Beyoncé Broke a Cardinal Rule of Karaoke

The Eagles? Beyoncé nooooooo!

by Alex Zaragoza
Dec 9 2019, 5:31pm

Credit: Robyn Beck / Getty

Beyoncé is many things: a powerhouse vocalist who's created era-defying music that's an indictment to sociocultural inequities and encourages getting faded x-rated; a glass ceiling-shattering CEO of her own athleisure brand; an (okay) actress (but we don't hold that against her); a sometimes vegan; an artist; a wife; a mother; and a cultural icon. The list is endless, and unfortunately a painfully disappointing item needs to be added to it, because it turns out, Beyoncé is a bad karaoke-er.

In her cover interview for the January issue of Elle UK, Beyoncé fielded questions from fans across the globe who wondered about everything from her work process to whether or not she still likes whales (she does!). It's a nice, if not somewhat predictable interview. But when asked what her go-to karaoke jam is, Beyoncé made a huge blunder when she responded: "Escape (The Piña Colada Song) and Hotel California. The guitar solo is my jam!!"

This is a heartbreaking answer. "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)," popularized in 1979 by Rupert Holmes, is extremely cheesy and only beloved by the corniest of us. Sure, it's fun and a group of people could get into it when the "if you like piña coladas! And getting caught in the rain" part hits. But "Hotel California"? By The Eagles?? Beyoncé, whyyyyy??? The thought of a drunk Beyoncé doing an air guitar solo is hauntingly regular, even if it is her "jam." "Hotel California" is not only the worst, it's also roughly 500 hours long, breaking one of the cardinal rules of karaoke: you should absolutely under no circumstances choose a song longer than three-and-a-half minutes. The dad rock classic clocks in at an agonizing six minutes and 30 seconds, haunts radio waves regularly to this day, and is a curse on karaoke rooms everywhere.

While Beyoncé's vocals would be undoubtedly pitch-perfect, it's just a bad song. Singing it is on par with a group of drunk bachelorette party attendees crowding the stage and screaming to "Rapper's Delight" only to realize they only know the first three lines. (Another rule of karaoke: at least know half of the words to the song you choose). It's akin to picking Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" (One more rule of karaoke: Do stop "Don't Stop Believin'").

A counterpoint to all this is that Beyoncé choosing "Hotel California" and "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" is humanizing—a reminder that our multi-hyphenate goddess is a mere mortal with sometimes questionable taste. Plus, who among us wouldn't dip into our "in case Beyoncé announces a surprise tour" fund to watch her sing "Hotel California" 20 times in a row?

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