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“My Way Killings” in The Philippines and other Karaoke Murders

“My Way Killings” in The Philippines and other Karaoke Murders.

People enjoy singing karaoke, others enjoy laughing at their terrible singing. However most people understand singing terribly doesn’t warrant a death sentence.

Not in the Philippines, at least when it comes to one particular song, and it’s led to numerous rage killings.

In the Philippines, they enjoy karaoke a little more than the rest of us and it has led to the “My Way Killings”. A series of murders tied to the Frank Sinatra song My Way.

The "My Way Killings" in the Philippines. “My Way Killings” in The Philippines and other Karaoke Murders

The “My Way Killings” in the Philippines

Karaoke singing is a widespread, popular pastime in the Philippines, including among the poor, where many were earning about $2 a day in 2007 and could purchase time on a “videoke” machine for 5 pesos (about 10 cents in US currency).

Filipinos who can afford to do so often get private rooms at karaoke bars. You’ll soon see why they choose to sing in private..

Since January 16, 1998, about a half-dozen incidents occurred in connection with strenuous complaints over the singing of the song “My Way”, prompting Filipino newspapers to name the phenomenon the “‘My Way’ killings”.

Media attention to the My Way Killings

Attention to these killings peaked on May 29, 2007, when a 29-year-old karaoke singer was shot dead by a security guard at a bar in San Mateo, Rizal.

The guard complained the young man’s rendition of “My Way” was off-key, but the man refused to stop singing, prompting the guard to pull out a .38-caliber pistol and shoot the man dead.

As of 2007, the song reportedly had been taken off the playlists of karaoke machines in many bars in Manilla, after complaints about out of time renditions of the song, resulting in violent fights and murders.

Frank sinatra my way killings

Explanations for the”My Way Killings”

The explanations for why the “my way Killings” occur vary widely but most agree with Butch Albarracin.

Butch Albarracin, the owner of “Center for Pop”, a Manila-based singing school, also believes the lyrics of “My Way” increase the violence. The lyrics, as he explained,


“The lyrics of My Way evoke feelings of pride and arrogance in the singer, as if you’re somebody when you’re really nobody. It covers up your failures. That’s why it leads to fights.”

Other incidents involving karaoke rage

Cases of singers being harassed, assaulted or killed mid-performance were being reported all over East and Southeast Asia. Incidents of “karaoke rage” outside of Asia have also been documented. Below are some cases reported in the media.

August 2007 Karaoke Attack

A karaoke singer in Seattle was attacked by a woman who wanted him to stop singing Coldplay’s “yellow”

8 Karaoke Murders in March 2008

A man was arrested in Thailand for shooting eight people to death, including his brother-in-law, in a dispute stemming from several karaoke offerings, including repeated renditions of John Denver’s “Take me Home”

Karaoke Murder in December 2008

A man at a Malaysia coffee shop hogged the karaoke microphone so long he was stabbed to death by other patrons.

Two Karaoke Murders in August 2012

A fight over the microphone broke out in a Chinese karaoke parlor, with a man killing two others with a meat cleaver. Damnit Boy!

July 2013 Karaoke Rage Killing

An American was stabbed to death for refusing to stop singing in a karaoke bar in Krabi, Thailand.

Conclusion to “My Way Killings” in The Philippines and other Karaoke Murders

If you’re going to a karaoke bar, you understand, it’s part of the deal people are going to be singing badly.

If you’re not able to handle that, you should probably stay at home. Another thing, if you sing so badly that it causes random strangers to feel the need to murder you, maybe stay off the microphone.

Don’t forget to share!

“My Way Killings” in The Philippines and other Karaoke Murders

Thoughts?