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17 Songs That Deserve To Be The Song Of The Summer

So many bops, so little time (JK, you've got all summer to listen).

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It's officially summer, which means lazy days by the pool, burgers and hot dogs at a BBQ, and, most important of all, that ONE song that you just cannot escape, no matter how hard you try — the Song of the Summer™. Here are the contenders for that glorious title, according to BuzzFeed staffers.


Some of these are new, some of these are old, some are already everywhere, some you've never heard of — but the common thread is these ALL belong on your summer music playlists.

1. "Into You" by Ariana Grande

Republic Records / Via

Let the Midwest soccer moms in their minivans have their upbeat, bubblegum song of the summer (looking at you, JT). If you need something more risqué, a little sultrier, a little sexier and stickier, then the thumping, slinky "Into You" is your jam. Take it from a card-carrying gay: This song WILL be blasting on repeat at Pride parties all throughout the month of June. So do your part and get down and dirty to Ari. —Sam Stryker

2. "One Dance" by Drake feat. Kyla and Wizkid

Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

You can't help but move your entire body when you hear even just the first few chords of "One Dance" — whether you're out at the club with your friends or riding around in your car running errands, Drake, Kyla, and Wizkid literally created the best sound for summer '16 (which is, after all, Drizzy Drake's summer). One thing's for sure: It's definitely fun and sexy enough to be the soundtrack to your summer fling. Higher powers taking a hold on you. —Krystie Yandoli

3. "Send My Love (to Your New Lover)" by Adele

Sony Music / Via

Some people might think summer is all about finding new love, but some people are WRONG. Summer is all about feeling as "free-ee" as Adele does in this bop, and not wasting your time on people who can’t handle the hot heat rising. There’s still a strong emotional core to “Send My Love” — come on, it’s still Adele — but it’s also a jam that’ll make you want to roll the car windows down and let go of all those ghosts of boyfriends past. Oh, and did we mention that this has Max Martin's hands all over it? —Keely Flaherty

4. "Panda" by Desiigner

UMG Recordings / Via

Let me be the first to tell you that this song will keep you feeling like the badass bish that you are ALL. SUMMER. LONG. If the opening line, “I got broads in Atlanta,” doesn’t do it for you, than maybe “White X6 look like a panda” will. Desiigner will give you life with this song's catchy lyrics, epic beat, and use of the word "panda" over and over again. (He says it 39 times in the song.) It's perfect to listen to during a night out with your squad, when you're in the car on the way to Chipotle, or even when you're on the elliptical regretting that pizza you ate the night before and just need to let go. Not to mention, it'll be stuck in your head for hours and you won't even be mad about it! This song speaks to me and trust me, it’ll speak to you too. —Lindsay Farber

5. "This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Rihanna and Calvin Harris go together like french fries dipped in a Frosty at Wendy's (trust me, you NEED to try it), so it should come as no surprise that the follow-up to their supernova smash "We Found Love" is an epic banger. But where "We Found Love" exploded, "This Is What You Came For" holds back in a sleek, synthy manner. Just grab your summer crush and let 'em know that *THIS* is what they came for. —S.S.

6. "Never Be Like You" by Flume feat. Kai

If you haven't heard of Australian musician Flume, you need to 👏WAKE👏THE👏FUCK👏UP👏 and get on his bandwagon — he's basically like the musical version of an aesthetic Tumblr blog. For starters, you can jam out to his latest single that has been gaining steam on radio airwaves. His second album, Skin, just dropped a few weeks ago. If you want to ingratiate yourself with the ~youths~ then Flume is your in — teens LOVE him. —S.S.

7. "Cheap Thrills" by Sia


Sia's sweeping vocals don't exactly scream "summer smash" but then again, remember how explosive "Chandelier" was a few years ago? There's something about the blonde Aussie's voice that just has a little more heart in it than other performers. Maybe it's because she's shied away from the spotlight, maybe it's because she's such an accomplished songwriter. Regardless, "Cheap Thrills" is the audio luxury you can afford this summer. Oh, and be sure to do your best Maddie Ziegler impression when you're dancing along. — S.S.

8. "Work From Home" by Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign

Epic Records / Via

With lines like "I wanna get you fired" and a beat reminiscent of all your ’00s middle school hits, "Work From Home" by 5H is the ultimate mix of dirty and cheesy, with a dash of cheekiness and a lot of fun. It's unbridledly passionate and doesn't take itself too seriously, so you can't resist dancing and grinding to it all night long. Perfect for the club, perfect for the gym, perfect for blasting in your car, this song has no limits. —Claire de Louraille

9. "Youth" by Troye Sivan

Universal Music / Via

I don't care what others say, the song of summer has always been about being young, wild, and free. About adventure, love, late nights and early mornings. If you don't know "Youth" by Troye Sivan then frankly you're tacky and I hate you. Trust me, one listen and you will be hooked. "My youth / my youth is yours / trippin' on skies / sippin' waterfalls." Listening to the funky beat, you might forget that this is actually a really beautiful song about love, devotion, and being inspired by some magical shit out there. And when that beat drops, hold onto your heart because it will jump, jump, jump. Troye, my youth is yours. —Sheridan Watson

10. "Kiss It Better" by Rihanna


"Work" may be the biggest song from Rihanna's latest must-have album, Anti, and honestly, it might have a stronger shot at actually being the summer's biggest song than this ’80s-tinged track. But if you want something cool and sexy to rock to this summer, BadGalRiRi's got you covered, as usual. —S.S.

