A song that evokes imagery of palm trees, bikinis and sun-kissed beaches fittingly earns top honors on Billboard’s Songs of the Summer 2010 survey, as Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” featuring Snoop Dogg, crowns the ranking.
The chart encapsulates the most popular songs based on actual performance on the Billboard Hot 100 from the chart dated June 12, 2010, through this week’s chart dated Sept. 18. The Memorial Day through Labor Day tracking period encompasses sales activity as measured by Nielsen SoundScan, radio airplay according to Nielsen BDS and streaming data from AOL and Yahoo!
“California Gurls” rules the list largely on the strength of a six-week command of the Hot 100 in June and July. The song bests the runner-up, Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” featuring Rihanna. Despite the latter title’s longer stay at No. 1 on the Hot 100 (seven weeks), the track did not debut on the chart until July 10. Eminem is the only artist with two tracks on the Songs of the Summer 2010 tally, as “Not Afraid” claims the anchor spot.
Perry collects her second Songs of the Summer chart champion, following her debut Hot 100 hit, “I Kissed a Girl,” in 2008. Perry is just the second artist with two top placements as a lead act in the last 25 years. Mariah Carey won the derby in 1990 with “Vision of Love” and 2005 with “We Belong Together.” Jay-Z has sat atop two Songs of the Summer charts as a featured artist, on Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” (2003) and Rihanna’s “Umbrella” (2007).
Katy Perry is the only artist to rank on the last three Songs of the Summer countdowns. In addition to leading the list this year and in 2008, she placed at No. 10 last year with “Waking Up in Vegas.”
B.o.B’s “Airplanes,” featuring Hayley Williams, ranks as the third-biggest song of the 2010 summer season, followed by Usher’s “OMG,” featuring will.i.am., at No. 4. The berth is Usher’s first since he boasted the top two titles on the Songs of the Summer 2004 chart: “Confessions Part II” (No. 1) and “Burn” (No. 2). “OMG” banked the last of its four weeks atop the Hot 100 the first frame (June 12) of the Songs of the Summer 2010 tracking period.
Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” ranks at No. 5 on Billboard’s Songs of the Summer 2010 recap, followed by Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire,” featuring Bruno Mars, at No. 6, Mike Posner’s “Cooler Than Me” (No. 7), Enrique Iglesias’ “I Like It,” featuring Pitbull (No. 8), and Drake’s “Find Your Love” (No. 9). Drake earned the No. 4 song of last summer with his debut smash, “Best I Ever Had.”
Cruz’s single that preceded “Dynamite,” “Break Your Heart,” featuring Ludacris, was an early contender for inclusion on the Songs of the Summer 2010 survey but did make the final tally, as the song spent 12 of its 16 weeks in the Hot 100’s top 10 prior to the June 12 Hot 100. Other songs that inked strong showings after Memorial Day but did not sustain enough chart domination to rank among the summer’s top 10 tracks include Ke$ha’s “Your Love Is My Drug” and Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro.”
“California Gurls” is the only song to have ranked in the Hot 100’s top 10 throughout the Songs of the Summer 2010 15-week survey span. The song debuted on the Hot 100 at No. 2 the week of May 29 and rose to No. 1 three weeks later. Despite the unofficial end of summer signified by Labor Day Weekend, the seasonal anthem remains in the top 10 this week, dipping 7-10.