Hot 100 Festival

Zedd, Camila Cabello & More Hot 100 Fest Artists Weigh In: Is 'Despacito' or 'Closer' the Ultimate Summer Song?

Zedd at the Hot 100 Music Festival, 2017
Aaron Richter

Zedd photographed at the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Aug. 19, 2017 in Wantagh, New York.

This year's Hot 100 Fest has come and gone, with Long Island's Northwell Health at Jones Beach Amphitheater seeing hit after hit performed across the four stages and two days (Aug. 19 and 20) from Demi Lovato's "Confident" to DJ Khaled's chart-topping "I'm the One." But while festgoers were dancing to some of the summer's hottest hits, one song that wasn't played was perhaps the hottest one of them all, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito (Remix)" with Justin Bieber.

At the time of last year's Hot 100 Fest, the song that was as wildly popular as "Despacito" was The Chainsmokers' "Closer" with Halsey, which had just been released a few weeks prior but had quickly become that unavoidable sing-along tune. Despite being released late in the summer, "Closer" turned into the season's biggest jam, ultimately spending 12 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100

With "Despacito" spending its 15th week at No. 1 this week (chart dated Sept. 2), it's pretty hard to deny that it's this year's song of the summer. The success on the Hot 100 chart has proven that the track is bigger than "Closer," but is that what the people think too?

Naturally, while being in the same place as numerous hit-makers of several genres, Billboard couldn't resist letting them tell us: Which is the ultimate summer song, "Despacito" or "Closer"? Take a look at what Camila Cabello, Zedd, Ty Dolla $ign and more Hot 100 Fest artists had to say, and which song came out on top.

Camila Cabello: “Despacito.” It just broke so many cultural boundaries, nobody expected that.

Zedd: I think “Closer” is an absolutely incredible song. I heard it for the very first time at Coachella a year and a half ago and it was amazing. 

Tinashe: “Despacito.” It’s got flava, that Latin flava. It’s so refreshing and fun.

Capital Cities' Ryan Merchant: I’m partial to “Despacito.” I feel a strong affinity with Latin culture, so I like hearing a song that’s kind of cross that’s killing it right now.

Capital Cities' Sebu Simonian: I think “Despacito” is a great song, it’s definitely the song of the summer.

Ty Dolla $ign: “Bodak Yellow” [Laughs]. But I gotta say “Despacito,” shout-out Poo Bear, shout-out Justin.

Fletcher: “Despacito” makes me want to dance and makes me feel like I’m sexy because I don’t speak Spanish but I know they very few parts -- it just makes you feel hot. But I also love the Chainsmokers and Halsey is an incredible artist. I’d probably go Halsey and Chainsmokers’ “Closer” just because it’s a pretty classic summer smash and I really like Halsey -- I gotta stick with the girls!

Alex Makhlouf (Cash Cash): I like “Despacito.” It’s more of a... kick back with a Corona, you know?

Ayo & Teo's Ayo: Both songs make us dance, but “Despacito.”
Ayo & Teo's Teo: It got three billion views [on YouTube], that’s it right there.
Ayo: It’s just the beat, how the bassline goes. It gets you jumping, it gets you moving. You wanna learn how to salsa!

Phoebe Ryan: I love The Chainsmokers, I love you guys -- but I very much prefer “Despacito” because I think having Latin music be in the foreground of American pop music is really important. I love that song, it’s hot.

Ugly God: “Despacito,” for the Latina people.

Justin Caruso: I’m going to say “Closer” just because I love Andrew and Alex. They’re my boys, so I support them.

Chelsea Lee (SHAED): I’m going to go with “Despacito.” You can’t help but dance to that song. You don’t even know the words and you’re just like [Sings] “Despacito…”

Jason Huber (Cherub): I would have to go with The Chainsmokers. I like the original “Despacito” a lot, but the songwriting on The Chainsmokers song is really awesome. Everybody has a friend that has done that.

Pronoun: [“Despacito”] has been the song of the summer for me and my friends, actually. We went on a vacation to Cape Cod, and that’s all we listened to the entire time. It’s so great. [Sings] “Despacito”… That’s all I know. That is literally all I know.

John Pita (City of the Sun): “Closer” for me, is a little more that song you know, like romantic. I’ll pick “Closer.” It’s more cinematic. “Despacito” is a little like, you’re in a club, you’re sweating, you’re dancing… not my vibe. 

Lauv: I mean, I love “Closer.” I think that song is amazing. It might just be because I’m hearing “Despacito” so much now. I’m a little over it at the moment. You know when songs impact you that much that the first time you heard it, that memory is in your brain? “Closer” was one of those. “Despacito” wasn’t for me. I was like, this song’s a banger. But “Closer,” I don’t know what it was, but the first time I heard it, I was like, “smash.”

Sammy Adams: I’d probably go with "Despacito." I’m a Belieber, dude.

WINNER: "Despacito"