALIA.

Even though Kent shot the film in Adelaide, Australians didn’t flock to the theaters; it grossed just $258,000 in its native country. “Australians have this [built-in] aversion to seeing Australian films,” Kent told The Cut. “They hardly ever get excited about their own stuff. We only tend to love things once everyone else confirms they’re good … Australian creatives have always had to go overseas to get recognition. I hope one day we can make a film or work of art and Australians can think it’s good regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.”

8. YOU CAN OWN A MISTER BABADOOK BOOK (BUT IT WILL COST YOU). 

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In 2015, Insight Editions published 6200 pop-up books of Mister Babadook. Kent worked with the film’s illustrator, Alexander Juhasz, who created the book for the movie. He and paper engineer Simon Arizpe brought the pages to life for the published version. All copies sold out but you can find some Kent-signed ones on eBay, going for as much as $500.

9. THE BABADOOK IS A GAY ICON.

It started at the end of 2016, when a Tumblr user started a jokey thread about how he thought the Babadook was gay. “It started picking up steam within a few weeks,” Ian, the Tumblr user, told New York Magazine, “because individuals who I presume are heterosexual kind of freaked out over the assertion that a horror movie villain would identify as queer—which I think was the actual humor of the post, as opposed to just the outright statement that the Babadook is gay.” In June, the Babadook became a symbol for Gay Pride month. Images of the character appeared everywhere at this year's Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles.

10. DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR A SEQUEL.

Kent, who owns the rights to The Babadook, told IGN that, despite the original film's popularity, she's not planning on making any sequels. “The reason for that is I will never allow any sequel to be made, because it’s not that kind of film,” she said. “I don’t care how much I’m offered, it’s just not going to happen.”

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15 Fascinating Facts About Amelia Earhart
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Amelia Earhart was a pioneer, a legend, and a mystery. To celebrate what would be her 120th birthday, we've uncovered 15 things you might not know about the groundbreaking aviator.

1. THE FIRST TIME SHE SAW AN AIRPLANE, SHE WASN'T IMPRESSED.

In Last Flight, a collection of diary entries published posthumously, Earhart recalled feeling unmoved by "a thing of rusty wire and wood" at the Iowa State Fair in 1908. It wasn't until years later that she discovered her passion for aviation, when she worked as a nurse's aide at Toronto's Spadina Military Hospital. She and some friends would spend time at hangars and flying fields, talking to pilots and watching aerial shows. Earhart didn't actually get on a plane herself until 1920, and even then she was just a passenger.

2. SHE WAS A GOOD STUDENT WITH NO PATIENCE FOR SCHOOL.

After working with the Voluntary Aid Detachment in Toronto, Earhart took pre-med classes at Columbia University in 1919. She made good grades, but dropped out after just a year. Earhart re-enrolled at Columbia in 1925 and left school again. She took summer classes at Harvard, but gave up on higher education for good after she didn't get a scholarship to MIT.

3. ANOTHER PIONEERING FEMALE AVIATOR TAUGHT EARHART HOW TO FLY.

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Neta Snook was the first woman to run her own aviation business and commercial airfield. She gave Earhart flying lessons at Kinner Field near Long Beach, California in 1921, reportedly charging $1 in Liberty Bonds for every minute they spent in the air.

4. EARHART BOUGHT HER FIRST PLANE WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF HER FIRST FLYING LESSON.

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

She named it The Canary. The used yellow Kinner Airster biplane was the second one ever built. Earhart paid $2000 for it, despite Snook's opinion that it was underpowered, overpriced, and too difficult for a beginner to land.

5. AMY EARHART ENCOURAGED HER DAUGHTER'S PASSION. HER FATHER, ON THE OTHER HAND, WAS AFRAID OF FLYING.

Earhart's mom used some of her inheritance to pay for The Canary. She was a bit of an adventurer herself: the first woman to ever climb Pikes Peak in Colorado.

6. EARHART HAD A LOT OF ODD JOBS.

In addition to volunteering as a nurse's aide, Earhart also worked early jobs as a telephone operator and tutor. Earhart was a social worker at Denison House in Boston when she was invited to fly across the Atlantic for the first time (as a passenger) in 1928. At the height of her career, Earhart spent time making speeches, writing articles, and providing career counseling at Purdue University's Department of Aeronautics. Oh, and flying around the world.

