Whether it's a cool night out with friends or an embarrassing moment you'll never forget, we all have stories of a time we went to a karaoke bar.

While karaoke is known all around the world, there are certain places where these sorts of machines and bars are more popular than others. This mainly happens because karaoke appeals to different cultures and some countries fancy it way more than others.

Have you ever wondered why people like karaoke so much, or maybe if there are people who actually go to karaoke bars because in your hometown it's not really a thing? Again, the answer to this question depends on the culture you're looking at.

Karaoke is huge in Japan and the Philippines, but not so much in the US and there are many reasons why this happens.

In this article, we'll show you the places of the world karaoke is the most popular, the places where it's not so popular, and the cultural characteristics that mark the difference.

If you wish to learn more about the History of Karaoke be sure to check the link!

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A karaoke night sometimes is for free but you have to buy a drink at the bar, some others do have a cost but the entertainment will always be the best. Photo by Myznik Egor on Unsplash
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Asia

Karaoke is huge in Asia, especially in Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea. We can decipher that this is mainly because karaoke was invented in Japan and later in the Philippines. Since the 1970s karaoke has been a big part of their culture.

Karaoke was first invented by a Japanese musician called Daisuke Inoue in 1971 after he realized that his fans would love to sing along to his songs at home or work parties and more.

He then understood that the way to share his music was by recording himself and renting out the machine so his fans could sing with him at home. From here on, Japan was marked with an invention that marked their culture and entertainment.

But Japan wasn't the only country in Asia where sing-along inventions were happening. As much as this was a good idea, Inoue didn't patent his invention, and a couple of years later a Filipino called Roberto del Rosario came up with a similar invention.

When it comes to karaoke bars in the Philippines, there’s a wide spectrum. The most popular one is known as family KTV (KTV standing for Karaoke Television) which cater to all ages, serve food, and have private rooms, and in each room, people can sing and dance privately with friends.

Aside from family KTV, they have regular bars for people to go and have a drink before they bring the singer inside of them to share their talents or very well embarrass themselves.

Read more about the Origins of Karaoke or about Where Karaoke is From in our articles.

music, dance, sing
There is no specific genre for karaoke, you can sing and dance to pop, rock, country, classic music, and all the best songs or the latest hit. Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Cultural Differences

It might seem like singing karaoke is not a form of culture but truth is that karaoke is enjoyed differently because every culture is different.

If you grew up in the United States, there's a high possibility that there wasn't a karaoke machine in your childhood home or now. This is one of the major differences with Asian countries, everyone grew up with a karaoke machine in their house.

These machines were incredibly popular in the Philippines and Japan, as we mentioned before. Singin is a big part of their culture and this is why it was so normal for everyone to enjoy picking up a microphone and sing to a pop or rock song in their living rooms.

If there are families in the US that have a karaoke machine in their house they probably don't use it all the time as the Japanese. An American family probably got one of these machines only for parties or gatherings and it's now probably hidden away in some closet or drawer with dust all over it.

Karaoke is so popular in Asia that is usually a common after-work activity. After work, people go directly to a karaoke bar to have a drink, sing a top song with famous lyrics, and have some fun before going back home. Going out to a karaoke bar with your colleagues is also seen as a team-building exercise and therefore it is often encouraged by companies.

On the other hand, after-work activities with coworkers aren't very popular in the United States, and even if it were to happen, karaoke is probably the last thing in anyone's mind as an activity to do with your colleagues.

karaoke, fun, bar, sing
Singers sure like to show their voice, non singers just enjoy the fun of karaoke (these people prefer private rooms). Photo by Luan de Oliveira Silva on Unsplash

It is well known that karaoke machines don't always have the latest songs or artists, but they will always have the classics that will, either way, guarantee a good time.

But if you are wondering, there are some songs that are more popular than others in the karaoke world. TimeOut magazine has a list of the 50 best karaoke songs of all times and here are some of them:

  1. “Purple Rain” by Prince
  2. “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes
  3. “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys
  4. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
  5. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

Other artists and bands like Elvis Presley, Queen, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, and Dolly Parton also made it to the list.

Although some of these artists might be popular in Asia, there are probably other songs and musicians who are more famous and loved in Asia.

singer, karaoke, song
Grab the microphone, sing to your favorite don song displayed on the video with lyrics, and read from the video to hit every top note at a karaoke bar. Photo by Moises Alex on Unsplash

Summary

Some people love music and love singing, others are more lowkey about it, and even though different personalities can be attracted to singing; when it comes to liking karaoke, there is a cultural factor to consider.

Not everyone is born a singer, or with a killer voice, but karaoke is all about having fun in a room or a bar with friends and music.

You don't have to be the most talented person to enjoy one night of letting go and singing a classic song you love. Karaoke can help us feel free, enjoy music and have a good time.

Now you know that many around the world enjoy going to a karaoke bar and enjoy having a good time with friends, family, or colleagues, there's no rule that says that can't be you.

Next time you are offered to go to a karaoke night just pick your favorite song and sing along, if you don't fancy that then you can always go and have a laugh with the people who are there too!

Read about the Benefits of Karaoke and learn how singing in public can help you.

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