40 Fun Facts About Past 'Song of the Summer' Champs
As the weather heats up, pop pundits and fans alike start to guess what the Song of the Summer for 2016 will be. We won't know that for a few more months, but Billboard has already identified the top song for each summer dating back to 1959.
Here are 40 fun facts about these songs that have dominated the summer months since Eisenhower was president:
1. The only artist to have the No. 1 Song of the Summer in back-to-back years: Andy Gibb. The Bee Gees' younger brother scored with "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" (1977) and "Shadow Dancing" (1978). (Note: The Doors just missed achieving this feat a decade earlier. "Light My Fire" was the No. 1 Song of the Summer for 1967. "Hello, I Love You" was No. 2 for 1968. So close!)
2. The artist with the longest span of Song of the Summer champs: Mariah Carey. The diva's summer song champs span 15 years, from "Vision of Love" (1990) to "We Belong Together" (2005).
3. The only other artists (besides Gibb and Carey) to land the No. 1 Song of the Summer twice: Usher, Katy Perry and, as a featured artist, Jay Z. Usher scored in 2001 with "U Remind Me" and again in 2004 with "Confessions Part II." Perry was out front in 2008 with "I Kissed a Girl" and again in 2010 with "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg). Jay Z was featured on Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" (2003) and on Rihanna's "Umbrella" (2007).
4. The youngest artist to land the No. 1 Song of the Summer: Little Stevie Wonder. The Motown legend was just 13 in 1963 when he scored with "Fingertips—Pt 2."
5. The youngest female artist to land the No. 1 Song of the Summer: Brenda Lee. "Little Miss Dynamite" was 15 in 1960 when she scored with "I'm Sorry."
6. The youngest artist to land the No. 1 Song of the Summer with a song that he or she wrote (or co-wrote): Paul Anka. The onetime teen idol was 18 when "Lonely Boy" was the top summer song of 1959.
7. The only collaboration by two teenaged artists to wind up as the No. 1 Song of the Summer: "The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy and Monica. The young stars were 19 and 17, respectively, when that pop and R&B smash was the top song of summer 1998.
10. The first duo to have the No. 1 Song of the Summer: Zager & Evans. The one-hit wonders scored with "In the Year 2525" (1969).
11. The only mixed-gender duo to have the No. 1 Song of the Summer: Carpenters. The brother-sister duo scored with "(They Long to Be) Close to You" (1970).
15. The first rock song to become the No. 1 Song of the Summer: The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (1965).
16. The only country song to wind up as the No. 1 Song of the Summer: John Denver's "Annie's Song" (1974). Denver's love song to his then-wife Annie Martell were more pop than country. Even so, it was his first top 10 hit on Hot Country Singles.
17. The first rap song to become the No. 1 Song of the Summer: Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" (1992).
18. The only No. 1 Song of the Summer that samples another No. 1 Song of the Summer: "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112 (1997). The hip-hop smash samples The Police's "Every Breath You Take" (1983).
19. The only artists to have both the No. 1 and No. 2 Songs of the Summer in the same year: Usher in 2004 ("Confessions Part II" and "Burn") and the Black Eyed Peas in 2009 ("I Gotta Feeling" and "Boom Boom Pow").
20. The only No. 1 Songs of the Summer that were the first solo hits by artists who rose to fame in groups: Herb Alpert's "This Guy's in Love With You" (his first solo hit following 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits in which he fronted the Tijuana Brass) and Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" (her first solo hit as a lead artist following nine Hot 100 hits as member of Destiny's Child).
21. The only artist who died the same year he or she had the No. 1 Song of the Summer: Jim Croce. The singer/songwriter died in a plane crash on Sept. 20, 1973, just as his "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" clinched the title.
22. The oldest song to wind up as the Song of the Summer: "Can't Help Falling in Love." The ballad was more than 31 years old when UB40 made it the top song of summer in 1993. Elvis Presley introduced the song in the 1961 movie Blue Hawaii.
23. The first No. 1 Song of the Summer from a movie: Paul Anka's "Lonely Boy" (1959). Anka sang the song in the teen-targeted movie Girls Town, which starred Mamie Van Doren. But this stat requires an asterisk: The movie didn't open until Oct. 5, after summer was over.
24. The first song from a summertime box-office hit to wind up as the No. 1 Song of the Summer: Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" from Rocky III (1982). The Sylvester Stallone smash opened on May 28, just as the summer movie-going season was heating up.
25. The only time songs from movies were the No. 1 and No. 2 Songs of the Summer: In 1984, Prince's "When Doves Cry" from Purple Rain was No. 1 and Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" from the comedy of the same name was No. 2.
26. The only songwriter to write or co-write three No. 1 Songs of the Summer: Barry Gibb. The eldest member of the Bee Gees co-wrote their "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" (1971), wrote brother Andy Gibb's "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" (1977) and co-wrote Andy's "Shadow Dancing" (1978).
27. The first No. 1 Song of the Summer that was written or co-written by a woman: "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer (1979). The disco queen co-wrote the song with the members of the trio Brooklyn Dreams. (Summer married one of its members, Bruce Sudano, the following year.)
28. The No. 1 Song of the Summer with the shortest title: "Bent" by Matchbox Twenty (2000).
29. The No. 1 Song of the Summer with the longest title: "Everything I Do (I Do It for You)" by Bryan Adams (1991).
30. The No. 1 Song of the Summer with the shortest playing time: Bobby Lewis' "Tossin' and Turnin'" (1961), 2:29.
31. The No. 1 Song of the Summer with the longest playing time: "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans (featuring 112) (1997), 5:02.
32. The most songwriters to be credited on a No. 1 Song of the Summer: 10 songwriters received credit for co-writing Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" (2005).
33. The group with the most members to have a No. 1 Song of the Summer: UB40. The reggae/pop band had eight members when it scored with "Can't Help Falling in Love" (1993).
34. The only group to have a featured credit on a No. 1 Song of the Summer: 112. The R&B quartet from Atlanta was featured on "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans (1997).
35. The only No. 1 Song of the Summer which was sung in a foreign language: Los Del Rio's "Macarena" (1996).
36. The only No. 1 Songs of the Summer with titles containing a misspelled word: Usher's "U Remind Me" (2001), Nelly's "Hot in Herre" (2002) and "California Gurls" by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg (2010).
37. The first No. 1 Song of the Summer with a grammatically incorrect title: The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (1965).
38. The only artists with hyphenated names to land a No. 1 Song of the Summer: Sir Mix-a-Lot ("Baby Got Back, 1992), All-4-One ("I Swear, 1994) and Jay-Z, whose name was still hyphenated when he was featured on Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" (2003) and Rihanna's "Umbrella" (2007).
39. The two artists who had the No. 2 Song of the Summer twice, but have yet to land the season's top song: Gwen Stefani and Wiz Khalifa. Stefani was featured on Eve's "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," which was No. 2 for 2001. Stefani was also runner-up for 2005 with "Hollaback Girl." Wiz Khalifa was featured on Maroon 5's "Payphone," which was No. 2 for 2012. The rapper was also runner-up for 2015 with "See You Again" (which featured Charlie Puth).
40. Number of times the Beach Boys had the No. 1 Song of the Summer: Surprisingly, none. The quintessential summer group had the No. 2 Song of the Summer for 1964 with "I Get Around."