It’s easy to feel overlooked as an alto when it comes to choosing a good song for karaoke or an audition. But we’ve got your back! These 55 alto songs offer plenty of options for everyone, no matter what singing experience they have.
1. At Last — Etta James
Etta James released “At Last” in 1960. Though it wasn’t a huge hit at the time, it’s since become a classic, largely due to James’ rich, emotional vocals. This throwback requires a strong vocal performance, but you’ll also need to deliver on the passion. The simple tune relies more on the vocal performance than the melody to make it the classic it remains today. “At Last” is made to be moving, plain and simple!
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2. Style — Taylor Swift
“Style” was on every radio station for months on end. This song draws on 80s influences with plenty of synths. While it’s incredibly catchy with a hypnotic bridge and chorus, it doesn’t require a huge amount of range, making it a great choice for any alto singer at karaoke night. There are a few moments in the chorus that might pose a challenge, but the rest of the song is quite simple and doesn’t stray out of the alto register.
3. Someone Like You — Adele
Someone Like You was one of Adele’s first hits, making the singer’s low, throaty vocals famous. The song is made for a lower female register, so any alto voice should be able to sing it comfortably. But be forewarned that the chorus does require some real range and power! You might find it a challenge to hit both the low notes in the first stanzas as well as the higher ones in the chorus.
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4. Killing Me Softly — Roberta Flack
Killing Me Softly wasn’t originally Roberta Flack’s song, but it’s her version that lives in our memories. The 1973 hit is a karaoke standard for alto singers, a song that is packed with emotion but isn’t too hard on your voice.
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5. Bad Romance — Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga’s 2009 hit was stuck in our head for years, fueled by the hypnotic opening lines. It’s bound to get a good response at any karaoke night. We still don’t know the meaning of, “Rah rah ah ah ah, ro ma ro ma ma, ga ga ooh la la,” but it’s pretty fun to sing. The electronic pop song is an instant crowd pleaser and infectiously catchy.
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6. One Way or Another — Blondie
Blondie’s punchy, upbeat song is super fun to sing without being overly taxing on your voice. Legend has it that lead singer Deborah Ann Harry composed the tune after an obsessed stalker made her leave her home state to escape him. This tune is definitely more about energy than vocal quality, so don’t worry about giving a pristine performance — just get up on the stage and have some fun!
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7. Cry — Faith Hill
Faith Hill’s Cry is a lesser-known song that lends itself perfectly to a karaoke performance. It has a catchy melody, effortlessly blending country with soft rock and other genres. Faith Hill has faded from our memories somewhat, which means that this alto song is a welcome reprieve from the popular songs that tend to be overplayed at karaoke bars. It is also a terrific song in its own right!
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8. There Are Worse Things I Could Do — From Grease
Who could ever forget Stockard Channing’s performance of There Are Worse Things I Could Do in Grease? Her character Rizzo, faced with the fear of a teen pregnancy, let her tough persona drop and poured her emotions into song. The tune allows the singer to explore their range and really belt out that chorus. There is a reason why this song is still a classic more than 40 years after the movie’s release.
9. Firework — Katy Perry
Katy Perry’s vocal register is difficult to define — even baffling some musical experts. The pop singer has an extensive range that her songs can be covered by singers of all kinds. If you have the vocal power to pull it off, Katy Perry’s Firework is the ultimate self-empowerment anthem. It topped the charts when it was released in 2010, thanks to the positive message and Katy Perry’s own stunning performance.
10. I Only Have Eyes for You — Cleo Laine
I Only Have Eyes For You has a long history, first recorded in 1934. Cleo Laine’s cover is one of the most famous, likely because of her rich alto voice. Her performance turns the love song into a sultry declaration that is perfect for a soulful karaoke cover. This simple song is perfect for any alto singer, but requires plenty of character and emotion to make a great performance.
