Opera fans have nothing on the "My Way Killings"

Opera fans have nothing on the "My Way Killings"

Jenna Simeonov

Opera fans are known for their passionate opinions, but this is something else entirely.

Karaoke is pretty huge in the Philippines, and apparently the standards of performance are held to dangerously high levels. In fact between roughly 2002 and 2012, there were about six instances of karaoke-induced violence, which later became known as the “My Way Killings”. Yup, as in the song “My Way”, famously popularised by Frank Sinatra in the late 1960s.

Six times, the unsatisfactory singing of “My Way” had fatal consequences. For example, in 2007 a security guard outside a karaoke bar shot and killed a 29 year-old man who was singing the Sinatra song out of tune; to be fair (?!), the security guard first asked the man to stop singing, and only shot the guy when he didn’t stop.

In response, “My Way” has been taken off the playlists for a bunch of karaoke machines in Manila, and lots of karaoke lovers now refuse to sing the song in public, for fear of judgement or getting shot. Apparently, Filipino karaoke bars can get pretty rowdy, and even dangerous, but it’s not completely clear if the “My Way Killings” have to do with the local karaoke culture, or with the song itself.

It’s not all about “My Way”, though. In 2008 a man in a Malaysian karaoke bar kept the microphone for so long that other patrons stabbed him to death; a similar event happened in 2013 in Thailand, and in China an insane man responded with a meat cleaver to complaints that his 4 year-old son was hogging the microphone.

Anyway. Opera fans tend to be opinionated and picky, but we’re positively dull compared to the hardcore karaoke scene.


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