A jukebox musical is a stage musical or musical film in which a majority of the songs are well-known popular music songs, rather than original music.
Some jukebox musicals use a wide variety of songs, while others confine themselves to songs performed by one singer or band, or written by one songwriter. In such cases, the plot is often a biography of the artist(s) in question. In other jukebox musicals, the plot is purely fictional. For musicals about a musician or musical act, some of the songs can be diegetic, meaning that they are performed within the world of the play or film. Works in which all of the music is diegetic, however, such as a biographical film about a singer who is at times shown performing their songs, are generally not considered jukebox musicals. 
Revues that lack a plot are also usually not described as jukebox musicals,  although plotless shows that include a dance element sometimes are. 
In Europe in the 17th and 18th century, many comic operas were produced that parodied popular songs of the time by performing them with modified lyrics. Comédie en vaudevilles and ballad operas are two genres that made heavy use of well-known melodies. The Beggar's Opera (1728), the first ballad opera and the most famous, has been called "the original jukebox musical". 
Films considered early examples of jukebox musicals include An American in Paris (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), Rock, Rock, Rock (1956) and Rock Around the Clock (1956).
The songwriting team of Robert Wright and George Forrest pioneered the concept of musicals whose songs are derived from one composer's instrumental works, with newly-written lyrics. Some of these musicals also told the life story of that composer. Musicals and operettas that they produced in this fashion include Song of Norway (1944, using the music of Edvard Grieg), Magdalena: a Musical Adventure (1948, music of Heitor Villa-Lobos), a 1949 reworking of the 1934 musical The Great Waltz (music of Johann Strauss I and Johann Strauss II), Kismet (1953, music of Alexander Borodin  ), and Anya (1965, music of Sergei Rachmaninoff).
The origin of the phrase "jukebox musical" in its current meaning is unclear. The word "jukebox" dates to around 1939. The first documented use of "jukebox musical" in print may have been in a 1962 description of the musical Do Re Mi ,  but that was a musical (with original music) about a man who sells jukeboxes. In a 1964 review of the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night , critic Andrew Sarris described that film as "the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals",  but he too may have had a meaning in mind other than the contemporary one, since most of that film's songs were original.
Although jukebox musicals had achieved success for years (for example, the 1989 musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story ), a surge in popularity was led by the success of Mamma Mia! (1999), built around the music of ABBA. 
The most common format for jukebox musicals is a show that tells the life story of a famous musician or musical group, while incorporating songs from throughout their career. Artists whose life and songs have served as the basis for a jukebox musical include Peter Allen, Susan Boyle, Shlomo Carlebach, Johnny Cash, Cher, Patsy Cline, Bobby Darin, The Drifters, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Buddy Holly, Michael Jackson (twice), Janis Joplin, Carole King, The Kinks, Fela Kuti, John Lennon, Udo Lindenberg, Bob Marley (twice), Johnny O'Keefe, The Seekers, Dusty Springfield (twice), Donna Summer, The Temptations, Tina Turner (twice), Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and Hank Williams.  Others who have gotten similar treatment include songwriter/producers Bert Berns, Berry Gordy and Ellie Greenwich, record producer Florence Greenberg, and composer/songwriter Norbert Glanzberg.
For jukebox musicals with a fictional plot, one common approach is to center the plot around one or more (fictional) singers or musicians, thus letting some of the songs be performed as songs within the show. Examples of such musicals include Boogie Nights (1998), Mamma Mia! (1999), We Will Rock You (2002), Hoy no me puedo levantar (2005), Bésame mucho, el musical (2005), Rock of Ages (2005), Daddy Cool (2006), Never Forget (2007), Viva Forever! (2012), All Out of Love (2018), and Jukebox Hero (2018).
Some jukebox musicals are adaptations of a film, in which songs from the film's soundtrack are now sung by the characters; examples include Saturday Night Fever (1998), Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (2006), Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical (2015) and the upcoming My Best Friend's Wedding .
