The alto range is one of the most versatile ranges for singers. So, there are thousands of great songs for alto singers across all genres. From pop to soul, there is something for everyone’s taste.
Whether you need new additions to your playlist or you’re looking for that perfect audition song, here are 28 great songs for alto singers for your consideration.
The Meaning of Alto
Typically, women and men are divided into higher and lower voices. With women, you can distinguish between sopranos (high) and altos (low). So, alto singers are the ones responsible for the lower and deeper notes you can hear in choirs or in music in general.
Though altos are not belters, they have an integral part in the music industry. In fact, it is often their crooning and soft notes that have won the hearts of audiences and topped music charts all around the world. If you don’t believe it, just take a look at a list of some of the most famous alto singers ever.
Famous Alto Singers
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Altos have always enjoyed immense popularity within all genres. Thus, it is easy to find songs for all occasions, from Broadway auditions to karaoke nights. Here are some of the singers with unmistakable alto voices:
• Fiona Apple
• Karen Carpenter
• Anita Baker
• Toni Braxton
• Colbie Caillat
• Brandi Carlile
• Tracy Chapman
• Charli XCX
• Andra Day
• Sky Ferreira
• Lady Gaga
• Gloria Estefan
• Judy Garland
• Macy Gray
• Lauryn Hill
• Billie Holiday
• Alicia Keys
• Annie Lennox
• Joni Mitchell
• Maren Morris
• Carly Simon
• Katy Perry
• Nina Simone
• Teyana Taylor
• Shania Twain
• Bonnie Tyler
• Kali Uchis
• Grace VanderWaal
• Amy Winehouse
Without further ado, you can find a list of great songs for alto singers below.
Great Songs for Alto Singers: Pop Edition
1. Believe by Cher
This break-up banger topped the charts all around the globe and it is one of the best-selling singles of all time. Whether you’ve just gotten out of a relationship and need some empowerment, or you just like the beat and lyrics, this song is a perfect pick for karaoke nights and shower concerts alike.
2. Someone Like You by Adele
Someone Like You was everyone’s favorite pop song in 2011. Adele’s vocals are subdued and somber in this song, and it is the perfect farewell to an old love. The song has a distinct “less is more” nature, letting emotions guide the melody and never straying from the alto range.
3. Mamma Mia by ABBA
No party or karaoke night at a bar can go without this banger from the 1970s. The song has an irresistible rhythm you just have to dance to, and combining that with an alto singer’s voice makes for a perfect mix.
4. Raise Your Glass by Pink
Raise Your Glass is an anthem for the misfits who are different and don’t belong anywhere. So, next time you want to celebrate your friends and party all night long, pick this as one of the songs you absolutely must sing.
5. Rehab by Amy Winehouse
Though her catalog is filled with timeless hits, many consider Rehab Amy’s signature song. It won three Grammy awards and is still in heavy rotation on radios all around the world.
Lyrically, this song is quite personal. It chronicles the singer’s struggles with drugs and alcohol and her refusal to go to rehab. Vocally, though, the song is a perfect choice for altos, taking inspiration from legendary singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Bassey.
6. Royals by Lorde
Royals is the song that launched the career of New Zealand’s sensation Lorde, earning her two Grammy awards and praise from critics. The song features sultry vocals perfectly suited for altos, and the lyrics take a jab at the extravagance and overspending that Hollywood is infamous for.
7. Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
Dreams was the second single off the band’s album Rumours, and it features Stevie Nicks’ distinctive crooning vocals. It topped charts in the US and UK, and it remains a legendary song in the band’s discography.
8. Style by Taylor Swift
Though Swift is a soprano, her catalog contains various songs perfect for altos. Style is one of them, mixing sultry vocals and an irresistible beat you can’t help but dance to. If you are into synth-pop and clever lyrics, this song will be a fantastic choice for you.
9. No Scrubs by TLC
This song is a perfect mix of R&B, pop, hip-hop, and Rozanda Thomas’ angelic vocals. It is a great choice for a song if you have just ended a toxic relationship and want to remind yourself of what you truly deserve from a partner.
10. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
Bad Romance is undoubtedly Lady Gaga’s biggest hit, and there is no party playlist out there without it. The song is fun, upbeat, and the lyrics just pull you in immediately. Vocally, the song is everything an alto could wish for, as it is not too straining but allows you to show off your vocal skills perfectly.
11. That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain
Shania’s angelic alto voice takes center stage in this timeless pop classic. It remains one of her biggest hits even today, almost three decades after its release.
The song is famous for its witty lyrics about not being impressed by a man’s looks at all. Funnily enough, Shania revealed she wrote it after seeing a leaked nude pic of none other than Brad Pitt.
12. Send My Love (To Your New Lover) by Adele
Though a clear break-up song, this banger is definitely one of the most upbeat songs in Adele’s flawless discography. It features an acoustic guitar and some drums, letting the lyrics take the lead.
