How Karaoke Conquered the World

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Now, more than a quarter century later, araoke is experiencing something of a revival. If you’re picturing a drunken posse laughing its way through a bad version of "Freebird," think again. Karaoke is big business.

But is this karaoke spike a passing fad? How much does it have to do with "American Idol"? Video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band? And is karaoke a great equalizer, or great embarrassment?

This hour, On Point: The highlights — and lowlights — of karaoke.

You can join the conversation. Are you a karaoke lover, or do you think that singing should be left to the professionals? Have you stepped up to the stage and sung your heart out? Share your thoughts.
-Guy Raz, guest host


Joining us from New York is Brian Raftery. He’s written for Wired, Spin, GQ, and Entertainment Weekly. His new book is “Don’t Stop Believin’: How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed my Life.” Read the first chapter (pdf).

This program aired on January 30, 2009.


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