Karaoke is an innocent activity that many enjoy doing when hanging out with their friends – but did you know that singing a certain song can put you in danger?
That’s right, more than a dozen people in the Philippines are said to have been murdered in a decade while singing the same hugely popular song: Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
In a strange phenomenon known as My Way Killings, the 1969 American classic has now been hailed by many as the world’s deadliest karaoke track – after many people were killed while performing to interpret the number.
One of the victims was brutally killed for singing out of tune, while another was stabbed for refusing to share the microphone – but the one thing they and many others had in common when they were killed was that they were performing the very popular ballad.
In the Philippines, more than a dozen people were murdered over the course of a decade while doing karaoke and singing the same hugely popular song: My Way by Frank Sinatra (stock image)
As part of a strange phenomenon known as My Way Killings, the 1969 classic has now been hailed by many as the deadliest karaoke track in the world. Sinatra is seen in 1966
When My Way was first released in the late ’60s, it quickly became one of Sinatra’s most popular songs. So it’s no surprise that it has become a staple for people singing at karaoke bars.
But for many people in the Philippines, it sadly became the last thing they heard, as they were tragically killed while singing it.
In 2007, Romy Baligula, a 29-year-old man, was shot to death at a San Mateo karaoke bar while performing the song.
This was reported by CBS At that point, security guard Robilito Ortega, 43, was furious that Romy handed in the notes incorrectly. So he pulled out a .38 caliber pistol and fired, hitting him in the chest.
In 2018, a man named Jose Bosmion, Jr., 61, was killed by his neighbor, Rolando Cañeso, 28, in Manila while singing My Way at his birthday party.
According to a local mediaThings turned violent after José grabbed Rolando’s microphone and began monopolizing it, refusing to give it back.
The two became embroiled in a fight and Rolando pulled out a knife and viciously stabbed José.
And these are just two of the many incidents related to the song, with Squire reporting in 2019 that the number of people who died while singing the track had risen to more than 12.
The violence has become so bad that many karaoke bar owners in the Asian country have removed the song from their repertoire. A main street in Manila is seen above
When My Way was first released in the late ’60s, it quickly became one of Sinatra’s most popular songs. So it’s no surprise that it has become a staple for people singing at karaoke bars. Sinatra is photographed performing in 1949
The violence has become so bad that many karaoke bar owners in the Asian country have removed the song from their repertoire.
The government even passed a bill in 2018 that imposed a 10 p.m. curfew for karaoke bars. However, it is unclear whether or not this has to do with the My Way murders.
Many locals are terrified of singing this song in public. A Filipino named Rodolfo Gregorio told the New York Times in 2010, “I loved My Way, but after all this trouble, I stopped singing it. You can get killed.
“The problem with My Way is that everyone knows it and everyone has an opinion,” he added.
Butch Albarracin, owner of a singing school in the country, speculated that the reason the song has caused so much tension is because the lyrics are very “arrogant”.
“The lyrics evoke feelings of pride and arrogance in the singer, like you’re somebody when you’re really nobody. It covers up your failures. That’s why it leads to fights,” he said.
“And now the end is here. And so I face this final curtain. My friend, let me be clear. I will state my case, of which I am certain,” read the lyrics.
“I have lived a full life. I have traveled all the highways. And much more, I did it, I did it my way.
A “pop culture expert” and student at the University of the Philippines named Roland B. Tolentino said the killings stemmed from the country being a “very violent society” as a whole.
“Karaoke only triggers what already exists here when certain social rules are violated,” he said.