11 Soulful Songs to Sing for Auditions and School Talent Shows

The aspiring performer could probably use a list of 11 soulful songs to sing for auditions and school talent shows. After all, you’ll have to choose songs that really charm your audience.

Never fear, in our list below, we’ve compiled both classic and contemporary songs that your audience is sure to love. There are picks for both male and female voices, good solo songs to sing, good songs to sing acapella, and we even threw a few songs in that would work well as duets. As a bonus, there’s even a holiday-themed song perfect for the upcoming season.

But what even is a soulful song? According to the dictionary, “soulful” means “expressing or appearing to express deep and often sorrowful feeling.” It’s easy to see how this definition transfers to music. Soulful songs are often relatively slow and expressive, and they’re specially designed to show off great voices. (But on the other hand, if you don’t have a great voice and you sing a soulful song, everyone will probably know it so beware.) Soulful music could also be defined as emotionally moving. Because hey, if you can’t move an audience with your voice, why not move them with your lyrics? You’re a lot more likely to get a good mark for it. Sing something that will penetrate the heart and force people to apply the song to their own personal lives.

11 Soulful Songs to Sing for Auditions and School Talent Shows


Soulful music isn’t necessarily sad, but much of it is. Especially the song that made number one on our list. Sad music is a good thing, sometimes. It makes you think and feel more deeply, and it even makes you play back your life as if it were a movie or a music video sometimes. Some types of African American music is additionally considered soulful, because of its deep tones and often catchy rhythm. (We’ve got a great pick by an African American below, so stay tuned.)

All that said, there’s no denying that soulful music includes some of the best songs to sing for a talent show, and good songs to sing for auditions as well. This list includes some great talent show songs to dance to as well, so get your dancing shoes ready.

Many of our songs in our list of soulful songs to sing for auditions and school talent shows came from this YouTube list of “Soul Music,” if you’re curious. We gauged them by the amount of YouTube views they received. As a result, we listed the songs by increasing popularity, number one being the song with the most views.

It’s often best to choose a widely loved song rather than one no one knows in an audition, anyways. Sure, other types of songs and genres could be effective in a talent show or audition, and we’re not hating on other types of music by any means. But soulful music wins out nearly every time in a situation like this. Take Kelly Clarkson’s winning 2008 audition, as well as Carrie Underwood’s 2005 one. Want to see your audience wide-eyed and hypnotized by your performance? Choose a soulful song on this list of 11 soulful songs to sing for auditions and talent shows. You won’t regret it.

And if you’d like to check out a few more of our lists, see 12 Best Karaoke Songs for Altos and 11 Best Karaoke Songs for Tenors. And now, relax, choose one of the best tasting junk food snacks to buy at the grocery store and listen to some good music. Of course, best of luck with your audition!