Karaoke stands for in Japanese empty orchestra. It is a form of entertainment where singers can sing to the favorite songs, no matter what their voice sounds like. Don't know the lyrics to your favorite song? No problem. The music is played with no vocals. The lyrics of any given song are displayed on a television screen, so a singer can follow along as best as possible.
Karaoke started out in the 1960's in the United States with a show called Sing Along with Mitch. That show played music with lyrics and they would be captioned on the screen of ones television set for at home participation. That was the start of something big. In the 1970's, the first karaoke machine was made in Japan. But, it didn't catch on until years later, because these machines were too expensive and were not very profitable to sell. The inventor of the karaoke machine rented his machines to various bars and restaurants as an icebreaker for bar patrons.
Today, well at least in the United States, karaoke usually takes place in a bar setting. A DJ is hired, usually once a week, and would be singers would fill out slips of paper with their song on it and in turn, would get an opportunity to sing. It takes a lot of courage to go up an sing in front of complete strangers. but, with a little "liquid courage" some bar goers have no problems go up on stage. It has been a money maker for bars and DJ's. Whether you go to bar or have a party at home, karaoke is fun, entertaining, and will spice up a social event.
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