Every summer, a new batch of songs turn up the heat. What makes a great summer song, how is the song of the season determined and which track will take the title this year?
Hit summer songs are typically upbeat, feel-good songs that you can play poolside or at a barbecue. For example, 2021’s “Butter” by BTS and 2015’s “Cheerleader” by Omi were inescapable during those respective summers. “What a fun song in 2015,” Billboard‘s Executive Director of Music, Jason Lipshutz, says of Omi’s hit. “Came out of nowhere, huge remix, huge hit.”
Billboard’s 20-position Song of the Summer chart tracks the most popular titles based on cumulative performance on the weekly streaming, airplay and sales-based Hot 100 chart from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Taking a look at this year, what could be the song of the summer. Contenders include Jack Harlow’s “First Class,” Bad Bunny’s “Me Porto Bonito,” Lizzo’s “About Damn Time,” Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” and Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” which returns to No. 1 on the Hot 100 this week — its 11th week on top.
The official song of the summer will be revealed on Tuesday (Sept. 6). Watch our Billboard Explains breakdown on the Songs of the Summer above.
After the video, catch up on more Billboard Explains videos and learn about how Beyoncé arrived at Renaissance, the evolution of girl groups, BBMAs, NFTs, SXSW, the magic of boy bands, American Music Awards, the Billboard Latin Music Awards, the Hot 100 chart, how R&B/hip-hop became the biggest genre in the U.S., how festivals book their lineups, Billie Eilish’s formula for success, the history of rap battles, nonbinary awareness in music, the Billboard Music Awards, the Free Britney movement, rise of K-pop in the U.S., why Taylor Swift is re-recording her first six albums, the boom of hit all-female collaborations, how Grammy nominees and winners are chosen, why songwriters are selling their publishing catalogs, how the Super Bowl halftime show is booked and why Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” was able to shoot to No. 1 on the Hot 100.