Some shows and films combine original and previously-released songs; it may be a matter of opinion whether these qualify as jukebox musicals. For example, the stage musicals 42nd Street (1980), Five Guys Named Moe (1990), Crazy for You (1992), and Xanadu (2007) are all adaptations of earlier source material that added to the original score other well-known songs written by the original songwriters. The stage musicals The Last Ship (2014) and Standing at the Sky's Edge (2019) and film musicals Yellow Submarine (1968) and Idlewild (2006) are all musicals that combine original and previously-recorded songs by a single artist or group. Other films that combine old and original songs include Singin' in the Rain (1952), Trolls (2016), and Cinderella (2021).
|Year||Title||Based on the music of|
|1976||Bubbling Brown Sugar||Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, et al.|
|1978||Ain't Misbehavin'||Fats Waller|
|Year||Title||Based on the music of|
|1980||42nd Street||Al Dubin, Johnny Mercer, and Harry Warren|
|1984||Leader of the Pack||Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector|
|1986||Big Deal||Popular songs from the 1920s and 30s|
|1987||Hank Williams: Lost Highway||Hank Williams|
|1989||Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story||Buddy Holly, including many early rock "standards"|
|1989||Return to the Forbidden Planet||1960s rock and roll|
|Year||Title||Based on the music of|
|1996||Summer Holiday||Cliff Richard & The Shadows|
|1997||Boogie Nights||The 1970s|
|1998||Saturday Night Fever||Bee Gees and others|
|1999||Disco Inferno||1970s disco|
|1999||The Marvelous Wonderettes||Female vocal harmony groups of the 1950s and 1960s|
|Year||Title||Based on the music of|
|2001||Love, Janis||Janis Joplin|
|2001||Shout! The Legend of The Wild One||Johnny O'Keefe|
|2002||We Will Rock You||Queen|
|2002||Movin' Out||Billy Joel|
|2003||Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem||Daft Punk|
|2003||The Boy from Oz||Peter Allen|
|2003||Tonight's the Night||Rod Stewart|
|2003||Belles belles belles||Claude François|
|2004||On the Record||The Walt Disney Company|
|2005||Back to the 80's!||Various 80s pop artists|
|2005||Good Vibrations||The Beach Boys|
|2005||All Shook Up||Elvis Presley|
|2005||Jersey Boys||Frankie Valli and Four Seasons|
|2005||Hoy no me puedo levantar||Spanish group Mecano|
|2005||Bésame mucho, el musical||Mexican and Cuban bolero songs|
|2006||Dusty – The Original Pop Diva||Dusty Springfield|
|2006||Hot Feet||Earth, Wind & Fire|
|2006||Priscilla, Queen of the Desert||Various artists, based on the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert|
|2006||Daddy Cool||Frank Farian|
|2006||Ring of Fire||Johnny Cash|
|2006||Rock of Ages||Glam metal of the 1980s|
|2006||The Times They Are a-Changin'||Bob Dylan|
|2006||The Onion Cellar||The Dresden Dolls|
|2007||Desperately Seeking Susan||Blondie|
|2007||Never Forget||Take That|
|2007||Ich war noch niemals in New York||Udo Jürgens|
|2007||Xanadu||Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton-John|
|2007||Sunshine on Leith||The Proclaimers|
|2007||The Slide||The Beautiful South|
|2008||All the Fun of the Fair||David Essex|
|2008||Je m'voyais déjà : Le musical||Charles Aznavour|
|2009||Dreamboats and Petticoats||Compilation album of songs from the 1950s and early 1960s|
|2009||Mentiras, el musical||Mexican songs from the 1980s|
|2009||Life Could Be a Dream||Doo-wop music circa 1960|
|2009||American Idiot||Green Day album with the same name|
|Year||Title||Based on the music of|
|2010||Perfect Harmony||Various artists (ranging from The Jackson 5, to Pat Benatar)|