11. Have a Little Faith in Me — Jewel
You don’t seem to hear much from Jewel these days, but back in the 90s she ruled the pop scene. Her 1996 song Have a Little Faith in Me is a sweet and simple song that is about trusting your partner. It is fairly easy for anyone to sing, with a chorus that just repeats the title several times in a row.
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12. Royals — Lorde
Royals by Lorde was an international hit, propelling the singer to the international stage. The song mocks the lifestyle of the ultra wealthy, with a catchy chorus listing items like: “Gold teeth, Grey Goose, diamonds on your timepiece, jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash”.
The song’s clever composition and Lorde’s own husky alto vocals brought her attention from musicians around the world. Easy to harmonize, it works for one or two singers.
13. No Scrubs — TLC
It’s been more than 20 years since TLC released No Scrubs, but it’s still well-known today. No matter how old you were when this song was on the radio (or let’s be honest, if you were even born yet), there’s something fun about singing, “Hangin’ out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, trying to holler at me”.
The song is easy to sing for most altos, but the most important part is the energy you put into it.
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14. Mamma Mia — ABBA
Back in the 1970s, ABBA was one of the hottest groups on the international stage. Almost 50 years later, their upbeat songs are just as well-known (and just as catchy!).
Mamma Mia is one of the most famous, partially because it was the feature song of our favorite ABBA-themed musical. But it’s also due in part to the fact that the song is just fun.
15. What’s Love Got to do With it — Tina Turner
Tina Turner knew how to sing a song that makes you want to dance, and What’s Love Got to do With It is one of the best. This fun, upbeat song is known far and wide. The lyrics are all about wondering if love still exists in a world full of heartbreak. Whether or not you agree that love is just “a sweet old-fashioned notion”, you can probably relate to wondering if you’ll ever find it for yourself.
16. Raise Your Glass — P!nk
P!nk might just have one of the most powerful alto voices on the modern pop scene. Any of her songs will present a challenge, as they require a lot of range and the ability to belt out the chorus. P!nk is the ultimate party pop singer, and this song is one of her best. The lyrics are all about belonging to a crowd of underdogs who just want to party together.
17. You Learn to Live Without — Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt
You Learn to Live Without was composed by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, but it was Idina Menzel who made it famous. Menzel is almost unparalleled in her wide vocal range, which can go from low and husky to high and sweet. You Learn to Live Without showcases her lower singing range to perfection, making it perfect for an alto voice.
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18. Back to Black — Amy Winehouse
Back to Black was Amy Winehouse’s signature song, but it wasn’t even originally composed for her! Mark Ronson first wrote it for Jackie Q before realizing that it perfectly suited Winehouse’s smoky, jazzy voice. The song propelled Winehouse to the international stage and made her a legend during her short life.
19. Love Song — Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles’ ironically-named Love Song topped the charts when it was released in 2007. Bareilles composed the song after she was told that she’d never make it big in the music industry unless she wrote romantic tunes. Her sassy response — in song form — is now immortal. This jazzy alto song is perfect for karaoke.
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20. If I Could Turn Back Time — Cher
Cher is an icon who has ruled the pop scene for decades. If I Could Turn Back Time topped the charts in 1989. This soulful ballad has a distinctly 80s feel to it.
21. Valerie — Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse had many songs that remain popular to this day, but Valerie is one of the best. It is also a popular karaoke song thanks to its fun beat. The music draws on elements of both jazz and swing that make it irresistibly danceable. If you are an alto like Winehouse herself was, this song will suit your voice perfectly.
22. Send My Love — Adele
Adele is the queen of heartbreaking ballads. Her own voice is famous for its deep alto register and husky, emotional sound. Send My Love is more upbeat and energetic than many of her soulful songs. Instead of mourning the relationship, the singer is wishing her former lover well and asking him to be kinder to his next partner than he was to her.
23. Chain of Fools — Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin became famous for her powerhouse voice, but she also had a stunning low delivery. Chain of Fools showcases her lower range to perfection.
