Nothing is more satisfying than a talented singer hitting a high note that gives you chills or takes your breath away! Belting can heighten emotion and tension, and falsettos are perfect for creating an intimate setting.
Our list of songs with high notes features some of the most impressive notes by some of the most iconic musicians of all time, many of them being female singers. Test the limits of your vocal range, trying to hit the notes in the hardest songs to sing!
Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
Kate Bush stays in an impressively high head voice for almost the entire song, and it works well for the fable-like feel of ‘Wuthering Heights.’ The track tells the same story as the novel by Emily Brontë, referencing the characters, the setting, and the plot points: “Heathcliff, it’s me, I’m Cathy. I’ve come home. I’m so cold.”
Related: Hear this song on our list of awesome 70s songs.
Rolling in the Deep – Adele
Adele is well-known for her powerhouse vocals, and the chorus of ‘Rolling in the Deep’ explodes into gut-wrenching belting. Adele is angry in this song, speaking to an ex that ruined her. She sings, “we could’ve had it all,” to mourn what could have been if this other person had not betrayed her.
Related: Check out more songs about traitors.
Dream On – Aerosmith
One of Aerosmith’s biggest hits, ‘Dream On,’ has memorable guitar melodies and drums that help build tension throughout the song. The track is about following your dreams even when life makes it hard. You’re anticipating a high note or beat drop the whole time, and boy, does Aerosmith deliver! After asking you to sing with them, the vocals reach a wailing belt exclaiming, “dream on, dream until your dreams come true.” Hopefully, you can hit high notes!
Related: Enjoy our playlist of songs with dreams.
Sweetest Thing – U2
The ‘Sweetest Thing’ U2 talks about in this great track is, of course, love. But there is an ominous element to the song, with the lyrics switching between calling love “the sweetest thing” and naming all the unhealthy things this woman does. The line “she throws me like a rubber ball, but she won’t catch me or break my fall” shows that this woman may not have the best intentions, but the narrator loves her anyway.
Related: Here are the best songs about toxic love.
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
Perhaps one of the most famous high notes of all time, and certainly one that many other musicians dream of replicating, the belted note on “I” is iconic. Whitney Houston did an amazing job with this song, but did you know Dolly Parton wrote and recorded the original version? Houston’s emotion is palpable as she says goodbye to a love she knows she will never move on from.
Related: This song features on our list of songs from The Bodyguard movie.
Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
Robert Plant, the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, can hit some pretty high notes, and his wailing rasp is enchanting. ‘Black Dog’ is about the end of a relationship after Plant discovers the woman is just a gold digger. This woman took his car and money and never really loved him. Plant is devastated, praying for a love that is actually true.
Related: Hear more tunes about our four-legged friends on our list of music about dogs.
Animals – Maroon 5
Lead singer Adam Levine has an impressive range, and he shows it off in ‘Animals,’ a song about a love that brings out his feral side. He warns this person, “I’m preying on you tonight, hunt you down, eat you alive.” The song is super catchy, heightening the energy as if preparing for a hunt.
Related: Head over to our list of songs with animals.
I’ll Never Love Again – Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga steals breaths and stops hearts with this emotional piano ballad from the soundtrack of A Star is Born. In the context of the movie, this song is sung by Lady Gaga’s character after her husband has taken his own life. Her devastation makes her believe that she’ll never be able to move on with someone else, singing, “I don’t wanna know this feelin’ unless it’s you and me.”
Related: You can hear this tune on our list of songs from A Star is Born.
Somebody to Love – Queen
The song’s narrator is desperate for love, crying out that he knows he deserves it! The choir-like vocals and building melodies make it sound like a true gospel song, which adds even more tension. After a riveting guitar solo, lead singer Freddie Mercury belts with his whole chest, “can anybody find me somebody to love?”
Halo – Beyoncé
A defining song of the late 2000s, ‘Halo’ is a beautiful ballad about transcendental love. Beyoncé has found someone she can let her guard down with, and she feels washed with the light of their halo. Her gripping vocal runs and passionate high notes make the listener feel that deep love too.