11. "Never Forget You" by Zara Larsson and MNEK

Virgin / Epic

What's funny is this song actually dropped in the middle of *LAST* summer, but as with all good things, you must wait. The lucky ones among us have been jamming to Swedish sensation Zara Larsson and British singer MNEK for a while, but this song has been gaining serious steam on the radios. Think of it as this summer's "Lean On" — and oh yeah, you'll be singing along to the lyrics at the top of your lungs while you blast it from your car's radio all summer long. — S.S.

12. "Stop Desire" by Tegan and Sara

Robin Marchant / Getty Images

The queer queens are back and there's no "YAS" powerful enough to describe them! "Stop Desire" is the bop we all deserve and the flawless hookup anthem we never knew we needed. This is for the thirsty and the thirsty-adjacent who, like Tegan and Sara, just want to "take this passion [and] and turn it into action." Get your sexy dance moves ready, because there's no stopping your desire for this jam. —Pablo Valdivia

13. "Sorry" by Beyoncé

Parkwood / Tidal

Listen, we could put Lemonade in its entirety on this list, but that wouldn't be fair to the rest of the music industry that isn't Beyoncé. So the Hive will have to settle for this badass kiss-off anthem that is arguably the highlight of the album. And you BETTER pray that you get in formation to see Queen Bey on tour this summer. Boy, BYE! —S.S.

14. "Make Me (Oooh)" by Britney Spears feat. G-Eazy

Britney Spears / Via

Listen — I know this song isn't even out yet and I KNOW I'm going to sound like a delusional Britney fan, but "Make Me (Oooh)" (Brit's lead single off her upcoming ninth studio album) will be the song of the summer!!! And if it's not the song of the summer, it will be the song of the fall!!! Why? BECAUSE NEW BRITNEY'S ON A MISSION. The undisputed Queen of Pop is rocking the best body she's had IN YEARS and is ready to make up for the less-than-stellar Britney Jean. Britney even said "Make Me (Oooh)" is more "melodic" than her past releases, so I'm sensing a throwback to an older Britney — the Britney sound we've been waiting for for over a decade! PLUS, the music video looks like it's going to be FIRE. Bookmark me, y'all. —Christian Zamora

15. "Confident" by Demi Lovato

Republic / Via

This song brings out the badass bitch in all of us. From the start, Demi is giving a call to action to get off your feet and MOVE or else she'll mow you down, and it drives throughout the whole song. It's empowering, loud, and when you listen it's hard not to have a fantasy about being Daenerys in Game of Thrones. Let's just say that fantasy, and this song, made my morning runs a helluva lot more exciting. —Erin La Rosa

16. "Too Good" by Drake feat. Rihanna

Ian Gavan / Getty Images

(Editor's Note: If you're noticing a common theme, it's that this summer is ALL about Drake and Rihanna.) This song is like "Take Care" in 2016 and you will want to hear it again and again and again. "Too Good" really is too good. Rihanna's vocals have evolved, and I'm living for it. People in the friend zone all over the world can relate to lines like "I don't know how to talk to you" and "I just know I found myself getting lost for you." A moody, mid-tempo bop, this song is sure to be played in the car, in the club, and on your commute daily. Perfect for any mood, but preferably when you're down to throw yourself a pity party.

**Pairs well with white wine and a sunset. —James Harness

And of course, drumroll please...

17. "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake

RCA / Via

It's been about a hot minute since we've had a new Justin Timberlake song and oh my Trolls, thank goodness for "Can't Stop the Feeling." All right, yes, it's definitely cheesy, corny, and tailored to be a summer hit but there's no one who does it better than JT. Between his insane falsetto, the crazy bass solo, and the amazing gang vocals at the end, there's nothing you can really do but just dance, dance, dance (sorry). It's reminiscent of later Jackson 5 (you know when they became just the Jacksons) and is that simple but effective pop that will make you forget it was even written for that not-Disney movie. — April Salud

And here are (most of) these bangin' jams to get your summer started off right:

  1. And we've got to ask: What song do YOU think is the Song of the Summer?

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And we've got to ask: What song do YOU think is the Song of the Summer?
    vote votes
    "Into You" by Ariana Grande
    vote votes
    “One Dance” by Drake feat. Kyla and Wiz Kid
    vote votes
    “Send My Love (to Your New Lover)” by Adele
    vote votes
    "Panda" by Desiigner
    vote votes
    “This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna
    vote votes
    “Never Be Like You” by Flume feat. Kai
    vote votes
    "Cheap Thrills" by Sia
    vote votes
    “Work From Home” by Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign
    vote votes
    "Youth" by Troye Sivan
    vote votes
    "Kiss It Better" by Rihanna
    vote votes
    “Never Forget You” by Zara Larsson and MNEK
    vote votes
    “Stop Desire” by Tegan & Sara
    vote votes
    “Sorry” by Beyoncé
    vote votes
    “Make Me (Oooh)” by Britney Spears feat. G-Eazy
    vote votes
    "Confident" by Demi Lovato
    vote votes
    “Too Good” by Drake feat. Rihanna
    vote votes
    "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake