Top 10 Modern Summer Songs
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script by Tiffany Ezuma. Every artist would like to have the song of the summer but there can only be one! For this list, we've picked from those hits released from the year 2000 and on. These songs didn't strictly have to be about the summer, but they at least had to have dominated the airwaves during the summer months. If you didn't see a tune you think should be on the list, or are thinking about those numbers that make us think of the warmer seasons, be sure to check out our video of the Top 10 Classic Summer Songs. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Modern Summer Songs. Special thanks to our users kenn1987, noshenableg, 49erbaG and Al Bebak for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Script by Tiffany Ezuma.
Every artist would like to have the song of the summer but there can only be one! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Modern Summer Songs.
For this list, we’ve picked from those hits released from the year 2000 and on. These songs didn’t strictly have to be about the summer, but they at least had to have dominated the airwaves during the summer months. If you didn’t see a tune you think should be on the list, or are thinking about those numbers that make us think of the warmer seasons, be sure to check out our video of the Top 10 Classic Summer Songs.
#10: “Happy” (2013)
Originally found on the “Despicable Me 2” motion picture soundtrack, this funky neo soul tune took several months to top the Billboard Hot 100. But the wait was worth it; “Happy” became Pharrell’s first chart-topper as lead artist and earned nominations for Best Original Song at the Oscars and Video of the Year at the VMAs. Also used as the lead single to Williams’ sophomore effort, the tune has an extremely feel-good message that has made it easy for audiences of all ages to sing along to during the summer of 2014. In addition, it’s now one of the best-selling singles ever.
#9: “Party Rock Anthem” (2011)
LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett and GoonRock
In a quest to get the party started, this electro and hip house number reigned supreme over strong contenders like “Give Me Everything” by Pitbull. Known for its goofy lyrics, some of which were borrowed from Rick Ross’ “Hustlin,’” “Party Rock Anthem” is a pure celebration of everything fun. The LMFAO track was the duo’s first single from their second album and became a huge chart success, making it to number one on many worldwide charts. It’s also become a pop culture staple, appearing in numerous TV shows, movies, and video games.
#8: “Confessions Part II” (2004)
Songs of summer don’t always have to be fun ditties, and Usher proved that with this dramatic R&B tune. It’s best described as a piece of musical theater, as “Confessions Part II” tells of a man who cheated on his partner and knocked up another woman. Many critics and listeners thought it was based on Usher’s life, but the singer later stated he was just singing about a character. Real or not, the continuation to “Confessions Part I” was relatable, memorable and Usher’s third number one single from his fourth disc.
#7: “Crazy in Love” (2003)
Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z
As her first solo single since parting with Destiny’s Child, this pop and R&B song took the world by surprise. With its big hip hop sound and Beyoncé’s powerhouse vocals, “Crazy in Love” describes a love so strong that it makes the singer act like a different person. The song’s music video helped the track achieve its monster status as it featured Beyoncé strutting up and down the streets of LA with Jay-Z at her side. The chart-topping single perfectly captured what’s it like to be in love and captured the ears of listeners everywhere that year. To date, it’s also one of the best-selling singles ever.
#6: “Get Lucky” (2013)
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams
The French house duo kept their fans waiting for eight years before releasing their fourth studio album - but they more than made up for it with “Get Lucky” as its lead single. Reminiscent of 1970s funk and disco, this song matched Pharrell’s smooth vocals with a danceable beat, while its old-school flair made it stand out from anything else on-air. The tune went on to nab Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo Performance at the Grammys, won over countless critics and reminded us why we’re lucky to have Daft Punk making music again.
#5: “Hot in Herre” (2002)
Summer of 2002 was a basically a hip hop battle between Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” and Eminem’s “Without Me,” but it’s the former that’s the winner to us. Produced by The Neptunes, the funky single has that quintessential effortless cool attached to it and offers some of the most quotable lyrics with its chorus. Its music video was the perfect complement, depicting how hot and crowded summer parties can get. Topping the Billboard Hot 100, “Hot in Herre” also made history when Nelly became the first winner of the Best Male Rap Solo Performance category at the Grammys.
#4: “Umbrella” (2007)
Rihanna feat. Jay-Z
This track was originally meant for Britney Spears but we’re glad it got into RiRi’s hands! One of the best odes to true friendship, “Umbrella” captures the spirit of supporting someone through good times and bad. With the addictive “ella ella” of the chorus, listeners couldn’t help but sing along. With its pop and R&B flavors, the Rihanna single peaked at number one on the charts in multiple countries, won her and Jay-Z a Grammy and has been covered by numerous artists.
#3: “Call Me Maybe” (2012)
Carly Rae Jepsen
This teen pop number is best described as the little song that could! With promotional help from pop stars like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, the three-minute track slowly began to climb the charts until it was everywhere. “Call Me Maybe” is giddy, sweet bubble-gum pop that recalls the nervous feelings of someone waiting for his or her crush to call. Nominated for two Grammys, the Carly Rae Jepsen tune also had the honor of being 2012’s best-selling digital single.
#2: “I Gotta Feeling” (2009)
The Black Eyed Peas
Even if you’re not a fan of The Black Eyed Peas, it’s hard to deny that this hip-house and dance-pop track is a catchy feel-good anthem. It followed “Boom Boom Pow,” which gave the group the honor of being one of the few acts to have two singles simultaneously in the top 2 spots of Billboard Hot 100. Written by the group and produced by David Guetta, “I Gotta Feeling” is the perfect pop dance track to get people onto the dance floor and ready to celebrate life. It was inescapable that summer and one of the best-selling digital singles ever.
Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Promiscuous” (2006)
Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland
- “Don’t Cha” (2005)
The Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes
- “Summertime Sadness (Remix)” (2013)
Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais
- “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” (2001)
Eve feat. Gwen Stefani
- “Some Nights” (2012)
#1: “California Gurls” (2010)
Katy Perry attempted to have the song of the summer in the past with tunes like 2008’s “I Kissed a Girl,” but it’s with this funky disco pop number that she really succeeded. “California Gurls” has all the ingredients of a perfect summer song: it’s catchy, inspirational, sexy, and fun. It’s also reminiscent of the Beach Boys, paying homage to California and older summer hits. And by adding a verse from Snoop, the chart-topping Teenage Dream single meets the criteria to be a perfect pop meets rap collaboration, all while giving the song extra points in terms of cool factor.
Do you agree with our list? Which song was your summer jam? For more catchy Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.