“Let’s go, girls.”
Those words might have already awoken a musical memory in your brain. Maybe you’re even currently humming along to the country pop hit and gearing up for a high kick in the name of female empowerment.
And that’s exactly why Shania Twain’s 1998 song Man! I Feel Like a Woman! has just been named the top karaoke hit of all time on Billboard’s new list.
“The crowd will know exactly what kind of party they’re in for the minute they hear those first three words,” Billboard notes on its list of “The 100 Best Karaoke Songs of All Time,” released Wednesday.
“You don’t need to be in Nashville to perform this country classic. It’s a crossover smash in every sense of the word — country-to-pop crossover, young-to-old crossover and, as Harry Styles proved at Coachella, it isn’t just reserved for the ladies either.”
Twain, who was born in Timmins, Ont., recorded Man! I Feel Like a Woman! on her third studio album, Come on Over. The song earned her a Grammy in 2000 for best female country vocal performance. On top of being named the number one karaoke song of all time by Billboard staff, the song has also proved a popular karaoke hit with Billboard’s readers, netting 76 per cent of the votes so far in an online poll.
Billboard celebrates karaoke’s return
Also topping Billboard’s official list was I Want it That Way by the Backstreet Boys in the number two spot, Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive in the number three spot, and number four went to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might agree with that choice. He was recently recorded singing the hit in the lobby of a hotel in the days before Queen Elizabeth’s funeral).
The shutdown of karaoke during the thick of the pandemic was a major cultural loss, Billboard explained on its website. Now that it’s back, the American music and entertainment magazine says it wants to “celebrate the art form that’s given us countless instances of incomparable joy and similarly peerless hangovers over the years.”
What makes a great karaoke song? As Billboard notes, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but they tend to have some similar characteristics.
“More often than not, our favourite karaoke songs are familiar, accessible, simple without being predictable, and reminiscent of a specific time and place without being hopelessly stuck there. Most importantly, they all sound great at loud volume and questionable pitch, and they all invite you to join in the fun with them.”
‘This lady taught me to sing’: Harry Styles
The karaoke accolade comes as Twain enjoys some other moments in the sun. A new Netflix documentary, Not Just a Girl, gives fans an inside look at her rise to fame in the 90s, from Timmins to Tennessee.
“I was always very bold and straightforward about what I thought and my point of view on things as a woman particularly,” Twain says in the documentary.
WATCH | The official trailer for Not Just a Girl:
And in April, she made headlines for a surprise guest appearance with pop superstar Harry Styles during his Coachella performance.
“Now I have to tell you, in the car with my mother as a child, this lady taught me to sing,” Styles said on stage, according to People magazine.
“She also taught me that men are trash,” he said with a laugh.
And yes, they sang Man! I Feel Like a Woman.
WATCH | The Styles and Twain collab: