Are you an alto looking for the perfect set of pop songs to sing along to?
Well…you’re in the right place!
With the alto range being one of the most standard and versatile ranges for singers, there’s a tonne of awesome pop songs to choose from for your next singing practice
(or concert-for-one in the shower)
In this article we’re breaking down 50+ of the best pop songs for altos, organized by category and hand-vetted by our team of musos.
Feel free to skip through this list and cherry pick the ones you like!
What You’ll Need:
- A Solid Warm-Up Routine: Seriously. Warming up your voice stretches your vocal chords and instils proper technique, preventing vocal strain. We went into quite a bit of detail on vocal warm-ups in our article about how to sing in key, so be sure to head over there if you’re looking for a great vocal warm-up routine.
- A Suitable Singing Space: Pick somewhere comfortable where you’re unlikely to be disturbed. This’ll allow you to sing at full capacity (and work through those silly-sounding vocal warmups).
- Vocalzone Pastilles (Optional): Although listed as optional, you’ll probably bump these up to the ‘totally essential’ category once you’ve used them a couple of times. These nifty pastilles coat your throat to help soothe and clear your voice, helping you sing powerfully and clearly. They’re also great if you’re in a hot and/or dry climate as they prevent your throat from drying out. You can get them on Amazon for just a few bucks.
- Recording Equipment (Optional): If you’re using this list of alto pop songs to improve your singing abilities or rehearse for an upcoming audition, it’s well-worth investing in some basic recording equipment so that you can hear your voice back from an audience’s perspective. If you’re new to music production, we’d recommend looking into a no-nonsense recording bundle such as this one, which comes with everything you need to get going and is simple to set up.
Easy Pop Songs For Altos
No Scrubs (TLC)
As the lead single from TLC’s 1999 release FanMail, No Scrubs combines hip-hop, R;B, and Rozanda ‘Chilli’ Thomas’s angelic alto voice to produce a song about the men at the bottom of the dating pool.
TLC’s third number-one was ranked number two on Billboard’s year-end Hot 100, just behind Cher’s ‘Believe.’
With lyrics that describe a painful breakup and the self-sufficiency and empowerment required to get through it, this 1998 lead single to Cher’s 22nd album was widely imitated upon its release.
Not only did it top the chart in many countries, but with 11 million sales, it’s one of the best-selling singles in the world.
Someone Like You (Adele)
Featuring spare and understated vocals, Adele’s second single to 2011’s 21 is a somber farewell to a former lover, as the singer puts on a brave face and wishes him well in his new relationship.
It’s a song with direct vocals, and its ‘less-is-more’ performance requirements sits the track very comfortably for in the alto range:
Mamma Mia (ABBA)
That distinctive tick-tock rhythm at the start of this 1975 chart-topper is a marimba, and ABBA’s genius composer Benny Anderson incorporated it at the last minute.
The song was the last one recorded for the Swedish pop phenomenon’s self-titled third album ABBA.
Gimme One Reason (Tracy Chapman)
Released on 1995’s New Beginning, Gimme One Reason is Chapmans biggest hit (reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100).
The song first gained fame when she played it live on Saturday Night Live in 1989. Nominated for three Grammys, including Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, it’s a relatively simple twelve-bar blues song that shouldn’t prove too difficult.
Raise Your Glass (Pink)
Written in collaboration with hitmakers Max Martin and Shellback, Raise Your Glass is a song meant to celebrate Pinks’s first decade since Pink’s 2000 debut.
The lead single for 2010’s Greatest Hits… So Far!!! the song successfully recharged Pink’s performance on the charts, making Raise Your Glass her tenth Top 10, and third number 1 hit:
Rehab (Amy Winehouse)
Winehouse’s signature song, Rehab won three Grammy’s and is frequently covered.
The lead single for 2006’s Back to Black, Rehab is lyrically autobiographical, chronicling Winehouse’s refusal to enter rehab and deal with her drug and alcohol addiction.
Vocally, the song takes its inspiration from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Bassey.
First released on Lorde’s The Love Club EP in 2012, this song received critical praise for many reasons.
