Let’s face it, we all love a bit of karaoke from time to time and even those that profess to hate it will end up grabbing the mic and singing their favourite rendition before the night is up. But while we all might indulge in this pastime, not many of us know that much about karaoke itself. Aside from the fact it’s a great chance to channel your inner Beyonce or a surefire way for a colleague to kill your favourite song, how much do you actually know about it?
Here are ten fun facts about karaoke that you never knew:
1. Karaoke first originated in Japan
It's said that karaoke was first invented in a bar in a small Japanese town called Kobe. A band didn't show up for their gig, so the owner - not wanting revellers to miss out on entertainment - put on some music and invited customers to sing. They soon realised how fun this was and the concept of karaoke was born!
2. The first karaoke machine was invented in 1971
The 70s were a fantastic time for innovation in tech and so it’s no surprise this was when the first karaoke machine came to be. Called the Juke-8, it was made by Japanese musician and inventor Daisuke Inoue, a musician who provided backup music in a club for businessmen who wanted to take the stage. When one particular client wanted him to come on a trip that he couldn't attend, he supplied the businessman with a taped recording of his drums and karaoke was born.
3. There is a karaoke world championships
The karaoke world championships began in 2003 in Finland with seven countries taking part. It now features over thirty countries and has taken place all over the world, with the USA currently holding the top place for the most gold medals.
4. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson is the world’s most popular karaoke song
While there’s no exact determiner of how many times a karaoke song is requested, it’s estimated that Billie-Jean by Michael Jackson is the world’s most popular karaoke song. With its catchy beat and easy-to-learn lyrics, it’s easy to see why. You can find out more about other popular karaoke songs in our article here.
5. Iceland achieved viral success by challenging people to the hardest karaoke song in the world
“Promote Iceland” was tasked with inspiring wider audiences to visit Iceland and also to travel beyond the main tourist sites. To do this, they came up with the idea of making the most difficult karaoke song in the world. With the language already being notoriously difficult to pick up, it gave a fun challenge for people to learn about the “A to Ö of Iceland” (the A-Z guide of the country.) It achieved over 800m+ impressions and Icelandic language schools have even adopted the song to teach Icelandic in their courses!
6. Karaoke is most popular in Asia
Considering it was conceived in Japan, it likely comes as no surprise that Asia is the karaoke capital of the world. As of 2021, Japan had around 8.19 thousand karaoke facilities and this number is rumoured to be similar in many other Asian countries.
7. Leonardo Polverelli is the current record holder for the longest karaoke marathon
According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the record-holder for the longest karaoke marathon by an individual is held by Leonardo Polverelli. Lasting 101 hours, 59 minutes and 15 seconds, he sang a total of 1,295 songs from the 19th to 23rd of September 2011.
8. The biggest-ever Karaoke party happened in Tennessee in August 2009
Another Guinness World Record for karaoke was broken on the 22 August 2009 in Bristol, Tennessee. This record was for the largest-ever karaoke and saw 160,000 people all sing "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
9. The United States has a whole week dedicated to Karaoke
Every year on the fourth week of April, the USA celebrates karaoke with "national karaoke week." Within this, there are a host of special contests and events that take place, dedicated solely to the popular singing pastime. People have private karaoke parties in their homes, go out to karaoke bars and there are often a host of social media campaigns tailored around it too!
10. Japan has some sophisticated karaoke machines!
While most karaoke machines are simply machines that play backing tracks, Japan has adapted them to become even more technologically advanced. Some of the machines measure everything from how well you perform your songs, to the number of calories you burn while you are singing. It’s a great way to compete against friends or just set a personal record!
Has all this talk of karaoke got you in the mood to sing yourself? Have you got a corporate event or party coming up? If so, get in touch with us at Karavanaoke and we can help plan an event that is guaranteed to impress!