Karaoke is the act of singing to a prerecorded accompaniment. Originally developed in Kobe, Japan, in the early 1970s, the term karaoke comes from two Japanese terms-karappu (kara for short), meaning empty, and okerestu (oke for short), meaning orchestra (a word borrowed from English). Literally then, karaoke means empty orchestra, although it can be more precisely glossed as “instant empty vocal track with recorded orchestra accompaniment and superimposed text; just add hot singer.” The point and analogy I want to make is that karaoke is not empty at all. Just as instant coffee is not coffee until you add hot water, karaoke does not exist until you add a person (or several people) who enjoy singing for aesthetic pleasure. Therefore, the process of singing is just as important as the end result. In Vietnam, karaoke is driven by the pop star syndrome, where the singer karaokes (used as a verb) to be a pop music star for a few minutes or to gain valuable experience singing with an accompaniment on her or his bumpy road to stardom. Anh Thư explains the latter phenomenon: “At night, [the aspiring young pop music star wannabe] sings in cafes or karaoke bars, treating it as practice for the time when he breaks through into the country’s pop music scene” (2003). Therefore, karaoking (or karaokeing) is taken very seriously. Also, in Vietnam, government offi cials don’t trust it for political reasons; entrepreneurs and hostesses need it for profi t making; and young people, families, and businessmen enjoy experiencing it for diversion and socializing.