But above all, its sultry vocals inspired by Lana Del Rey, Amy Winehouse, and Florence Welch are what makes the track so perfect.
The song criticizes the luxurious lifestyles often represented in pop and hip hop music.
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
A chart-topper upon its first release, Dreams was famous long before Nathan Apodaca scored 50 million views lip-syncing to skateboarding and drinking Ocean Spray.
It was the second single from 1977s Rumours and features Stevie Nicks’s distinctive vocals singing about the emotional upheaval the band was experiencing at the time:
Style (Taylor Swift)
Swift’s 80s inspired tune features overlapped, restrained vocals and lyrics about unhealthy relationships.
Reaching number six on the Hot 100, Style was the third consecutive top-ten single from the album 1989. This synth-pop song shouldn’t prove too hard to pull off for the average alto vocalist.
Upbeat Pop Songs For Altos
Chain of Fools (Aretha Franklin)
Initially written for Otis Redding, Atlantic Records Jerry Wexler thought it the perfect fit for the voice of Aretha Franklin.
Peaking at number two on Billboard’s Hot 100, it’s a song that’s consistently ranked as one of the greatest R;B performances of all time.
Feeling Good (Nina Simone)
Nina Simone made this song famous when she recorded it in 1965 for her album I Put a Spell on You.
But it’s actually from the British musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowed. John Legend recently covered it at the Celebrating America performance during Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Bad Romance (Lady Gaga)
This catchy dance-pop song first appeared on Lady Gaga’s third EP, 2009s The Fame Monster.
It features an upbeat tempo, spoken bridge, and a full-throated, beltable chorus. Peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, it’s one of the best selling singles in the world and certified 11-times platinum:
My Favorite Mistake (Sheryl Crow)
Many of Crow’s songs are great for altos.
‘My Favorite Mistake was Crow’s fifth top-20 single, and it thought that Crow wrote the song about Eric Clapton, with whom she was previously in a relationship. It first appeared on her third studio album, The Globe Sessions.
Don’t Dream It’s Over (Crowded House)
This song is a popular choice for altos, and it’s fairly straightforward to sing.
Uplifting, chill, and frequently covered, including by Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande, the Australian rock band Crowded House first released this song on their self-titled debut in 1986. It peaked at number 2 on the Hot 100.
That Don’t Impress Me Much (Shania Twain)
Shania Twain owns her alto voice, and it’s on full display in this iconic 90s pop hit.
Written for Twain’s third studio album, 1997s Come on Over, it remains one of her most popular tunes.
Twain revealed that she wrote the song after seeing a leaked picture of Brad Pitt nude and wondering what all the fuss was about:
You’re So Vain (Carly Simon)
Upon its release in 1972, this song quickly reached number one in several countries.
Not only is it consistently ranked on lists of the greatest songs ever written, but it’s also a bit of a mystery to who the song refers to. Simon says it’s about three men, and one of them is Warren Beatty.
Million Reasons (Lady Gaga)
This pop song is about hope and heartbreak and full of faith and positivity, with Gaga’s alto voice taking center stage.
Released in 2016 as a single for her fifth album Joanne, the song was Gaga’s 24th chart-topper. After singing it at the Super Bowl LI halftime show, it re-entered the charts at number 4.
I Have a Dream (Abba)
Taken from ABBA’s sixth studio album Voulez-Vous, this major hit was released in 1979.
Written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson, the song features the alto vocal stylings of Anni-Frid Lyngstad backed by the International School of Stockholm’s children’s choir:
Send My Love To Your New Lover (Adele)
A song Adele dedicates to her ex-boyfriend, this uptempo and rhythmic song appears on Adele’s album 25 from 2016.
Full of swooping refrains and cheerful taunts, it’s an excellent showcase for any alto voice.
Audition Pop Songs For Altos
One Fine Day (Carol King)
This is an incredible song with a beautiful story that’s perfect for altos to audition with.
Written by King in 1963, it became a hit song for The Chiffons before being covered by King herself in 1980, where it reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
There Are Worse Things I Could Do (Stockard Channing)
One of the musical Grease’s most celebrated tunes, but surprisingly almost cut from the film because the producers thought it was too sad.
It’s an excellent song for altos to show off some emotional complexity, as the song speaks of the tender side of a hard-bitten leader with a rugged exterior.
You Learn to Live Without (Brian Yorkey, Tom Kitt)
This track was made famous by Idina Menzel’s passionate performance in the Broadway musical If/Then, a musical about a 30 something woman moving to New York for a fresh start.
The song is a real showstopper, full of emotion and heartbreak:
I Can Hear the Bells (Scott Wittman, Marc Shaiman)
A song to belt out with everything you’ve got, I Can Hear the Bells is a comic highlight about sexual awakening.
It comes from the musical Hairspray ,with lyrics by Marx Shaiman and Scott Wittman with music inspired by 60s R;B.
Hairspray won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
No More Fear (Brian Yorkey, Tom Kitt)
Another song for belters that’s a fun challenge, this one comes from the Freaky Friday musical.
Trapped inside her high school daughter’s body, Katherine Blake can now see her daughter clearly for the first time. This anthemic song is a great alto showcase for the audition room, and so are many of the other songs from this 2016 musical.
Something Better Happen (William Finn)
This heartbreaking song comes from the Little Miss Sunshine musical, which premiered in 2011.
It’s a great exhibition for some advanced alto vocal training and full of 32-bar cuts. Sung by the mother of the Hoover family, this song is about wishing for much more than the status quo of a tiring life:
I Don’t Know What I’d Do Without You (Robert Freeman, Steven Lutvak)
Classically-trained altos have plenty of room to show off their comedic acting abilities in this song from Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
Written specifically for alto, this song is sung by Sibella, who refuses to marry a man simply because he isn’t rich enough. It’s a hilarious song from a hilarious musical that opened in 2013:
If You Knew My Story (Edie Brickell, Steven Martin)
This song is one of many audition-ready songs from the 2016 Drama Desk Award winning musical Bright Star.
Set in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the musical opens with this song as Alice Murphy greets her audience and tells her story.
Where Did the Rock Go (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
Another great audition choice for altos to show off some belting (that lasts 32 bars in particular).
Originally sung by Sierra Boggess, it’s a great song to showcase some nuanced vocal control, truly allowing an alto’s voice and acting skills to shine through.:
Mein Herr (John Kander, Fred Ebb)
It’s hard to separate this song from Liza Minnelli’s Oscar-winning performance in Bob Fosse’s 1972 film version of Cabaret.
Still, it is an often-used audition song for alto’s, and a great way to showcase your vocal technique.
Belty Pop Songs For Altos
Rolling in the Deep (Adele)
This is the song that propelled Adele to superstardom and sure will give your vocal cords a workout.
Her first number one song stateside is one of the best-selling digital songs of all time after spending a whopping 65 weeks on the charts. It won four Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
One Way or Another (Blondie)
One of Blondie’s catchiest tunes, this 1978 song was inspired by her experience with a stalker.
Released on Parallel Lines, the song features aggressive vocals and requires an energetic performance to pull off convincingly, making it the perfect piece to practice your belting technique.
Memories (Trevor Nunn, Andrew Lloyd Webber)
Memories really is a song to belt out, and it should be.
The climax of the musical Cats, this tune is one of the most recognizable show tunes around. The lyrics to Memories and other songs from the musical were based on the poems of T.S. Eliot:
One More Night (Maroon 5)
Featured on Maroon 5’s fourth album, 2012s Overexposed, One More Night sees Adam Levine singing about relationship guilt over reggae-style guitars.
The song remained on the charts for nine weeks, Maroon 5’s longest reign on the Hot 100.
At Last (Eta James)
This song was already famous by the time Etta James recorded her recognizable rendition in 1960. Featuring James’s sweeping, passionate vocals,
At Last was only a modest success at the time. Today it is one of the most recognizable songs in the world and has been a chart-topping success for both Byoncé and Celine Dion.
Firework (Katy Perry)
Although Katy Perry’s voice classification is up for some debate, Firework is ideally suited for an alto to practice their belting.
A dance-pop song reportedly inspired by Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road, it is an anthem full of self-empowerment. It topped the Hot 100 chart upon its release in 2010:
The Dog Days Are Over (Florence + the Machine)
Florence Welsh is undoubtedly one of the great singers in modern music.
