Memorial Day weekend has become the unofficial start of the summer, although I prefer to commemorate it for its true intention - to honor those who gave their life for our country and those who’ve gone before us.
But many people also use the extra day off to start their summer on the right foot.
What do the following have in common? Backyard barbecues, family get-togethers, driving with the windows down, the beach, pool time, class reunions, festivals, block parties and just chillaxing on your deck? They usually involve music. Music fuels any good summer activity - even yard work. So, what song will be on everyone’s playlist this summer?
You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. What a combo! But oddly, it works. “Old Town Road” has been planted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks. Now that’s a true hit.
The catchy track seems to get better with each listen, which might explain why it continues to excel in digital sales and streaming services. But did it peak too soon for summer? Some might say yes, knowing what singles are coming down the pipeline, but I’m inclined to think that a great song is a great song no matter when it hits. It has potential to hang around for a while, too.
If any song were to challenge for the crown, it might be Ed Sheeran’s latest, “I Don’t Care.” It pairs him with Justin Bieber. I’m a huge fan of Sheeran, but I’ve been on the fence about Bieber. However, the song is killer. It’s already at No. 2 on the Hot 100.
Let’s look at some other contenders for “song of the summer.”
- Ariana Grande has quickly become one of pop’s most successful stars with hit after hit after hit. Her latest, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend,” follows suit. It seems like the ideal song for any girl who loves the guy who’s already taken. Plus, you can dance to it.
- Sam Smith’s latest, “Dancing With A Stranger” featuring Normani might be why Arianna wants you to dump your girlfriend - LOL. It’s a hot duet sure to make summer sizzle even more.
- The Jonas Brothers are back and bigger than ever. “Sucker” and “Cool” are big tracks for the brothers three. With a tour selling out venues well in the fall, these bubble-gum popsters are going to clean up this year.
- Carrie Underwood’s “Southbound” is a feel-good track about heading south, no matter where you call home. The lyrics bring the fun of the South to your neck of the woods. For some, it could lead to “Knockin’ Boots,” a fun-loving little ditty offered by Luke Bryan. Both of these songs are going to be big country hits as the temps rise.
- Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie is serving double-time this summer as PATD’s “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” soars. But it’s his collaboration with Taylor Swift that’s getting the attention. Swift and Urie collaborate for her latest single, “Me!” Can you guess what it’s about? I love it. “Me!” is such a fun song. Kudos to Swift for inviting Urie along for the ride. I have to give props to Taylor. She has managed to produce some outstanding songs over the past decade, making her one of the biggest stars on the planet.
David T. Farr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.