Song of the Summer 2017: All the Contenders

Today, June 21, marks the official start of summer, though in the music world the season is nearing its peak as a slew of artists across all genres are competing for the coveted Song of the Summer title. Every year it’s inevitable, as the radio plays an endless parade of dance-worthy, overly catchy earworms during each pool party, road trip, and practically every summer activity in between. With school out and summer officially in full swing, let’s explore the top contenders for Song of the Summer 2017. 

Front Runners

“Despacito” – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Beiber

This sexy single became a no. 1 Latin hit back in January for Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. However, it’s the remix featuring Justin Bieber that skyrocketed on mainstream radio and has dominated charts since its April release. The bouncy beat makes it perfect to dance to and sing along without care.

“I’m the One” – DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne

DJ Khaled brings together a star ensemble to help him on “I’m The One,” which has been gaining airplay and streams since it debuted at no. 1 in April. The tropical, feel-good beat pairs perfectly with Bieber’s vocals on the “Ohhh”-filled chorus that sticks with any listener. This banger is not just worthy of becoming 2017’s Song of the Summer, but is a definitely a “major key” to DJ Khaled’s career.

Fair Chance Contenders

“2U” – David Guetta ft. Justin Bieber

In case you haven’t caught onto the pattern of this list, Justin Bieber collaborations are practically shoo-ins to be summer’s most popular songs. He may be the only vocalist on this track, but quickly takes a backseat to the veteran DJ/producer when the beat drops. “2U” also puts David Guetta back on the map after the EDM genre has been ruled by The Chainsmokers, Major Lazer, DJ Snake and Calvin Harris, so bonus points there.

“HUMBLE.” – Kendrick Lamar

A punchy piano riff is the backbone of this hit from Kendrick Lamar’s latest album DAMN. “HUMBLE.” is full of fast spitting rhymes that showcases the rapper’s skill as a storyteller and is poised to become one of the biggest rap/hip hop songs of the summer.

“Passionfruit” – Drake

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5mCPDVBb16L4XQwDdbRUpz

Drake scored the Song of the Summer last year with “One Dance.” He followed up its massive success with “Passionfruit,” off his latest mixtape More Life. This track is more mellow than “One Dance” but still features the house-tropic vibe that makes for a perfect summer soundtrack.

“Stay” – Zedd ft. Alessia Cara

Newcomer Alessia Cara shines here. The slow build of Zedd‘s production helps showcase Cara’s smooth, polished voice and makes for an especially exciting moment once that beat does drop.

“Down” – Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane

Fifth Harmony is no stranger to crafting a solid summer jam, as evidenced in 2015’s “Worth It” and last year’s “Work From Home.” Their first single as a quartet—Camila Cabello abruptly left the group in December—proves the ladies have not lost their magic touch and will surely find its way on countless playlists this summer.

Dark Horses

“Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran

Had Ed Sheeran pushed back the release of this song just a few months, it would hands down be the hit to beat for the Song of the Summer prize. Since its January release, “Shape of You” went on to sell over four million units in the U.S. alone, top the charts in over 30 countries, and spent twelve weeks at no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (where it remains a top ten fixture). It may be past its peak for this title, but should not be counted out considering its status as the second-most streamed song on Spotify, following last year’s Song of the Summer, Drake’s “One Dance.”

“That’s What I Like” – Bruno Mars

“That’s What I Like” hit radio waves in late January, which doesn’t exactly scream “Song of the Summer” status. However, when the artist behind the song is Bruno Mars, it’s a different story. Mars’ unmatched talent and string of top hits have made him this generation’s king of soul and funk music—one who could reign at the top of the seasonal charts.

“Body Like a Back Road” – Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt may not have the same type of in-your-face starpower as Bieber, Drake, or Bruno Mars, however, his cheeky country crossover hit is undeniably catchy, easy to sway to and perfectly concocted for summer listening. Don’t count it out.

“Something Just Like This” – The Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay

The Chainsmokers got a taste of being summer music royalty last year with their inescapable Halsey collaboration “Closer,” as did Coldplay with “Viva La Vida” in 2008. The two music giants hit the perfect note with the idealistic “Something Just Like This.” While the chart performance proves that The Chainsmokers are not just a one-hit wonder, there are stronger songs in the running in terms of overall likability.

Which song do you think will become 2017’s Song of the Summer? Let us know in the comments below!