I think it is safe to say I am really good at bad karaoke. Read into that whatever you would like, but let me assure you it means I am an uncontested expert in the area of gifts for the karaoke enthusiast.
1. A hairbrush.
I find this one pleasing for its microphone qualities, although full confession, I am suggesting a dog hairbrush as I have not used a human hairbrush in my adult life.
$12.81 as pictured (try your local pet store)
2. A bunch of bananas.
See microphone suggestion above. Good for ensemble performances. And snacks, but not if they are too ripe. Gross!
$1.80, approximate (your local grocery or bodega)
3. An epic karaoke practice playlist…
…with all your favorite songs for them to sing. Song choice SO matters. This could be a good soundtrack for a little road trip to a town away from home, where you can both sing in anonymity!
FREE (just your time and love)
Great for your road trip, this innovation broadcasts across the radio waves to a receiver (very) near you. I don’t actually know if they make this anymore but I want to reclaim Mr. Mic from the creepy dude who lurked around in this ad in the early 1980s, announcing, “Hey, good lookin’! We’ll be back to pick you up later.” (See also: Radio Bart, where Mr. Microphone basically gets Bart Simpson trapped in a well. Come to think of it, maybe this is not such a good idea…)
I know the listing implies that it’s a dress. It’s a shirt. I’m recommending this one for the HUGE shiny discs that seem to move even in this still image. Imagine it under the lights! I can just see the reflections of the crowd already! Also acceptable: this cute tee that goes up to XXL, this short-sleeved dress, this tank, this vintage diva shirt, this “caftan” (not a caftan) dress, this shirt with “dripping bottom” (?!), this silver lame number, and this jaguar tee, from varying decades to fit whatever era of stardom your superstar is most at home in. The right pair of sparklepants would be GREAT. Or find this kids’ tee in my size (I mean, your friend’s size. Your “friend” is a L-XL.) Let’s not forget that flannel can also be bedazzled, it’s cold out there. Or get creative! This fabric would make a cute top. Let’s be honest though, it would make a good cape too. Less work, potentially more drama.
$21.50-$$$ (various thrift stores, Etsy, etc.)
6. This Whitney Houston album…
…which is the best Whitney Houston album (don’t @ me, haters!). It can either be inspiration or a lesson onto your recipient: nobody sings like Whitney. Not even Cristina.
$3.99 and up, depending on format and your bargain hunting patience (eBay, your local thrift store, iTunes, etc.)
7. Time at a private karaoke booth.
8. Arrange a karaoke hangout.
Maybe it’s that local spot with a live-saxophonist-as-KJ. The best dive bar in your town. Live band karaoke. Or play some games with it…try scare-ee-oke, where you pick all their songs for each other, or do a block of songs on a theme. Pull together a few friends, supply encouragement, a few beverages, snacks. Or just be there. The real gift for your karaoke superstar is an audience. And you, my friend, are a good one.