19 Songs With High Notes

11. “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato

The young Lovato who began their career as a Disney actress soon garnered respect and attention for their amazing voice, too. Known as a lyric soprano, they routinely put out music that shows brilliance, strength, and skill.

In “Sorry Not Sorry,” Lovato rises to a D4 time and again and makes it sound effortless. But that’s nothing compared to the A5 she hits just before the final chorus.

Song year: 2017

12. “Climax” by Usher

The king of 2000s R&B jams never stops at just one atmospheric pitch. Except for some of the verses, this song pretty much sits entirely within that high register that Usher handles so well. Silky-smooth and seductive, this song is the perfect framework for him to show off his pipes.

Move over, ladies, this artist’s got a better soprano than any of you. Men: we highly recommend using your falsetto to attempt this one, but it’s gutsy to try regardless.

Song year: 2012

13. “Love On Top” by Beyonce

This one's another high-note sleeper agent. No doubt Queen Bey is talented, but you think “Love On Top” is doable because it sounds fairly mid-range for the majority of the song. In the end, though, comes one of the most famous series of modulations ever. She goes through 4 upwards steps, each one more skillful and elaborate than before.

Ultimately, the combination of pitch ascensions and note ornamentations means Beyonce has crafted another hit single that no one else can match. All hail, the Queen.

Song year: 2011

14. “Kiss” by Prince

Sung almost entirely in falsetto, the consummate musician and entertainer Prince doesn’t mess around with a middle register here. Instead, he flits and floats around a soprano range, with all kinds of extra whoops and slides and leaps.

If you think you can handle the vocal acrobatics, skip to the final rendition of the chorus. Prince’s voice surprises us with its flip into a scream-like tone, reaching some of those notes we didn’t think were a problem in falsetto but now are as intimidating as his physique in the music video. 

Song year: 1986

15. “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys

This ode to female empowerment has everything you could want: a hard-driving beat, thumping piano chords, and Keys’ soaring voice. Inspirational and intense, this song is best heard at top volume.

The clincher is the peak note in the chorus. When Keys hits the word “fire,” it’s not only a high pitch, but also must be sustained for the duration of a couple of measures. So prepare your breath and fill your lungs well, because the girl isn’t the only one on fire here.

Song year: 2012

16. “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5

Sure, you could argue that Michael Jackson was just a baby when his famous Motown sibling group blessed the world with this hit. But although preteen Michael had an easier time punching those notes than most adults, it doesn't make the chorus or the “ooh baby”s any less impressive.

Ladies can try this one with better success than men, even in falsetto. This one's so high it's easier to sing a full octave lower. But where's the fun in that? Sheryl Crow managed just fine with her rendition, featured on her 2010 album 100 Miles From Memphis. (Stick around for the final “all I need,” where she nails a high A-flat).

Song year: 1969

17. “Alone” by Heart

Another classic 80s tune boils over in this passionate cry for love from Heart vocalist Ann Wilson. She has had feelings for someone for so long and is finally ready to tell him. The mounting fervor comes to a head with this power ballad, a karaoke goal for so many females that feels just out of reach. 

With her sister Nancy on guitar, they make an iconic duo, not least for Ann’s astounding range. Her primitive yell in the bridge before the final chorus is one of the most recognizable sounds of the decade, reaching a G-flat two octaves above middle C. 

Song year: 1987

18. “Problem” by Ariana Grande

Former Disney darling Grande is no stranger to sky-scraping notes, and “Problem” is a prime example. With her crystal-clear tone, she reaches an A-flat without flinching. It’s almost easy to overlook how high she sings when you get swept up in the dance-pop beat and breakdancing montage in the video.

Critical reception agrees. The song, the lead single off Grande’s album My Everything, won “Best Pop Video” at the MTV Music Awards, as well as “Best Song” at the MTV Europe Awards.  

Song year: 2014

19. “Baby It’s You” by Smith

Two Es above middle C doesn’t sound all that inspiring on its own, but just wait until you hear the climax of this tune from the 60s. A hippie anthem and one-hit wonder for the band Smith, it’s a catchy mix of blues, folk, and rock that perfectly encapsulates the sound of the era.

Singer Gayle McCormick does the Burt Bacharach-penned tune justice with her heart-wrenching vocals. There’s no falsetto in the chorus at all, making it all the more astonishing that she can hit those high notes. Closer to Janis Joplin than any lyric soprano, the passion here is palpable.

Song year: 1969

Best Songs With High Notes, Final Thoughts

The human voice is fraught with tension and peace, love and anger. Which of those you want to portray depends on how you choose to use it. Psychologically, we recognize that the higher the pitch, the higher the intensity. It’s no joke that these singers have all mastered the art of making you believe they feel what they’re performing, thanks to some songs with high notes and a lot of expert talent.

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