Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Taylor Swift & More: What's the Song of the Fall?
As the weather cools, what songs will heat up? Radio programmers make their picks.
As of 4:21 EDT this morning, it officially became fall. While we'll soon be covering our ears with earmuffs, we'll also be exposing them to some of the new season's biggest hits.
What will those songs be?
With OMI's "Cheerleader" having taken the title of Billboard's top song of the summer of 2015, Billboard reached out to pop radio programmers for picks on what songs could rule fall. From hits by The Weeknd to Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and more, here's what's likely to be the soundtrack as the leaves, and playlists, change.
Phil Guerini, vp programming/GM, Radio Disney:
Current songs in our rotation getting good listener reaction include Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean?," Nick Jonas' "Levels," Hailee Steinfeld's "Love Myself," Becky G's "Break a Sweat" and Daya's "Hide Away."
Brand new music we're excited about includes DNCE's "Cake by the Ocean," Demi Lovato's "Confident" and Phoebe Ryan's "Mine."
Among the biggest new albums in the fourth quarter, and stocking-stuffers this holiday season, should be by Bieber, One Direction and Selena Gomez, plus Jacob Whitesides' EP and Skylar Stecker's This Is Me.
Kid Kelly, vp pop, SiriusXM, program director, Hits 1, Venus:
Taylor Swift's "Wildest Dreams" and The Weeknd's "The Hills" are certainties, along with new music from Adele. Sam Smith's "Writing's on the Wall," from the upcoming James Bond movie Spectre, should be big. And, sales of "Hide Away" by Daya (a Hits 1 "Artist to Follow") give every indication that she's going to explode.
Alex Tear, senior vp programming, iHeartMedia Miami/national programming, top 40:
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are digging in with "Downtown." The buzz should be loud to close out the year and roll into 2016.
Others to watch: the Chainsmokers' "Roses"; Kygo's "Firestone," featuring Conrad Sewell; Sewell's own "Hold Me Up"; and Skrillex, Diplo and AlunaGeorge's "To U."
Erik Bradley, assistant PD/music director, WBBM Chicago:
The latest from Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis should continue to be huge. I anticipate big things from Ellie Goulding's "On My Mind," the forthcoming Ariana Grande project and follow-up hits for Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez ("Same Old Love"), 5 Seconds of Summer and OMI, who, with "Hula Hoop," should prove to be even more than "Cheerleader."
I'm also excited about Audien's "Something Better," featuring Lady Antebellum.
Rich Minor, PD, Nate Mumford, APD/MD, WDAQ Danbury, Conn.:
We love R. City's "Locked Away," featuring Adam Levine. That could make the best case for top song of the fall. Taylor Swift's latest is a sure-fire bet to hit No. 1. And, X Ambassadors' "Renegades" is looking very strong.
Jeremy Rice, PD, WBLI Nassau, N.Y.:
The Weeknd is on fire. I called "Can't Feel My Face" as one of the summer's biggest hits, and now "The Hills" is No. 1. I also love Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean?" – it's a great pop song – and the new Selena Gomez.
Personally? I'd like to see Justin Timberlake make some new music.
Tommy Chuck, PD, WIHT Washington, D.C.:
The latest singles from Taylor Swift and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are great. I'm rooting for Justin Bieber and am excited to hear all of his new music. I'm happy to see the personal turnaround he's making.
Charese Fruge, vp programming, CBS Radio Houston:
R. City's Locked Away will be around for a while. I love the new Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; they paint a picture and, true to their style, I laugh or smile through the entire song. I also see enormous potential for Halsey's "New Americana," especially with millennials.
As for more adult-leaning new pop hits: Andy Grammer's "Good to Be Alive." After "Honey, I'm Good.," it displays more of the depths of his talent. Another pleasure is St. Motel's "Just My type."
And, I am 100 percent positive that anything new from Adele is going to be huge. It's time for her to step back into the spotlight.