So let’s take a walk through the most memorable tracks fueling the summer months of 2006. You can see Billboard's complete 2006 pop song archive here, but we think the most memorable ones from that summer are right below.
"Promiscuous" - Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland
The quick, confident call-and-response of longing for a sex buddy marked Nelly’s grand arrival to the world of pop. The combination of her vocals bouncing off Timbaland’s dance-worthy synths motivated swarms of screaming teens to vote it up on MTV’s Total Request Live for weeks. The duo also showed off the most advanced technology of the age in their sultry music video – the always sexy flip phone.
"Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira
Shakira’s salsa-pop fusion chart-topper showcased the seductive powers of dance (and big, kinky hair) inspiring everyone to keep dancing all summer long. The Columbian-born star implored pre-pubescent men to “read the signs of [her] body” because her “hips don’t lie”. Shakira was front and center that year and even performed a remix called ‘Hips Don’t Lie/Bamboo’ in Berlin at the 2006 FIFA World Cup closing ceremonies.
"Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley
“Crazy” was performed by Cee-Lo Green when he was simply half of the duo Gnarls Barkley. It opened with a big, pounding beat that triggers the ‘Oh yeah, I loved that song’ response thanks to Danger Mouse’s funky production and Green’s booming voice. The pair took live performances to a new level dressing up as tennis players, astronauts and chefs and even popped up in photos shoots and at awards shows dressed as characters from “Back to the Future,” “Star Wars” and “Wayne’s World”. Party on dudes!
“Me & U” - Cassie
This song was perfect for grinding with a school crush. Cassie’s bosses, Tommy Motola and Diddy, called on hitmaker Ryan Leslie to put together a few synths, a handclap or two and a whole lotta auto-tune to ensure a PG-13-rated success. There’s a simplicity to the jam that pairs well with a 13-year-old’s desire to do things their parents would never allow. Cassie’s second album included collaborations with Lil Wayne, Diddy and Akon, but many still knew her best as a Calvin Klein model.
“Ridin’” - Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone
You’ve seen the meme, but do you remember the O.G. song from before you could drive? Chamillionaire wore his best layered ice and do-rag to rap about the less-likeable side of the police, coining the now-viral phrase, “They see me rollin’, they hatin.” He didn’t top the Billboard Hot 100 without help from Bone Thugs n’ Harmony legend Krayzie Bone. Their sharp-tongued collaboration earned them a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
“Over My Head (Cable Car)” - The Fray
A tale of love lost was core to this hit that never charted higher than No.8 on the Billboard Hot 100, but “everyone knows I’m in over my head, over my head” stuck in our brains like few others that summer. The American pop rockers danced on the edge of cheesy and classic with “Over My Head,” the first single off their debut album. It also paved the way for “How to Save a Life” that enjoyed a white-hot spotlight on the second season of Grey’s Anatomy that same year.
Little did we know that year …
Remember Lonleygirl15? Actress Jessica Lee Rose’s scripted bedroom confessions made her a YouTube star in 2006 and tapped into the professional amateur sweet spot the network is now famous for. Oh yeah, then Google acquired YouTube for $1.7 billion in stock, outbidding and squashing Yahoo’s badly needed pivot out of the search business.