“Hello” — Adele
In 2017, the British songstress chose not to issue a new license for her music, according to MSN. Seems like the only places you’ll truly be able to belt out her emotional tunes will be in the shower or in your car. Guess this is goodbye to “Hello.”
“Dancing Queen” — ABBA
This seems downright cruel considering the Mamma Mia! sequel has all of us shuffling our feet to the Swedish band’s tunes, but “Dancing Queen” was also removed from karaoke catalogs in 2017. Similarly to Adele, the supergroup simply chose not to renew licensing.
“Roar” — Katy Perry
Another shock to karaoke lovers was when Katy Perry joined the ranks of Adele and ABBA by pulling her motivational jam “Roar” from the books.
“My Way” — Frank Sinatra
Don’t worry, Sinatra fans—this particular ban applies only to the Philippines, but the reason behind it is pretty gruesome. The New York Times reported a series of murders in that particular country over karaoke versions of “My Way.” There were at least six fatalities on record associated with singing the tune at a karaoke bar, but the Times story admits there’s a possibility there’ve been even more.
“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi
The BBC reported that a senior minister considers the tune, which also features Justin Bieber, “un-Islamic.” “The lyrics are not suitable to be heard,” said Malaysia’s communications minister Salleh Said Keruak.
“Livin’ on a Prayer” — Bon Jovi
The song’s licensing agreement was removed for karaoke format. In fact, these days all Bon Jovi songs are on the banned list, per licensing rules.
“Wind Beneath My Wings” — Bette Midler
If you’re in the Philippines, don’t even think about requesting a Bette Midler tune, like “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The country has banned all of her music from its karaoke bars.
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” — Justin Timberlake
Yes, that same list that says we can longer croon along to Adele or Katy Perry. As reported by The Sun, the massive purge of karaoke songs is hitting the industry hard. After all, if you can’t sing your favorites, what’s the point of investing in a karaoke machine or hitting a club?
“Purple Rain” — Prince
Last year the ballad was given the red light by the late musician’s record label because, yet again, they weren’t going to issue a licensing agreement for the song (among others by “The Purple One”).
“Holiday” — Madonna
Madonna has long been banned around the world for various reasons—like that time she was banned from singing the track “Holy Water” in Singapore, as reported by The Independent.
“With or Without You” — U2
It’s another one of those dubious tunes you can no longer find in a karaoke format due to licensing restrictions. Get a look at the hilariously bad original lyrics of some of your favorite rock songs.
“The Edge of Glory” — Lady Gaga
China has engaged in a major crackdown on music they consider “too vulgar” for their citizens, according to Capital FM, and that includes Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory.”
“Paradise” — Coldplay
The totally singable Coldplay hit was removed from the platform due to a lack of licensing agreement