24. Memory — From Cats
We’ll admit that the 2019 film version of Cats was a bit disturbing, but the music itself is amazing. Memory is the most famous song, featuring a heartbreaking melody. While it might sound like it reaches some high notes, the song is very well suited to an alto voice.
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25. Summertime Sadness — Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey is known for her deep, husky vocals, making her songs a perfect choice for altos. While Summertime Sadness isn’t her best-known song, it has a unique vibe that is really captivating. The tune combines elements of trip and hip hop and slows the tempo to something sultry and sweet.
26. Sweet Dreams are Made of This — The Eurythmics
Absolutely everyone has heard this 1983 song from The Eurythmics. The melody is simple and stays consistently low, making it an easy karaoke performance for any alto.
27. You’re Still the One — Shania Twain
Shania Twain managed to dwell right on the line between pop and country, which means that countless people still know and love her songs to this day. You’re Still the One is by far one of the most famous, a sweet song about loving your partner after many years together.
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28. Here We Are — Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan’s Here We Are is quintessentially 80s in flavor. But this 1989 hit is still a karaoke favorite. It has a fairly simple melody and relies heavily on the emotional lyrics, which are about as dramatic as any pop music in the 80s.
29. It’s Too Late — Carole King
Carole King released It’s Too Late all the way back in 1971, but it’s still a great choice for karaoke these days. The song is easy for most people to perform, with a sweet melody and mournful lyrics about a lost lover.
30. Holding Out for a Hero — Bonnie Tyler
Holding Out for a Hero might be one of the most famous powerhouse ballads of the 1980s. It gained new life when it was featured in Shrek 2 to epic proportions. Laugh if you will, but that scene was unparalleled.
31. Because of You — Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson has an amazing range, but many of her songs are easy for altos to sing. Because of You is all about mourning a toxic relationship that has left the singer feeling afraid to live her life to the fullest.
32. Rehab — Amy Winehouse
Rehab might be Amy Winehouse’s most famous song, partly because it’s so catchy and partly because it was based on her own life. The singer died from alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
33. Dreams — Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours was one of the most famous of the late 70s, featuring many hits. Dreams was one of them, a slow ballad that remains popular to this day, even experiencing a resurgence of popularity in 2020.
34. My Favorite Mistake — Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow is a reliable choice for altos. My Favorite Mistake, first released in 1998, is still a karaoke favorite. We’re not exactly sure why …maybe because so many of us can relate?
35. That Don’t Impress Me Much — Shania Twain
Shania Twain’s songs are irresistibly catchy, but That Don’t Impress Me Much is on another level altogether. The song is famously about the singer’s reaction to Brad Pitt’s nude photos in Playgirl, making it the ultimate diss track.
36. Surface Pressure — Jessica Darrow
Unless you were living under a rock in the early 2020s, you can’t have escaped the hype around the movie Encanto. The movie got attention for its fantastic music that (finally) pays tribute where tribute is due to alto singers.
37. Feeling Good — Nina Simone
Feeling Good has been covered countless times, but Nina Simone’s husky cover might be the most famous. This jazzy song is well known and perfectly suited to an alto voice.
38. What’s Up — 4 Non Blondes
Don’t let the melody of this song fool you. What’s Up is actually perfect for the alto register. But one thing is certain: you’ll need to really lean in to that famous chorus to give it what it deserves.
39. The Look of Love — Diana Krall
Diana Krall’s 2001 ballad is about recognizing love in someone’s eyes. The lyrics invite the person to take that first leap into the next stage of the relationship.
40. Un-Break My Heart — Toni Braxton
Un-Break My Heart was one of Toni Braxton’s biggest hits of the 90s. It’s still a great song almost 30 years later, with a soulful sound that fuels the famous chorus.
