It’s almost July, so the race is on the decide 2017’s Song of the Summer. Every year when the mercury rises there’s usually at least one inescapable single that seems to dominate the airwaves, and for several years Billboard has picked a winner from each competitive summer season.
Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg owned the summer of 2010 with their collaboration “California Gurls,” which topped the chart for six weeks between June and July before Eminem and Rihanna assumed the top spot with “Love the Way You Lie.” “Gurls” ultimately went seven-times platinum. That seems to be child’s play for Perry, who recently made history with three diamond-certified singles.
Adele‘s “Rolling in the Deep” was the best-performing single of 2011, but Billboard’s official Song of the Summer that year was LMFAO‘s dance-pop hit “Party Rock Anthem,” which spent six weeks at number-one between July and August and also went seven-times platinum.
2012 was all about Carly Rae Jepsen, whose “Call Me Maybe” was inescapable, spending nine weeks in the top spot from June to August. Billboard also named “Call Me Maybe” the greatest chorus of the 21st century, it earned a Grammy bid for Song of the Year, and it ultimately received diamond-certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.
“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams dominated 2013 by spending 12 weeks at number-one spanning June through August. But it was a controversial hit due to its racy music video and lyrics that many felt trivialized sexual consent. Nevertheless the song earned a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year and went six-times platinum.
2014 couldn’t escape Song of the Summer controversy either. That title went to “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX, another hit that later became a Grammy contender for Record of the Year. It ruled the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks from June to July. The song itself wasn’t controversial — it’s an ode to living the high life — but the Australian Azalea encountered accusations of cultural appropriation for her style of rapping.
Though the Song of the Summer is usually an instantly recognizable hit, 2015’s choice is somewhat of an outlier. Omi‘s “Cheerleader” spent six nonconsecutive weeks on top between July and September, but it was somewhat overshadowed by the mega-hits that topped the chart during the rest of the year, including “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, and “Hello” by Adele.
The most recent Song of the Summer was Drake‘s “One Dance” featuring Wizkid and Kyla in 2016. It topped the chart for a week in May before getting knocked down briefly by Justin Timberlake‘s “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” but Drake and company came roaring back with another nine straight weeks at number-one from June through July.
It may be too early to tell what 2017’s Song of the Summer will be, though “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber is making a strong case for itelf, having already spent seven weeks in the top spot. Will it hold on to become 2017’s champ, or will it soon be displaced by another dominant earworm?