Song of the Summer 2016: Billboard Editors' Picks

Songs of Summer 2016
Patrick Crowley


Drake's "One Dance" is the official song of summer 2016, but we polled Billboard editors to give us their personal picks for the hottest jams burning up their headphones for the past three months.

Drake's One Dance Is the No. 1 Song of the Summer

From Beyonce to Gucci Mane, Ariana Grande and more, here's what they said:

Skylar Grey, "Wreak Havoc"

I still haven't seen Suicide Squad. I thought that the promos looked cool, and then I never got around to seeing it. I probably won’t, at this point. But I love Skylar Grey’s “Wreak Havoc." Because it makes me feel like a badass while doing decidedly non-badass things, like washing dishes or formatting html or lighting a scented candle to rid my apartment of the smell of a mouse that apparently died in the wall. Because it reinforces a "don't mess with me" attitude when the streets feel like a sauna, everybody’s short-tempered and the New York City roaches are about to take flight. Grey's voice is pretty with a sinister note to it, which suits the overall tone of the song. She's the complete package, and she once again displays her songwriting chops here. Are you listening yet? You should. -- Rena Gross

Gucci Mane, "Waybach"

If the summertime is about relaxing with close friends, celebrating with the top down in the Maybach and flying down the highway at high speeds with barely a care in the world, then Gucci Mane succeeded with this track produced by go-to collaborators Mike WiLL Made-It and Zaytoven. For someone who has been locked up for the past three years and is finally back to releasing music, Gucci sounds carefree and happy, and "Waybach" captures that mood perfectly. Welcome home, Guwop. -- Dan Rys

Ariana Grande, "Into You"

Ariana Grande's sensual "Into You" is a confident declaration of attraction bolstered by the year's most beguiling dance-pop chorus. Speaking of dance-pop, that genre hasn't had a huge top 10 Billboard Hot 100 presence this year -- so whenever "Into You" comes on, it's a welcome dose of propulsive energy in a summer filled with laid-back hits from introspective Canadians (Drake, Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes are not bringing the dance floor, and we miss it). -- Joe Lynch

Unders - Syria

The actual song of the summer was clearly Drake's "One Dance," but there was no hotter track than "Syria" on this Billboard Dance editor's obscure, Berlin-influenced playlists. You won't be hearing Unders' eight-minute shaman house bomb on the radio anytime soon, but that's kind of the point. -- Matt Medved

Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna, "This Is What You Came For"

If you were to construct a Frankenstein's monster summer song it would be Calvin Harris and Rihanna's "This is What You Came For." (Skeptical? Peep the checklist: Does it have Rihanna? Check. Does it have a sly, inescapable Calvin Harris beat that sneaks up on you and defies you to stay seated? Check. Just enough lyrics to qualify as a song but not so much that you have to think about remembering them? Check. The obligatory ooh ooh oohs? Check. A sexy promise to go back to your place? Check. The unexpected breakup drama that revealed Harris' ex, Taylor Swift, helped write the song? Check, check. Does it slink away after four minutes leaving you feel like it just started? Check. Are you singing it right now without thinking about it? Check mate. -- Gil Kaufman

Carlos Vives and Shakira, “La Bicicleta”

If Carlos Vives and Shakira’s “La Bicicleta” didn’t want to make you go on an epic bike ride near the beach, you didn’t live this summer! The catchy lyrics and hummable riff to the vallenato-reggaeton track had me singing the tune all summer long and wishing that, like Shakira, I could ask Vives to take me on a bike ride along the Caribbean coast of Colombia. -- Griselda Flores

Enrique Iglesias feat. Wisin, “Duele el Corazón"

Enrique Iglesias' runaway new hit, featuring Wisin, begins with a simple, reggae-esque, two-beat guitar strum that immediately gets you going. It’s just the beginning. By the time it gets to the chorus, reminiscent of “Bailando” with its sultry, reggaeton beat, we’re so totally hooked, all we want to do is push “replay.” No wonder “Duele” is a hit on Shazam lists everywhere. -- Leila Cobo

Flo Rida, "My House"

Flo Rida's ubiquitous hits never cease to entertain me. And while away for a week, driving around in a car, "My House" constantly (and welcomely) blared over the speakers -- no matter which radio station was playing. And for those of us who know that "sometimes you gotta stay in," "My House" is the perfect party tune. -- Denise Warner

Phantogram, "You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”

Do you feel like letting go?” Electro-pop duo Phantogram delivered another all-the-feels single with the release of “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore.” The song starts with a heavy punch and reality creeps in. “Nothing is fun, not like before.” Your summer fling is over.  -- Leslie Richin

Beyonce, "Sorry"

After the two days it took for me to recover from the visual bliss that is Beyonce’s Lemonade, it became clear that I would have a difficult time picking a favorite song. Maybe it’s the way that “Don’t Hurt Yourself” flawlessly fades into “Sorry” or the guest appearance by Serena Williams in the video. Either way, “Sorry” takes the cake for (one of) my favorite tracks off the album and one that I proudly imagined I was in the music video for while I walked through New York City this summer. -- Alexa Shouneyia

Against the Current, “Running With the Wild Things” 

I was all about Fueled By Ramen Records when I was in high school, and this summer, I got really into one of their newer signees, Against the Current. The songwriting and execution across their 2016 debut album In Our Bones is super varied and compelling; it was a great summer listen because it sounded like something I would have blasted the first summer I had my license (2006), especially this opening track. -- Chris Payne

Young Thug, "Pick Up the Phone"

There’s no question that as far as numbers, Drake owned Summer Sixteen (just like he said he would) -- but ask rap critics, and it’s Young Thug who reigns their summer playlists. “Pick Up the Phone” is a perfect example of what the Atlanta trap heir brings to the rhetorical table: somehow warm and bubbly through its omnipresent glitchy Auto-Tune, it's “Hotline Bling” with soul. Joined by Travis Scott and Quavo, Thugger pleads -- believably -- through the sweetly catchy chorus (“Never will I cheat on you/ Never will I commit treason”). About seven layered synth lines, a lilting trap beat, and the combined hook-making powers of some of hip-hop’s most forward-thinking MCs add up to a richly textured single that -- still -- never loses its pop core. -- Natalie Weiner

Drake feat. Rihanna, "Too Good"

"One Dance" was all over your radio this summer, but "Too Good" was the Drake song I couldn't stop queuing up on Spotify. It has the same island vibe as Billboard's official Song of the Summer, but this one brings along island queen Rihanna for a perfect, and poignant, his-and-hers duet. "It feels like the only time you'll see me/ Is when you turn your head to the side and look at me differently," Drizzy raps in one of the best lines from the love-on-the-rocks song. "Too Good" will surely have its radio moment this fall, but for me, this screams Summer 16. -- Katie Atkinson

What was your Song of the Summer? Vote for your pick here.