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The music industry may be marketed pretty heavily, but all the big-label marketing in the world can't make up for a good voice. Even with record labels like EMI behind you, you'll still need an amazing voice to make sure that you have the success you want in a career in music.
Though most pro singers spend hours every day perfecting their singing skills, there are still quite a few songs that even they tend to struggle with. Over the years, songwriters have managed to create some intensely difficult songs to sing.
Most professionals have a hard time with these songs. Needless to say, they probably shouldn't be your first song choice on your next karaoke bar trip.
"And I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston was a true prodigy in the world of music. To say otherwise would be a bold-faced lie. Her ability to belt out ultra-high pitches effortlessly was something that most professional singers only wish they could do.
Though she was definitely known for a number of difficult songs to sing, the most obviously hard one had to be, "And I Will Always Love You." The pair of lungs you need for this track puts it out of reach of many would-be singers.
"Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers
The 1950s saw quite a few bands that had talented singers, but few bands of the time could ever come close to the crooning skills of these guys. Ultra high trills, complex crescendos, and incredibly soulful sounds make this one a challenge even for experienced singers.
Making it even tougher is the fact that this song is considered to be a classic. Fans don't take kindly to botching top hits like that, you know?
"My All" by Mariah Carey
Mimi's singing voice is absolutely stellar, which is why she was one of the most popular singers of the 90s and 00s. "My All" is regularly considered to be one of the most difficult songs to sing due to all the bouncing beats, belting tunes, and complexity of the notes.
It's so hard to imagine Mariah Carey doing All I Want for Christmas Is You after hearing this, isn't it? Slow as it may be, it manages to be incredibly difficult to keep up with. Her vocal chords must be aching after performing this!
"Black Velvet" by Alana Myles
Though she might not have the fame of Mimi or Whitney, Alana Myles definitely had the talent and skill to go head-to-head with either of them. "Black Velvet," one of the top hits of the 80s, is proof.
The heavy belting isn't the only issue that makes this one of the most difficult songs to sing. It's the fact that pronouncing the words while belting them out loud at a high pitch is brutal.
Also, how did she get her voice to be so raspy in a good way? We don't know.
"Dream On" by Aerosmith
Steven Tyler really outdid himself with "Dream On." The incredibly high pitched shouts, falsettos that could make chills go through a person, and the wild vocals are pretty notorious—especially in metal.
Need I say anymore?
"Lovin' You" by Minnie Riperton
Minnie Riperton might not be a name that younger audiences recognize, but once you listen to her track, you'll never forget her name. This might be one of the only tracks to have a note so high that it's regularly mistaken for a whistle.
That ultra-high note, by the way, is called a four-octave coloratura soprano. She was one of the small handful of singers to ever perfect it.
"Wurthering Heights" by Kate Bush
Kate Bush's experimental style already guarantees a hard time for anyone who tries to copy her act. When you factor in the swooping transitions, unusual vocal tone, and the vibrato that she involves in each song, it's easy to see why very few people would attempt this song at a karaoke bar.
Or anywhere else, unless they want to make a fool of themselves.
"Life On Mars?" by David Bowie
Oh, this song starts so incredibly unsuspecting, doesn't it? Then, all of a sudden, Bowie's insanely passionate singing and high bouncing vocals go from 0 to 60 faster then you can even blink. Then again, that's David Bowie for ya.
Is there life on Mars? We don't really know, but we're pretty sure that you would have to have a voice that's out of this world to match Ziggy Stardust's talent.
"Run" by Leona Lewis
This song is so pretty, it tends to elicit tears from those who hear it. That being said, it's also one of the most difficult songs to sing because of the note complexity, and how easy it is to derail from the track when she gets a bit powerful.
Besides, it's so hard to sing this when you're crying your eyes out from actually listening to the lyrics.
"Cry Me a River" by Michael Buble
Not going to lie, most people would never guess that the singer behind this is Michael Buble. His velvety vocals sound like Frank Sinatra in this track, and really manage to encapsulate the old school glamour of the blues era too.
The way he belts out notes adds passion to his crooning, and the way he keeps things so incredibly velvety is an unparalleled ability, especially by the average karaoke singer.
"Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
While many of the most difficult songs to sing involve clearly difficult notes to reach or incredibly complex singing styles, "Since U Been Gone" seems pretty easy to sing.
Until you actually sing it.
The pronunciation of the words, the difficulty of belting out the notes while not sounding congested, is what makes this such a tough song to try at karaoke.
"Rolling in the Deep" by Adele
Oh, come on. You knew that at least one song by Adele would have to be on this list, right? With a voice like hers, it's hard to ignore that she's one of the most talented pop stars to hit the scene in recent decades.
The chanteuse's breakout hit, "Rolling in the Deep," remains a favorite among fans because of her insane ability to project her voice. Anyone who tries to do similar definitely has their work cut out for them.
"Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence
Did you know that Evanescence's lead singer, Amy Lee, had classical opera training? That explains why she is able to hold notes for so long, project her voice, do insane vibrato, and also work with some of the most complex musical writing out there.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why this is one of the most difficult songs to sing. That doesn't stop tons of people from botching it at karaoke bars, though.
"I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness
Holy falsetto, Batman! The ultra-high falsetto pitches are what make this song impossible for most men to sing. Fast wording and weirdly yodel-like notes don't help, either.
The only thing that's wilder than the vocals in this song is the music video associated with it. Giant crab monsters? Crazy naked hair-metal dude? Yeah, we'll take it.
"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
"Bohemian Rhapsody" is a favorite karaoke song for groups because, well, it's meant to be a group song. As fun as it may be to sing "Bohemian Rhapsody," trying to get this track perfect is something that will just not work out well for you and your friends.
The sheer amount of skill and harmonization you have to have in order to make it sound anything remotely like Queen is insane. In other words, you should leave it up to the pros.
"It's the End of the World As We Know It" by REM
The actual vocal part isn't the issue that makes this one of the most difficult songs to sing. There are no long notes, no need to belt out anything, and the pitches aren't too high or low. So, what gives?
The ridiculously fast speed of the lyrics make this song nearly impossible to mimic.
"The 7th Element" by Vitas
Vitas is a man.
The vocal range in this song is so high, women struggle with it. That alone makes it one of the most difficult songs for men to sing. Then there's the warbling noise he makes during the chorus. That makes it damn near impossible for most human beings to sing.
Okay, maybe Vitas is an alien. Either way, his talent is downright inhuman, and the surrealness of the music definitely makes this one uniquely difficult song for any vocalist to attempt.
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" by Jennifer Holliday
Jennifer Holliday's smooth, bluesy voice takes on a new level of power with this song—and that's seriously saying something. Her smash hit, "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going," is full of power vocals, "belt-out" moments, and incredibly high notes.
Aside from the obvious lung power you need in order to just maintain some of the notes in this song, what makes Jennifer Holliday's hit one of the most difficult songs to sing is that it just doesn't ever let up.
"All by Myself" by Celine Dion
Realistically, any of Celine Dion's trademark hits could be considered some of the most difficult songs to sing. "All By Myself," though, takes it on another level, simply due to the emotion and the sky-high note she hits close to the end.
Somehow, Celine managed to add a new level of sorrow to an already sad song. Kudos, Celine.
"You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban
If you love inspirational music, you probably already had a little feeling that this would be on there. Josh Groban's ability to hold a note and push out power in every word he sings is undeniable with this song.
Between the long notes and the insane vocal range he shows, it's easy to see why "You Raise Me Up" is considered to be one of the most difficult songs to sing of its kind.