What defines the Song of Summer?
To find the answer, Billboard annually ranks its all-genre Songs of the Summer based on a combination of radio airplay, sales data and streaming activity. R&B and mainstream pop usually reign supreme — in 2014, Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” took top honors, and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” dominated 2013. But while country music of late is dripping with warm-weather staples like bikinis and porch-drinking, the genre is drastically underrepresented among Songs of the Summer.
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We’ve narrowed down the Country Song of Summer pool to 10 credible contenders. Among them are on-the-rise songs by Sam Hunt (“House Party”), Brad Paisley (“Crushin’ It), and Kacey Musgraves (“Biscuits”). Find out who’s in the running — and then vote for your choice.
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“Crushin’ It,” Brad Paisley
In the animated video for his latest tune about drankin’ — even though he famously abstains from booze — The Paze turns his country peers into action-hero parodies. (Look for Luke Bryan as the crotch-swiveling “Flash Smiley” and Florida Georgia Line as bumpkin versions of Beavis and Butt-head.)
“House Party,” Sam Hunt
When Sam Hunt informs you that you’re going to have an impromptu, roof-rattling party — as he does repeatedly throughout this song — you best oblige.
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“Crash and Burn,” Thomas Rhett
The lead single from Rhett’s forthcoming sophomore album marks his foray into R&B and an overall funkier sound. The takeaway here: a serious increase in danceability.
“Onto Something Good,” Ashley Monroe
The criminally underrated Monroe steps away from her trademark moody ballads for this sunny single, and the result is just as impressive.
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“Biscuits,” Kacey Musgraves
Yes, it’s sonically and philosophically reminiscent of “Follow Your Arrow.” But that was Billboard’s second best song of 2013, so…
“Stay a Little Longer,” Brothers Osborne
It’s about damn time a Country Song of Summer featured a wailing, two-and-a-minute-long guitar solo. This one, courtesy of John Osborne, punctuates an already killer track.
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“Lose My Mind,” Brett Eldredge
Eldredge’s growly voice only elevates this crazy-catchy song.
“Real Life,” Jake Owen
It’s like “Beachin’,” but set inside a Waffle House. Mmm, waffles.
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“Love Is Your Name,” Steven Tyler
The Aerosmith frontman’s debut country single is a shockingly pleasant listen.
“Fly,” Maddie & Tae
At the very least, this soaring, chase-your-dreams anthem should be the official song of graduation season.
Now it’s your turn to weigh in. What do you think should be the Country Song of Summer? Vote below!