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Abba the most performed at Karaoke 

7 December 2009

Waterloo the nation’s favourite over last 15 years

PRS for Music, the organisation that collects royalties on behalf of composers and songwriters, today reveals that Swedish pop band ABBA hold the top spot for most performed Karaoke work in the UK with ‘Waterloo’.   A close second are Queen with their 1975 hit ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. 

The chart is dominated by some of the most famous songs of all time; written and performed by the best in the business, Queen, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Kylie, Neil Diamond and the Beatles all feature in the songs we like to sing at Karaoke bars and pubs across the country. 

The full top 25 list is as follows:

   Song Performer(s)  Writer(s) 
Waterloo Abba  Benny Andersson & Bjoern Ulvaeus
Bohemian Rhapsody  Queen  Freddie Mercury 
My Way   Frank Sinatra  Claude Francois & Jacques Revaux / Paul Anka 
I Will Survive   Gloria Gaynor  Frederick Perren & Dino Fekaris 
Dancing Queen   Abba  Benny Andersson & Bjoern Ulvaeus 
Angels    Robbie Williams   Robbie Williams & Guy Chambers 
Like a Virgin  Madonna   Billy Steinberg & Kelly Thomas 
It's Raining Men  Weather Girls  Paul Jabara & Paul Shaffer 
Summer Nights  Olivia Newton John & John Travolta   Jim Jacobs & Casey Warren 
10  I Should Be So Lucky Kylie Minogue   Mike Stock, Matt Aiten & Peter Waterman 
11  Don't go Breaking My Heart  Elton John & Kiki Dee  Elton John & Bernie Taupin 
12  Sweet Caroline  Neil Diamond  Neil Diamond 
13  American Pie  Don McLean / Madonna  Don McLean 
14  Killing Me Softly  Roberta Flack / Fugees  Charles Fox & Norman Grimble 
15  Hey Jude  The Beatles  John Lennon & Paul McCartney 
16  Don't Stop Me Now  Queen   Freddie Mercury 
17  (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction   Rolling Stones   Mick Jagger & Keith Richards 
18  Delilah  Tom Jones  Barry Mason & Les Reed 
19  New York, New York  Liza Minnelli/ Frank Sinatra   Fred Ebb & John Kander 
20  Total Eclipse of the Heart  Bonnie Tyler  Jim Steinman 
21  Livin’ La Vida Loca  Ricky Martin  Draco Rosa & Desmond Child 
22  Livin' on a Prayer  Bon Jovi  Jon Bon Jovi 
23  I'm a Believer   Monkees   John Stewart 
24  Love Shack  B-52s  Catherine Pierson, Fred Scheider, J Strickland, Cynthia Wilson 
25  River Deep Mountain High  Ike and Tina Turner  Phillip Spector, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich 

Source: PRS for Music.   Data based on Karaoke performances 1993 - end of Sept 2009

Commenting on the results, Ellis Rich, chairman of PRS, said “Karaoke is the modern take on communal singing which has been part of British culture for over a century.

Singing is traditionally an uplifting pastime which genuinely brings people together - whether they can actually sing or not doesn’t matter!”

The results are based on the most performed Karaoke songs in licensed venues by PRS for Music.  Data is collated to make accurate royalty payments to its 65,000 composer, songwriter and music publisher members whenever music is publically performed or broadcasted.  


  • The first Karaoke machine was invented by Daisuke Inoue in Japan, in the early 1970s.
  • Finland holds the record for the largest number of people singing karaoke at one time, for 80,000 people singing "Hard Rock Hallelujah" on 26 May 2006 in Helsinki after Lordi won the Eurovision Song Contest.
  • China holds the record for the longest non-stop rally of karaoke, for 214 hours, 20 minutes, and eight seconds on 1 January 2008.  

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 125,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to over 10m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £537.4m in 2015, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

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