7. SHE WASN'T SURE ABOUT MARRIAGE, BUT SHE DEFINITELY BELIEVED IN PRE-NUPS.

When promoter George Putnam contacted Earhart about flying across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, it was her first big break ... and the beginning of their love story. The two began a working relationship, which soon turned into attraction. When Putnam's marriage to Dorothy Binney fell apart, he eventually proposed to Earhart. She said yes, albeit reluctantly.

Earhart wasn't worried about safeguarding financial assets so much as she wanted the two of them to maintain separate identities. Earhart asked Putnam to agree to a trial marriage. If they weren't happy after a year, they'd be free to go their separate ways, no hard feelings. He agreed. They lived happily until her disappearance.

8. SHE WROTE ABOUT FLYING FOR COSMOPOLITAN.

In 1928, Earhart was appointed Cosmopolitan's Aviation Editor. Her 16 published articles—among them "Shall You Let Your Daughter Fly?" and "Why Are Women Afraid to Fly?"—recounted her adventures and encouraged other women to fly, even if they just did so commercially. (Commercial flights date back to 1914, but they wouldn't really take off until after World War II.)

9. FIRST LADY ELEANOR ROOSEVELT WAS SO INSPIRED BY EARHART THAT SHE SIGNED UP FOR FLYING LESSONS.

The two became friends in 1932. Roosevelt got a student permit and a physical examination, but never followed through with her plan.

10. EARHART WAS THE FIRST WOMAN TO GET A PILOT'S LICENSE FROM THE NATIONAL AERONAUTIC ASSOCIATION (NAA).

That was in 1923, when pilots and aircrafts weren't legally required to be licensed. Earhart was the sixteenth woman to get licensed by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which was required to set flight records. Still, the FAI didn't maintain women's records until 1928.

11. SHE ACCOMPLISHED A LOT OF "FIRSTS."

Earhart eventually became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger (1928) and then solo (1932) and nonstop from coast to coast (1932) as a pilot. She also set records, period: Earhart was the first person to ever fly solo from Honolulu to Oakland, Los Angeles to Mexico City, and Mexico City to Newark, all in 1935.

What do John Glenn, George H.W. Bush, and Amelia Earhart have in common? They all earned an Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross. But only Earhart was the first woman—and one of few civilians—to do so.

12. SHE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST CELEBRITIES TO LAUNCH A CLOTHING LINE.

Amelia Earhart Fashions were affordable separates sold exclusively at Macy's and Marshall Field's. The line's dresses, blouses, pants, suits, and hats were made of cotton and parachute silk and featured aviation-inspired details, like propeller-shaped buttons. Earhart studied sewing as a girl and actually made her own samples.

13. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT SPENT $4 MILLION SEARCH FOR EARHART.

At the time, it was the most expensive air and sea search in history. Earhart's plane disappeared July 2, 1937. The official search ended a little over two weeks later on July 19. Putnam then financed a private search, chartering boats to the Phoenix Islands, Christmas Island, Fanning Island, the Gilbert Islands, and the Marshall Islands.

14. THE SEARCH ISN'T OVER.

There are several theories about what happened to Earhart's plane during her last flight. Most people believe she ran out of fuel and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Others believe she landed on an island and died of thirst, starvation, injury, or at the hands of Japanese soldiers in Saipan. In 1970, one man even claimed that Earhart was alive and well and living a secret life in New Jersey.

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has explored the theory that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan lived as castaways before dying on Gardner Island, now called Nikumaroro, in the western Pacific. Over the years, they've found a few potential artifacts, including evidence of campfire sites, pieces of Plexiglas, and an empty jar of the brand of freckle cream that Earhart used.

In early July 2017, a photo surfaced that seemed to confirm the theory that Earhart and Noonan crashed and were captured by Japanese soldiers, but that photo was quickly debunked.

15. TODAY, ANOTHER AMELIA EARHART IS MAKING HISTORY.

In 2014, another pilot named Amelia Earhart took to the skies to set a world record. The then-31-year-old California native became the youngest woman to fly 24,300 miles around the world in a single-engine plane. Her namesake never completed the journey, but the younger Earhart landed safely in Oakland on July 11, 2014. We think "Lady Lindy" would be proud.

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