|2010||Everyday Rapture||Various artists (ranging from Judy Garland and The Supremes, to Mr. Rogers)|
|2010||Come Fly Away||Frank Sinatra|
|2010||Million Dollar Quartet||Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash|
|2010||Padam Padam : Le spectacle musical||Norbert Glanzberg|
|2011||Baby It's You!||Popular songs from the 1960s produced by Florence Greenberg|
|2011||Si nos dejan||Mexican songs from the 1930s to 1950s|
|2011||Hinterm Horizont||Udo Lindenberg|
|2012||The Bodyguard||Whitney Houston|
|2012||I Dreamed a Dream||Susan Boyle|
|2012||Raiding the Rock Vault ||Various classic rock songs|
|2012||Viva Forever!||Spice Girls|
|2012||Soul Sister||Tina Turner|
|2012||Disaster!||Popular songs from the 1970s|
|2012||Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots||The Flaming Lips|
|2013||Beautiful: The Carole King Musical||Carole King|
|2013||Soul Doctor||Shlomo Carlebach and Nina Simone|
|2013||Motown: The Musical||Motown|
|2014||Bullets Over Broadway||Popular songs from the 1910s and 20s, based on the film Bullets Over Broadway|
|2014||Holler If Ya Hear Me||Tupac Shakur|
|2014||Cyrano de BurgerShack||Various artists including Carly Rae Jepsen and Smash Mouth |
|2014||Sunny Afternoon||The Kinks|
|2014||Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story||Bert Berns|
|2015||On Your Feet!||Emilio Estefan and Gloria Estefan|
|2015||One Love: The Bob Marley Musical||Bob Marley|
|2015||Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical||Popular songs from the 1990s, based on the movie Cruel Intentions|
|2015||Georgy Girl||The Seekers and other popular songs of the 1960s|
|2016||Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical||Bobby Darin|
|2017||The Band||Take That|
|2017||Noites de Verão||Britney Spears, based on the play A Midsummer Night's Dream|
|2017||Part of the Plan||Dan Fogelberg|
|2017||Girl from the North Country||Bob Dylan|
|2017||Summer: The Donna Summer Musical||Donna Summer|
|2017||I am from Austria||Rainhard Fendrich|
|2017||Bat Out of Hell: The Musical||Jim Steinman|
|2018||Dusty – The Dusty Springfield Musical||Dusty Springfield|
|2018||Escape to Margaritaville||Jimmy Buffett|
|2018||Ang Huling El Bimbo||Eraserheads|
|2018||Jagged Little Pill||Alanis Morissette|
|2018||Head over Heels||The Go-Go's|
|2018||The Cher Show||Cher|
|2018||Clueless||Popular songs from the 1990s, based on the movie Clueless|
|2018||All Out of Love  ||Air Supply|
|2018||Ain't Too Proud||The Temptations|
|2018||Moulin Rouge!||Various artists|
|2019||Club Tropicana||Various artists from the 1980s|
|2019||Standing at the Sky's Edge||Richard Hawley|
|2019||& Juliet||Max Martin|
|Year||Title||Based on the music of|
|2020||POP- Uma Volta no Tempo||Popular songs from girl groups and boy bands|
|2021||The Drifters Girl||The Drifters|
|2021||Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical||Bob Marley|
|2021||What's New Pussycat?||Tom Jones|
|2021||Je vais t'aimer||Michel Sardou|
|2021||Once Upon a One More Time||Britney Spears|
|2022||MJ the Musical||Michael Jackson|
|2022||The Osmonds||The Osmonds|
|TBA||My Best Friend's Wedding||Burt Bacharach and Hal David, based on the film My Best Friend's Wedding|
In a different category are films or stage musicals based around a concept album, in which the story being told is not original but rather a fleshed-out version of the narrative already contained in the album. Examples include:
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It will include many classic soul songs, including Mustang Sally, but most definitely will not be a "jukebox musical", said Doyle.