Creep – Radiohead
‘Creep’ is a grunge rock song full of self-loathing. The narrator admires the song’s subject, but she feels completely out of his league. He asks himself, “I’m a weirdo; what the hell am I doing here?” because he doesn’t think he’s worthy of this woman. The bridge hits some really high notes that make you feel the narrator’s torment. There’s a postmodern jukebox cover of ‘Creep’ by Haley Reinhart, and it’s definitely worth a listen if you want even more high notes!
Related: Here are the best songs about not being enough to remind you that you’re perfect.
You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
James Blunt has a nice rasp to his voice, which makes the high melodies in the chorus carry extra passion. Blunt sings about running into an ex with her new man, and though the song seems loving at the surface level, it has an obsessive edge. Blunt just can’t seem to move on from the love they used to have.
Related: Listen to more songs about a beautiful woman.
Lovin’ You – Minnie Riperton
Minnie Riperton’s lilting voice is enthralling in ‘Lovin’ You,’ and she even hits some whistle notes in the chorus! The love Riperton is experiencing takes her to great heights, and she revels in the feeling with lyrics like “lovin’ you is more than just a dream come true” and “we will live each day in springtime.”
Emotions – Mariah Carey
‘Emotions’ compares being in love to being intoxicated and flying high. Mariah Carey’s spectacular range matches this well, as she hits notes that most of us can only dream of (including some whistle notes!). Carey marvels at everything this person is making her feel, singing, “you’ve got me feeling emotions higher than the heavens above.”
Related: How are you feeling? Check out the best songs about emotions and feelings.
Chandelier – Sia
Escapism through drinking alcohol and partying is never a good idea, but it can seem fun in the moment, like if you tried to swing from a chandelier! Sia sings about this lifestyle and how she is just seeking freedom. Her insanely strong vocals in the chorus hit hard, and it can be pretty amusing to try and sing along.
Related: Feel free as a bird with the best songs about breaking free.
If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys gets real in this song, separating herself from those who live superficially in search of material things. She says, “Some people want it all, but I don’t want nothin’ at all if it ain’t you, baby.” Keys has a captivating voice that reaches spectacular heights and took home a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for this song.
Related: This tune is one of the top romantic songs, perfect for any date night.
Stone Cold – Demi Lovato
‘Stone Cold’ is a powerful ballad about the pain of watching an ex move on without you. Demi Lovato compares this feeling to being “stone cold,” an emotional death. The high notes in this song, especially at the closing of the track, are full of agony, and Lovato does a beautiful job delivering them.
Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
This classic rock song features growling vocals, intense drums, and awesome synths. It tells the story of various people struggling to make ends meet. They work so hard, but at the end of the day, they’re just “living on a prayer.” Still, the song offers inspiration, saying, “take my hand, we’ll make it, I swear.”
Related: Sing along with the songs on our 80s karaoke songs playlist.
I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness
Lead singer Justin Hawkins switches nonsensically between his chest voice and falsetto, and it’s almost a comedic effect that shows how quickly love can make you feel like you’re on another plain of existence. Hawkins sings, “I believe in a thing called love, just listen to the rhythm of my heart,” which must be beating rapidly to keep up with the quick tempo of this song.
Video Games – Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey sings about love in this iconic song, but it’s almost hard to tell if the love is healthy due to the contrast between the lyrics and the production style. The line “heaven is a place on Earth with you” is directly at war with the ominous synths and the minor key. It makes the song thought-provoking, having us consider if this is true love or an unhealthy devotion.
Into the Unknown – Panic! At The Disco
This song was written for the 2019 Disney movie, Frozen 2. Panic! At The Disco’s cover was used as the lead single for the soundtrack. The song is directly tied to Elsa’s storyline in Frozen, where she tries to decide if she should follow the call of an unknown voice. This fear of the uncertain can apply to all of us—sometimes, we know something is meant for us, but we are afraid to chase it because we don’t know what will happen.
Related: Hear the original song on our list of the most popular Disney songs.
