Aaron Paul, Grace Jones, Alan Partridge And Other Celebrities Reveal Their Favourite Karaoke Songs

Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 disco smash ‘I Will Survive’ has just been inducted into the US National Recording Registry, meaning it will be preserved forever alongside other artefacts of “cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation’s aural legacy”. Other entrants include the Gutenberg Bible (an iconic text that was the first widely distributed book created with mass-produced movable type), so Gloria’s in pretty famous company.

Of course, the song has already been preserved in our collective imaginations, due to its status as a karaoke classic. The BBC once called it “the hen-night karaoke Number One choice”, and that doesn’t seem far wrong. We’re on the cusp of four days of Easter Bank Holiday madness, so there’s every chance you’ll end up, at some point, feeling ‘refreshed’ enough to take to the karaoke stage, bellowing out your fave tune.

Why not take some inspiration from these celebs, who’ve told NME all about their go-to karaoke numbers.


The results were revealing, but is anyone else vaguely disturbed by the thought of The Hobbit actor Elijah Wood doing Pulp’s sexy ‘This Is Hardcore’, which features the lyrics, “Oh that goes in there / Then that goes in there / Then that goes in there”? Just us, maybe.

Elijah Wood

‘This Is Hardcore’ – Pulp

Elijah: “It’s just a great karaoke song. I did it recently at karaoke as a duet with [Spanish filmmaker] Nacho Vigalondo. It’s a relatively easy song for me to sing because Jarvis’ vocal register is pretty low and mine’s relatively low too. I was screwed when I tried to do Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ because of all the high notes.”


Ice Cube

‘Superfly’ – Curtis Mayfield

Ice Cube: “You sure I can’t say ‘It Was A Good Day’?! Alright, I guess that is cheating… ‘Superfly’ is a classic. I love it so much I sampled it [on ‘The Nigga Ya Love To Hate’]. So maybe I’d get on the mic and do that song.”

Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ – Journey

Aaron: “Anything by Journey is a go-to karaoke song for me. My wife loves doing ‘Kiss From A Rose’ by Seal. That song’s been stuck in her head for four years. I’m not kidding. It’s become part of her daily thing. She hums it around the house and she’s even got me and all of her friends doing it!”

Alison Brie (Mad Men)

‘Lady Marmalade’ – Labelle

Alison: “I like to do it solo, and I definitely prefer the original version. One time I mistakenly signed on for the Christina Aguilera version and Lil’ Kim has this whole rapping section. I just had no idea what to do, it was my ultimate karaoke nightmare.”

Grace Jones

‘Imagine’ – John Lennon

Grace: “When I was doing my first auditions and asked to make my first record, that’s the one track that I went in the studio to do. So if I was to do karaoke, I would be fine at doing that one.”

Jimmy Carr

‘Sweet Caroline’ – Neil Diamond

Jimmy: “I’ll step to anyone at a karaoke bar with my ‘Sweet Caroline’. It’s a song that I think English people don’t know until they know, but they all do. You go to enough weddings, you pick it up,”

Travis Barker (Blink-182)

‘Rhymin’ And Stealin’’ – Beastie Boys

Travis: “I’m trying to think of something I’ve known forever that would be easy to just bust out. It might need a little bit of work.”

Josh Widdicombe

‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ – The Smiths

Josh: “The Smiths hit me when I was a student in Manchester. This reminds me of going out on the piss for £20 and not having to get up in the morning.”


Jemima Kirke (Girls)

‘Purple Rain’ – Prince

Jemima: “I like to sing it because it makes me laugh and it goes on for so fucking long and it’s also really
expressive. I also like to sing country songs – I went on a date with someone who ended up being my
boyfriend and we went to a bar called SingSing in New York. I was showing off and did ‘Walkin’ After
Midnight’ by Patsy Cline.”


Karl Pilkington (An Idiot Abroad)

‘I am… I said’ – Neil Diamond

Karl: “I killed time on a flight to LA and learned all the words.”


‘Regulate’ – Warren G and Nate Dogg

Example: “My natural singing voice is as low as Nate Dogg’s [sings] ‘If you smoke like I smoke’. I can nail that bit. The Warren G rapping isn’t that difficult and I can do the American accent.”

Richard Osman (Pointless)

‘Ignition (Remix)’ – R Kelly

Richard: “This is most famous for the lyrics, ‘it’s the freakin’ weekend baby, I’m about to have me some fun’, but the best line is, ‘Cristal poppin’ in the stretch Navigator/We got food everywhere, as if the party was catered’.”

Alan Partridge (North Norfolk Digital radio)

‘Summer of ‘69’ – Bryan Adams

Alan: “Bryan has a natural gravel to his voice, which I once tried to replicate by smoking five cigarettes before singing karaoke. While it did lend my performance a certain rasp, the nicotine make me giggle (uncontrollably) and then vomit (uncontrollably). Ever the professional, I completed the song while suing my coat as a mop.”

Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand)

‘Heart Of Glass’ – Blondie

Alex: “Whenever I do karaoke, I always drink too much then try and do songs that are completely outside my range. In Tokyo, I tried to sing ‘Heart Of Glass’ by Blondie and started panicking, but I enjoyed it anyway.”

Bill Bailey

‘I wanna be sedated’ – The Ramones

Bill: “One of the great sing-along songs, you know you can’t go wrong with it.”


50 Cent

‘Wrecking Ball’ – Miley Cyrus

50 Cent: “I can honestly say I’ve never done karaoke in my life. Most of my life has been lived getting rich, managing my business, and I work really hard at that, so there hasn’t been enough time to be honest with you. But if I did, I’d probably do something like Miley. Just a big pop song that no one would suspect, just to fuck with them. Make them go: ‘What?’”

Joey Bada$$

‘Give me a try’ – Sizzla

Joey: “The note that he’s hitting on that shit is, like, impossible to hit, so every time it comes on I just be trying to get it singing along. I haven’t hit it yet though.”