Capable of complex vocal runs and many registers, and that’s all on full display in this belter from Florence and the Machine’s debut, 2009’s Lungs.
It’s a pounding, urgent anthem that was critically praised and did well in the charts.
Here We Are (Gloria Estefan)
Released in 1989 on Estafan’s debut solo album, Here We Are is the quintessential late 80’s ballad.
This song showcased Estafan’s powerful voice and was an international success. She re-recorded the track in Spanish in 2019 to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Lead singer Amy Lee wrote this power ballad when she was only 16 years old before it made its way onto Evanescence’s second album, The Open Door.
The song is about looking at happiness and seeing it negatively, describing happiness as lithium. Some have thought of the song as an ode to Kurt Cobain:
Roar (Katy Perry)
It’s certainly a song you can roar to, and the lead single from Perry’s fourth studio release, 2013’s Prism.
Both Dr. Luke and Max Martin had a hand in this release, and it shares similar themes to the track Firework, listed earlier in this article.
Low Pop Songs For Altos
Back to Black (Amy Winehouse)
Amy Winehouse had an unmistakable voice that helped popularize the mid-2000s wave of female British soul singers.
Back to Black was Winehouse’s signature song, and her voice displays the depth of feeling that only she could pull off. Beyoncé and many others have covered the song over the years.
Sugar (Maroon 5)
A disco-funk-pop-inflected song reminiscent of Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, Sugar was a smash hit for Maroon 5 in 2014.
Written by Mike Posner, he gave the song to Maroon 5 after ditching the album it was to appear on. The track peaked at number 2 on the Hot 100 and received a Grammy nomination.
What’s Up (4 Non-Blonds)
This song received a lot of radio play when it was first released as a single in 1993, although the group were apparently dissatisfied with the production.
A chart-topper in the U.S. and several European countries, What’s Up is now remembered as a one-hit-wonder, although it has been covered and sampled many times since:
Killing Me Softly (Roberta Flack)
Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel wrote this tune, ultimately made famous by Roberta Flack as a single in 1973.
Flack first got a taste for how successful the song would be when Marvin Gaye encouraged her to sing one more song when she opened for him. The audience went wild.
The Kiss (Faith Hill)
Faith Hill’s up-tempo county song topped both the American and Canadian charts upon release and received two Grammy nominations.
It features Hill’s jubilant, passionate vocals and an infectious melody with lyrics expressing the joys of being in love.
Make You Feel My Love (Adele)
Adele recorded this Bob Dylan song for her debut album 2008s 19.
Originally, Adele was hesitant to have a cover song on her first album, thinking it showed she was incapable of writing her own material. However, after listening to it and putting her distinctive vocals to it, it won her over:
Valerie (Amy Winehouse)
Although it’s one of Winehouse’s best-known songs, Valerie is actually a cover.
First recorded by The Zutons on their 2006 album Tired of Handing Around, Winehouse undoubtedly makes it her own after imbuing it with her unmistakable voice.
Sweet Dreams Are Made of These (Eurythmics)
Reaching the number one spot on the Hot 100 in 1983, this new wave song by the British duo Eurythmics was the lead single of their second album.
Not only is it a great showcase of Annie Lennox’s brilliant singing, but it’s the song that launched the duo to commercial success.
The Look of Love (Diana Krall)
Although popularized initially by Dusty Springfield, The Look of Love confirmed Diana Krall’s status as an exceptional jazz voice.
It came from her 2001 album of the same name and was written by Burt Bacharach and Half David. Krall’s voice is deep and sumptuous, the perfect example of a low register alto:
Video Games (Lana Del Rey)
The lead single from her major-label debut, 2012’s Born to Die, this track is a baroque pop ballad showcasing Del Rey’s sultry, understated alto voice.
Her breakthrough hit charted well and contains clever lyrics about being ignored in a relationship.
No matter what sort of pop music you’re into, we hope you’ve found a few tracks you’d like to sing along to!
If you enjoyed this list, why not check out our ultimate list of Disney songs for altos next?