There are certain things we absolutely can count on each summer (we’re especially thinking back to the days of marching band practice). Strange tan lines, endless bottles of water, copious amounts of sunscreen, and that one summer song that we absolutely love in May and have no way of escaping come August. Enter: the big summer hit!
Each summer there’s quite a bit of buzz about what song will be ‘the’ song of summer. After all, this is the singular popular jam determined to define what the past 4 months have been all about. And, undoubtedly, these ‘earworms‘ work their way into our collective consciousness, dominating airwaves, spawning YouTube covers and infiltrating nearly every barbecue and pool party we attend.
Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE these songs of summer. They wouldn’t shoot to the top if they weren’t cool, catchy and fun to play. And, who doesn’t enjoy reminiscing about good times of summers past? What song will be declared 2014’s official summer anthem is yet to be decided. Until then, let’s take a look at the past 20 years’ worth of unofficially official songs of summer!
2013: Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke The song that might still be stuck in your head spent 12 consecutive weeks atop Billboard‘s Hot 100 during the summer of 2013. It also was the best-selling digital single of the year.
2009: I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas Spring debut? Check! Controversial music video? Check! Contagious beat? Check! No wonder the Black Eyed Peas’ hit spent all of Summer 2009 atop the charts.
2008: Viva La Vida by Coldplay The 2009 Grammy ‘Song of the Year’ shot to the top of of the charts immediately following its June release. It’s also the ONLY song on our songs of summer list to also have been featured on our misheard lyrics list!
2007: Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s This one-hit wonder actually was released as a single in May of 2006, but wasn’t deemed a hit until a year later when it was the most-played song on American radio from July 3 through July 28, 2007.
2006: Crazy by Gnarls Barkley Rolling Stone named “Crazy” the number one song of 2009, and its 100th greatest song of all time. And, while the single catapulted to the top spot on charts around the globe, it remained at number 2 on the Billboard 100 for seven consecutive weeks due the popularity of close-runner-up for our summer 2006 song, Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous.”
2005: Don’t Cha by The Pussycat Dolls Produced by one-half of the 2006 song of summer duo (Cee-Lo Green), “Don’t Cha” was unapologetically manufactured to be a pop hit. And a pop hit it was, both in the U.S. and abroad during the summer of 2005.
2004: If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys Summer 2004 was all bout the R&B hits! In addition to the fabulous Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” which peaked in July, Usher’s ‘Confessions’ album produced two hot hits, “Burn” and “Confessions Part II.”
2003: Crazy in Love by Beyoncé and Jay Z Beyonce’s much-anticipated first solo album did not disappoint, with its debut single hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100 even before it was available for purchase!
2002: Hot in Herre by Nelly Sampling the hook from Chuck Brown’s ’79 R&B classic “Bustin’ Loose,” “Hot In Herre” was the first number one single for Nelly, and it even took the year-end Billboard singles top spot.
2001: Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) by Train Securing a Top 40 spot for 29 weeks spanning the summer of 2001, the rock hit won two Grammy Awards, including an instrumental accompaniment honor for strings arranger Paul Buckmaster.
2000: It’s Gonna Be Me by ‘N Sync The pop group’s only number one single, “It’s Gonna Be Me” is perhaps best remembered for its music video, featuring each member as a boxed doll breaking out into the toy store.
1999: Genie In a Bottle by Christina Aguilera Back when ‘The Voice’ coach was still a fledgling vocalist, Aguilera scored THE hit of summer 1999 and the second-best selling song of the year with her first single.
1998: Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) by The Backstreet Boys And back they were with a second international album. The first single from their sophomore release spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 following its February radio debut.
1997: MMMBop by Hanson Originally written as a ballad, the brothers Hanson decided to release an uptempo version produced by The Dust Brothers. MMMBop 2.0 hit the number one spot in 27 countries following its April 15th release.
1996: Macarena by Los Del Rio It’s boarder-line impossible to listen to “Macarena” and not dance along! The international phenomenon spent 14 weeks at number one one the Billboard Hot 100 in 1996 and was played nearly everywhere, from Major League Baseball games to wedding receptions.
1995: Waterfalls by TLC Another single success aided by its accompanying music video, which cost a nearly then-unprecedented one million dollars, “Waterfalls” ranked 8th on VH1’s list of “100 Greatest Songs of the 1990s.” Fun fact: Cee-Lo Green provided backing vocals on the album track!
1994: I Swear by All-4-One and John Michael Montgomery Initially debuting on the Hot 100 in 1993 via John Michael Montgomery’s country single, pop group All-4-One covered the song, released it in April the following year, and saw it spend a total of 18 weeks at either number one or number two on the charts.
Do you have a favorite front-runner for the 2014 Song of Summer? Are there any songs you just can’t seem to get out of your head (or escape)? Share in the comments section below!