Which single will rule beach parties and backyard barbecues this season? Five top contenders ahead of Billboard’s June 7 launch of the Songs of the Summer chart — from Justin Timberlake‘s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” to Drake‘s “One Dance.”
The Early Favorite
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake
The Story: Co-produced/written by do-no-wrong hitmakers Max Martin and Shellback, Timberlake’s fifth solo Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 sounds like an instant wedding-party classic.
Expert Cosign: John Ivey, program director, KIIS-FM Los Angeles. “It’s like Pharrell‘s ‘Happy’ before you got tired of ‘Happy.’ It’s so easy to hear on one listen. Plus, we’ve been waiting for something from him for a long time. Roll the car windows down this summer, put on this song and there you go.”
The Shazam Star
The Story: Drake earned his first No. 1 as a lead artist with “Dance,” which features a sample of Crazy Cousinz and Kyla’s “Do You Mind?” and a tropical, made-for-summer feel.
Expert Cosign: Rich Riley, CEO, Shazam. “This year the competition is particularly tough as there are so many great songs with breakout potential. But ‘One Dance’ shot straight to No. 1 on the U.S. and U.K. Shazam charts after its release in April and shows no signs of slowing down.”
The Dance Banger
“Don’t Let Me Down” by The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
The Story: Don’t doubt this EDM duo: Between “Down” and “Roses” (featuring Rozes), it has ruled Hot Dance/Electronic Songs for 19 weeks — and that’s just in 2016.
Expert Cosign: Erik Bradley, music director, WBBM Chicago. “It has been such a huge smash this spring, and is still Shazamming in every key area of the city and suburbs. The drop in that beat is just so anthemic, so massive — it feels like a song that will continue through the summer.”
The Proven Combo
The Story: Can this duo’s melodic new single match its first collaboration? “We Found Love” spent 10 weeks atop the Hot 100 in 2011 — the longest reign of Rihanna’s career.
Expert Cosign: Thea Mitchem, iHeartMedia executive vp programming, Northeast division. “When you’re in the club with a drink in hand and Calvin’s house beats drop with Rihanna’s vocals, the combination just pulls you to the dancefloor. It’s infectious.”
The Dark Horse: “Don’t Mind” by Kent Jones
Expert Cosign: Alex Tear, program director, WHYI Miami. “Kent Jones could be a breakout surprise. ‘Don’t Mind’ has got a great vibe for the ‘cool-kid lane,’ and it’s making an early summer imprint.”
This article originally appeared in the June 4 issue of Billboard.