41. Beautiful — Christina Aguilera
This 2002 hit was one of Christina Aguilera’s most famous, and its popularity has endured to this day. You might not hear it on the radio much, 20 years on, but it’s widely considered a staple of classic pop.
42. I Have a Dream — ABBA
A lesser-known ABBA hit, I Have a Dream is a sweet and simple melody. It is a good fit for almost any register and is pleasant to sing and listen to without being overly complex or taxing on your voice.
43. Gimme One Reason — Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman is a great choice any time you’re looking for a good alto song. Her soulful vocals tend to be rich and deep, making them perfect for a lower register.
44. One Fine Day — Carole King
One Fine Day is a 1980 song about a lost relationship. The singer predicts that one day, her ex lover will regret losing her and will want her to come back.
45. Stay — Rihanna
Rihanna has one of the most versatile voices of modern-day pop music. She is famous for her complex vocal runs, which can jump octaves without effort. Stay is a slow, sultry ballad that is more about the emotion and the lyrics than about vocal complexity.
46. Dog Days are Over — Florence + The Machine
Florence + The Machine peaked in popularity during the early 2010s. Lead singer Florence Welch is widely known for her unique alto voice, which was shown off to perfection in Dog Days are Over. The song draws subtly on blues influences, which are well suited to alto voices.
47. Don’t Dream It’s Over — Crowded House
Don’t Dream It’s Over is a great song for karaoke. It takes very little effort, with a simple melody and a sweet message. It’s been covered many times, including in duet form by Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus. Not every karaoke night has to be a challenge!
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48. Video Games — Lana Del Rey
These days, Lana Del Rey seems to favor singing in a higher range. But her early songs, like Video Games, showcase her low, husky vocals. This song is perfect for an alto voice. The lyrics are all about feeling at home with the person that you love, no matter what the two of you are doing.
49. Baby Can I Hold You — Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman is a well-known alto singer with a stunningly soulful voice. Baby Can I Hold You really lets the alto voice explore its range of emotion without overly taxing vocals. The song is sweet and simple, which means that nailing it comes down to the feeling you put into your performance.
50. Angel — Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan is known for her high, sweet voice, but her famous song Angel is actually very well suited to altos. In fact, McLachlan’s version relies on her chest voice for most of the song before letting the chorus gently transition into her higher head voice.
51. Rolling in the Deep — Adele
Got an alto voice and a great range? This early Adele hit keeps it low on the stanzas before climbing in the chorus. Adele herself hits the transition perfectly. If you have that range of expression, this is the perfect song for you. Like most Adele songs, Rolling in the Deep is dripping with emotion, with lyrics all about regret for a ruined relationship.
52. Believe — Cher
Cher’s song Believe is iconic for more reasons than one. We’ve all heard the 1998 hit a thousand times, but it went down in history as the first song to use autotune. In fact, the distortion effect used on the song’s vocals is now called the Cher effect. The song has a big sound and a big message, making it a perfect song to bring out at the next karaoke night.
53. I Can Hear the Bells — From Hairspray
You don’t often hear songs from musicals at karaoke bars, so this one will be a fun departure from the norm. I Can Hear the Bells is from the musical Hairspray, when the enigmatic Tracey Turnblad expresses her feelings for the school heartthrob. The tune is playful and has a big personality (like Tracey herself) so don’t be afraid to lean into the persona and have fun.
54. One More Night — Maroon 5
Maroon 5’s One More Night is about a person begging to be able to stay with their lover for just a little longer. While the original song was sung by Adam Levine, he is known for having an unusually high tenor voice. This brings the register close enough to the alto range to be comfortable for many women who sing in a deeper register.
55. You’re So Vain — Carly Simon
Carly Simon’s song You’re So Vain is arguably one of the most popular karaoke songs. The song is snarky and fun, an interesting departure from Carly Simon’s usual sound. Though the tune is already 50 years old, no one is sure who “you” is in the lyrics, but they must have really gotten under Carly’s skin.