It may have seemed impossible in many parts of the U.S. buried under sheets of snow over the winter, but warm weather has, indeed, finally returned. And, with it comes an annual rite as fun as putting away down jackets and replacing them with coats of sunscreen: predicting what will be the top song of the summer.
Now, we can begin officially making our way toward the answer, as Billboard’s annual Songs of the Summer chart returns to Billboard.com.
The 20-position Songs of the Summer running tally (up from 10 in years past) tracks the most popular titles based on cumulative performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart from Memorial Day through Labor Day. At the end of the season, the top song of the summer will be crowned.
First, a few flashbacks: Powered by her buzzy arrival, and Charli XCX’s irresistible hook, Iggy Azalea’s debut smash “Fancy” earned top song of the summer honors for 2014. In 2013, fueled by its racy video and record radio audience levels, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, won the title. Other winners this decade: Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” (2012); LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock (2011); and, fittingly, Katy Perry’s beach-centric “California Girls,” featuring Snoop Dogg (2010).
This year, Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again,” featuring Charlie Puth, the Hot 100’s current leader, ranks at No. 1 on the maiden Songs of the Summer survey, followed by Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” featuring Kendrick Lamar. While “Again” has led the Hot 100 for seven weeks, returning to the top this week, it appears to have notable momentum left, having ascended to No. 1 on the Radio Songs chart just last week. “Blood,” meanwhile, falls from No. 1 to No. 2 on the Hot 100, but with its life as a single having just begun (with its video premiering at the beginning of the Billboard Music Awards May 17), both songs look like strong contenders for top song of summer as the season starts.
Rounding out the first Songs of the Summer chart’s top five, Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” ranks at No. 3, followed by Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” (No. 4) and the unofficial song of the winter, Mark Ronson’s former 14-week Hot 100 No. 1 “Uptown Funk!,” featuring Bruno Mars (No. 5).
Also surely in the mix in the sultry weeks ahead: Jason Derulo’s “Want to Want Me” (No. 7 on Songs of the Summer); David Guetta’s “Hey Mama,” featuring Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha and Afrojack (No. 8); Andy Grammer’s “Honey, I’m Good.” (No. 11); DJ Snake & AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It” (No. 15); and OMI’s “Cheerleader” (No. 16), among several others (including Maroon 5’s aptly-titled “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt…,” not yet on the ranking).
Who’ll win this summer’s chart battle? We’ve got a hot 100 days, give or take, to find out, and we’ll see you in September for the answer.
Check out this season’s first Summer Songs ranking in its entirety in the Billboard.com charts menu.