If Rita Loomis isn’t tired, she’ll perform every night of the week.

The 58-year-old has been belting it out at Omaha karaoke bars since 1999. Loomis’ repertoire is vast. She recently started singing “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Other nights she’ll try out some Joe Cocker, Sam Smith, Adele and Lorde.

Loomis said she performs karaoke because she likes to sing, of course, but she also loves the applause. “A friend of mine once told me it’s my therapy,” she said.

Karaoke isn’t new to the metro area. But it’s a night out that doesn’t get old for some.

Alderman’s has been hosting karaoke for a long time, but owner Mark McClellan said it really took off four years ago. Many owners quit too early on karaoke nights and give up, he said — you’ve got to make a commitment to it and really support it.

McClellan rocks the mike with tracks such as “Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra and “Sweet Caroline.”

“As horrible of a singer as you might be, you’ve got to get up there and sing,” he said.

Loomis said that even singers who aren’t that good are appreciated.

No matter how bad you are, people are still going to applaud because “that’s the polite thing to do,” she said.

Omaha resident Diane Corring’s karaoke career started when a friend dragged her — wracked with stage fright — on stage for a duet. The performance was terrible. But she was bitten by the karaoke bug.

“You get kind of a rush after you do it,” she said.

Since that time, Corring has been named the queen of karaoke in a competition at the Candlelight Lounge. She won the competition last year after she performed a rendition of “99 Red Balloons” by Nena — in German.

She also loves to sing “I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett. Local cover band 3D in Your Face learned the song so Corring could sing it on stage with them; she sells their merchandise. She said she never would have had the guts to do it before winning the karaoke contest.

“I got a little more confidence behind me,” she said.

Looking to strut your stuff or just step outside of your shell for a bit? We polled local karaoke regulars for tips and tricks to make your first (or 500th) time behind the mike a smashing success.

* * * * *

A roundup of Omaha-area karaoke bars:

Every night

Moe & Curly’s, 2946 N. 108th St., 9 p.m.


Saint’s Pub & Patio, 4915 N. 120th St., 9 p.m.

MVP Lounge, 5434 S. 99th St., 9 p.m.


Touch of Class Lounge, 11220 Fort St., 9 p.m.

Down Under Lounge, 3802 Leavenworth St., 10 p.m.

Nifty Bar, 4721 Northwest Radial, 9 p.m.

House of Loom, 1012 S. 10th St., 9 p.m.


Candlelight Lounge, 5031 Grover St., 9 p.m.

Pheasant Bar and Grill, 13909 S Plaza, 9 p.m.

Applebee’s, 1202 N. Washington St., Papillion, 9 p.m.

Boondockers, 5222 N. 120th St., 9 p.m.


Alderman’s Bar, 3216 Leavenworth St., 9 p.m.

Billy O’s Lounge, 14242 Fort St., 8:30 p.m.

Boondockers, 5222 N. 120th St., 9 p.m.

MVP Lounge, 5434 S. 99th St., 9 p.m.

Sullivan’s Bar, 3929 Farnam St., 9:30 p.m.


Alderman’s Bar, 3216 Leavenworth St., 10 p.m.

Beer City, 4147 L St., 9 p.m.

Pheasant Bar and Grill, 13909 S Plaza, 9 p.m.

Applebee’s, 3350 S. 143rd Plaza, 9 p.m.

Crossbones Bar, 5611 S. 36th St., 9 p.m.

Fullhouse Bar, 6135 Military Ave., 9 p.m.

Billy O’s Lounge, 14242 Fort St., 8:30 p.m.

Boondockers, 5222 N. 120th St., 9 p.m.

Nifty Bar, 4721 Northwest Radial, 9 p.m.

Goldeez, 5502 N. 103rd St., 9 p.m.

California Bar, 510 N. 33rd Street, 9 p.m.


Alderman’s Bar, 3216 Leavenworth St., 10 p.m.

Touch of Class Lounge, 11220 Fort St., 9 p.m.

Pheasant Bar and Grill, 13909 S Plaza, 9 p.m.

Fullhouse Bar, 6135 Military Ave., 9 p.m.

Billy O’s Lounge, 14242 Fort St., 8:30 p.m.

Boondockers, 5222 N. 120th St., 9 p.m.

Goldeez, 5502 N. 103rd St., 9 p.m.

Lighthouse Bar and Grill, 15676 West Maple Road, 9:30 p.m.


Swizzle Stix Lounge in La Vista Keno, 7101 S. 84th St., 9 p.m.

Does your bar do karaoke? Let us know by reaching out at 402-444-1149 or tweet @andreaksz.

* * * * *

9 awesome karaoke songs

Perhaps the most important part of karaoke is song selection. Pick a song suited for you, and the evening (and you) can’t go wrong — even if you drop the mike on the floor and flub half of the words. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

“Hangin’ Tough,” New Kids on the Block

Prove you’re as tough as you look with this tough-as-nails track from the late ’80s.

“Tubthumping,” Chumbawamba

You probably haven’t thought about this song since 1997. But the bar knows all the words.

“One Week,” Barenaked Ladies

You’re awkward. Own it with this early 2000s anthem. Make sure you know the rap.

“Lady Marmalade,” Lil’ Kim, Christina Aguilera, Mya and Pink

Grab three of your pals and tackle this song with raps and more than a few high notes.

“Don’t Speak,” No Doubt

If you’ve got the pipes and things to get off your chest, belt it, sister.

“711,” Beyoncé

This track might not be on all karaoke systems just yet. But it’s worth it to yell out, “I’m fresher than you!”

“I Want it That Way,” Backstreet Boys

Be a bar favorite and hold a sing-along with this boy band classic.

“Whatta Man,” Salt-N-Pepa

You think someone is cute and you wanna let them know? Maintain eye contact and work it out.

“Super Bass,” Nicki Minaj

Can’t sing? Learn the words to this rap hit and wow the bar with your swag.

* * * * *

9 karaoke tips

Gonna pick up the mike for the first time? Or do you just feel like you’re not karaoke-ing to your full potential? Stop stressing, honey bee. We’ve got you. Area karaoke DJs and superfans gave us their top tips for a successful night behind the microphone.

• Pick a song that you love and get into it. If you’re having fun, your audience will, too, even if your voice is cracking like Kermit the Frog.

• Make sure you know the words. If you have to, craft a playlist of karaoke songs and listen to it on repeat before the big day, just to make sure you’re ready.

• Freaked? Pick a group song and grab two or three buddies to sing along with you. It’ll help you ease into your first time on stage.

• Your favorite song to belt out in the shower may be a rare Nirvana B-side off of a mostly unknown release. Cool. But maybe leave it in the shower. No one is going to be impressed by your rendition of a track they’re never heard. Get the bar pumped with something a little more popular.

• Don’t pick something too tricky. You probably aren’t a Whitney Houston or Celine Dion. Go with some simple country, a basic ballad or a hip-hop track you really love that doesn’t hit notes that are quite so high.

• Make sure you hold the microphone right. Don’t hold it with your hand over the top, and don’t wave it around. And try not to throw it across the room. Hold it an inch or two from your mouth so it picks up your full voice.

• Don’t stress. No one cares what you sound like. Imagine you’re sitting around in your living room with your very best friends — let your hair down, and go for it.

• Pick a song that seems to fit the crowd. “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine probably isn’t the best pick for a night out at Applebee’s. And no one wants to hear you belting out “Like a Virgin” at your cousin’s bat mitzvah.

• You may feel like you have to knock back a drink or two to get up there and sing. But be careful: Too many, and you won’t be able to judge your pitch. Stay safe and keep the booze within reason.

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