One Last Time – Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande has a powerful voice, and though she is known for her breathy pop tracks, the woman can belt! ‘One Last Time’ is a request to an ex to be together just once more. Grande feels she can’t move on until they have one more night together. After the tragic attacks at Grande’s Manchester show in 2017, this song morphed into an homage to the people who lost their lives.
Related: Hurry and listen to these running out of time songs!
Sweet Sacrifice – Evanescence
Evanescence is known for its gritty punk rock style and haunting vocals. Amy Lee’s siren-like voice draws us in, making us hold on to her every word and gasp at her high notes. The song grapples with the complexity of dark emotions, asking, “do you wonder why you hate?”
Skinny Love – Birdy
‘Skinny Love’ was originally recorded and released by Bon Iver, but both versions are uniquely heartbreaking. Birdy’s sweet and quivering vocals make it clear just how much she is hurting from the end of this love. Towards the closing of the track, when she belts, “come on, skinny love,” you can feel how badly she needs this love to survive and how much she fears it won’t.
Related: Listen to more of the best piano music.
Fields of Joy – Lenny Kravitz
‘Fields of Joy’ is a peaceful song about finding paradise, and the soft and sweet vocals of Lenny Kravitz welcome you in. He sings of walking through the fields of joy with his love, eager for the time when “all trouble slowly fades away.” The song starts acoustic but quickly becomes more intense, featuring an awesome guitar solo.
Before We Disappear – Chris Cornell
This song reminds us of our own mortality, talking about how life is too short to waste your years holding back. Chris Cornell seems to be speaking to a partner, encouraging them to live in the moment with him and stop hesitating. He asks, “how hard can it be to share your life with me?” He wants to spend his life in love rather than waiting around for it.
Float On – Modest Mouse
If you’re ever going through a time in life when things seem irreparably bleak, ‘Float On’ reminds you that even “bad” things can turn out alright. The opening line, “I backed my car into a cop car the other day, well, he just drove off. Sometimes, life’s okay,” is an example of how the worst doesn’t always happen!
Related: These songs about not giving up on love will encourage you to keep going.
All by Myself – Celine Dion
‘All by Myself’ was originally by Eric Carmen, but Celine Dion’s version is more universally known. Dion faces loneliness in this track, yelling to the universe that she doesn’t want to be alone anymore. After a childhood of being independent, she finds that she is now far too lonely and wishes things could change.
Thriller – Michael Jackson
‘Thriller’ becomes super popular every year around Halloween due to its spooky themes, but it’s a great song for any month! Michael Jackson sings about evil creatures in the dark, using high notes to make the song even eerier. The music video for ‘Thriller’ is one of the most iconic videos ever—nearly everyone knows at least some of the choreography, and the Library of Congress even added it to the National Film Registry in 2009!
Related: It’s no surprise this song is on our playlist of Halloween inspired songs.
Hurt – Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera gets vulnerable in this emotional track about her father’s passing. The ballad is full of belted notes and anguished melodies as Aguilera sings about everything she wished she had said while her father was still alive. She wonders if he is still watching over her, and offers him forgiveness, singing, “I’m sorry for blaming you for everything I just couldn’t do.”
Related: Dealing with emotional pain? Here are some sad songs about being hurt.
Mirrors – Justin Timberlake
‘Mirrors’ is a pure love song, and Justin Timberlake eventually admitted that he had written it about his wife, Jessica Biel. With the song coming in at just over eight minutes, it seems he had a lot to say! Timberlake compares Biel to a mirror, his other half. He sees himself in her and knows that she completes him.
Related: Show your man some love with the best songs for your boyfriend.
Dusk Till Dawn – Zayn
A duet by Zayn and Sia, ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ is a moving ballad. The pair sings about wanting to be there for each other through everything, despite the hard times they may have had in the past. They reassure each other, “you’ll never be alone. I’ll be with you from dusk till dawn,” and their high notes show their dedication to making that true.
Related: Love isn’t always a walk in the park, so here are some songs for relationship problems.