Send My Love is a perfect pick for parties and getting people off their feet. However, it is also a great choice for showing everyone just how fun and poppy an alto can be.
13. Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey
Most Lana Del Rey songs would make a great choice for altos singers. However, Summertime Sadness is one of her biggest hits, and it strikes a specific mood none of her other songs can match.
This song is not a party banger by any means. Rather, it is something you can sing at a lowkey house party or just hum to yourself during the day.
14. Stay by Rihanna and Mikky Ekko
Though this song is a duet, it can work just as well as a solo if you don’t have a partner. It is all about crooning notes and vulnerable lyrics, and it will truly let your voice shine.
Great Songs for Alto Singers: Soul Edition
15. Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin
Initially, this song wasn’t written for Franklin. However, she was the one that made it a hit and one of the most beloved songs in her discography. It is consistently on lists of the best vocal performances of all time.
Songs like this one are proof that you don’t need to be a belter to touch the hearts of people. As long as you sing from the heart, your audience will connect with you and your voice every time.
16. Feeling Good by Nina Simone
Nina Simone is a soul music legend, and her discography is full of hits you can choose from. However, none are as famous and as empowering to sing as Feeling Good.
This song mixes already legendary lyrics with influences from jazz and blues, making a perfect combination for an alto. What many people don’t know is that this song is actually from a musical called The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd. Nina covered it and made it her signature hit.
17. At Last by Etta James
When Etta James recorded her version of this song in 1960, it had already become quite famous. Her version elevated it to new heights, and it is still considered to be her best vocal performance.
18. The Look of Love by Diana Krall
This song is what helped establish Diana Krall as one of the biggest jazz and soul singers in the world. If your voice is deep and you are most comfortable going as low as it can get, this hit will be a perfect pick for you.
Great Songs for Alto Singers: Belter Edition
19. Firework by Katy Perry
Who says alto singers cannot belt out some high notes as well? If that is what you want and need, then this pop hit will make an excellent choice. It is empowering and cleverly written. The bridge and last chorus will allow you to hit some exquisite-sounding notes while still staying within your range.
20. The Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
No list with great songs for alto singers is complete without at least one song by Florence Welch. Dog Days Are Over is the perfect song for showcasing just how extraordinary an alto voice can be.
There is a lot of speculation about the song’s lyrics and their meaning. Some believe it is a song about winning the battle against addiction, while others connect the song to surviving domestic violence. Either way, the song is quite emotional and a big undertaking to sing.
21. Lithium by Evanescence
If you know Evanescence, you know their songs are made to be belted from the top of one’s lungs. Still, they are great for altos, as they are not that demanding. Lithium is an excellent rock song fit for both karaoke and your own concert in your shower.
22. One Way Or Another by Blondie
Though this song is fun and upbeat, the lyrics were actually inspired by Blondie’s experience with a stalker.
The song is energetic and requires a full-on choreography. That makes it perfect for parties or even auditions, as you can truly showcase all of your talents while singing it.
Great Songs for Alto Singers: Audition Edition
23. One Fine Day by The Chiffons
Carole King wrote this song for The Chiffons but ended up covering it herself soon after. Her cover is what made the song so famous in the first place. The song has beautiful lyrics that tell a story, making it the perfect pick for any audition.
24. There Are Worse Things I Could Do by Stockard Channing
This song is one of the most famous outtakes from Grease. Interestingly, the producers almost cut it from the movie entirely because they thought it was too sad to be in the film.
There Are Worse Things I Could Do offers a great chance for altos to showcase the emotional depth their vices can convey. That makes it an excellent audition song, whether it is for a theatre show or a movie musical.
25. You Learn to Live Without by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt
This show-stopping ballad is a part of the musical If/Then. Though many artists performed it over the years, no rendition is as praised and popular as that of Idina Menzel. The song is quite emotional and filled with heartbreak, and the melody is just as sorrowful.
26. I Can Hear the Bells by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
I Can Hear the Bells is an iconic number from the musical Hairspray. It is all about sexual awakenings and new beginnings, making it a perfect playful pick for an audition song. Besides, Hairspray is always a fantastic choice for an audition, no matter which vocal range you belong to.
27. Something Better Happen by William Finn
No musical does heartbreaking ballads as well as Little Miss Sunshine, and this song is no exception. It is a great choice for some advanced alto belters, as it does require going somewhat higher than the average alto usually does.
28. I Don’t Know What I’d Do Without You by Robert Freeman and Steven Lutvak
If you are a classically trained alto, you will have an amazing opportunity to show off all your talent if you audition with this song. The lyrics tell the story of a woman who refuses to marry a man just because he is rich.
The song is fun and hilarious, just like the musical itself. If you are looking for some more great songs for alto singers in general, this musical is a great place to start.