The whole country wants to know: what is the 2015 Song of the Summer? It’s a great question! But before I attempt to answer it, let’s discuss what makes a track the Song of the Summer in the first place. Put simply, the Song of the Summer is the song that plays everywhere you go all summer long. Whether you’re at the grocery store, the pool, or the bar, you’re guaranteed to hear it at least once (but probably more than that). It’s the soundtrack to unforgettable nights spent with family and friends. It’s the tune you can’t get out of your head in the morning (whether you like it or not). It’s the tune you know all the words to.
This year, the Song of the Summer field seems to be especially crowded (but I'm not complaining). It's been an exciting season for music fans — and it's not over yet! So, who's taking home the coveted prize? Honestly... it’s too soon to say. There are a lot of candidates to consider this time around. Believe it or not, I actually think there are a few songs worthy of the title.
Here are the top 20 contenders for 2015's Song of the Summer:
Taylor Swift — "Bad Blood" (Remix Feat. Kendrick Lamar)
Taylor Swift's high-energy "Bad Blood" remix featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar is one of the summer's biggest songs. The premiere of its star-studded music video in May was a major pop culture event, and it's currently No. 1 at pop radio. Unsurprisingly, Swift is probably at the head of the pack.
Wiz Khalifa — "See You Again" (Feat. Charlie Puth)
Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" — a touching tribute to late Furious 7 actor Paul Walker — has now topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 12 weeks, making it one of the longest-running rap No. 1's in the chart's history. Yes, it's definitely a strong contender.
OMI — "Cheerleader" (Felix Jaehn Remix Radio Edit)
I'm not a fan of OMI's "Cheerleader" lyrics, but as I predicted, the song's breezy, tropical sound has really struck a chord with U.S. listeners. (It's already reached the No. 1 spot on iTunes.) Trust me, this one's going to be huge.
Rachel Platten — "Fight Song"
I knew Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" was going to blow up eventually — I just knew it! For many people, summer is a time for relaxation — but it can also be a time for self-reflection and self-improvement. "Fight Song" is the perfect pump-up anthem for anyone who's looking to make some life changes.
Rihanna — "Bitch Better Have My Money"
Summer just doesn't feel like summer without a new Rihanna single! "Bitch Better Have My Money" isn't shaping up to be the star's biggest summertime hit, but its controversial music video has people talking (and its lyrics are pretty quotable, too).
Skrillex & Diplo — "Where Are Ü Now" (Feat. Justin Bieber)
Skrillex and Diplo's emotional dance cut, "Where Are Ü Now," is a late entry to the game, but it's quickly garnered a lot of radio support (thanks in large part, I suspect, to Justin Bieber's impressive vocal performance). Hearing the Biebs sing about love and heartbreak might remind some listeners of their past summer flings.
Jason Derulo — "Want To Want Me"
Let's face it: Jason Derulo knows his way around a catchy pop song. "Want to Want Me" doesn't break the mold, but it's been stuck in my head for a good chunk of the summer... and that has to count for something, right?
Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea — "Pretty Girls"
Unfortunately, Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea's "Pretty Girls" fizzled on the charts — but it's not a bad song by any means. In fact, I had it on repeat for several weeks after it premiered. The track is still in the running — but just barely.
Fifth Harmony — "Worth It" (Feat. Kid Ink)
"Worth It" is Fifth Harmony's biggest hit to date. (It's currently No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.) If you ask me, the infectious up-tempo jam is absolutely worthy of Song of the Summer status.
The Weeknd — "Can't Feel My Face"
Bustle's Mallory Carra recently called The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" the "official song of Summer 2015" — and she could be right. Thanks to the success of "Earned It," the 25-year-old singer is having a major moment right now.
Tove Lo — "Talking Body"
Nobody tackles topics like love and lust quite like Swedish pop sensation Tove Lo — nobody. In truth, people have been rocking out to the sex-positive "Talking Body" for a while now (it premiered in Sept. 2014), but I still think it's in contention.
WALK THE MOON — "Shut Up And Dance"
I fell in love with WALK THE MOON's "Shut Up and Dance" the very first time I heard it. I'm so glad the energetic pop-rock single has become a hit. (It's currently No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.) It's a strong competitor for sure.
Andy Grammer — "Honey, I'm Good"
Andy Grammer's "Honey, I'm Good" lyrics rub me the wrong way. It's like, we're supposed to give this dude a big pat on the back for not cheating on his girlfriend? Give me a break! Still, I can't deny how incredibly catchy the song is.
Demi Lovato — "Cool For The Summer"
Provocative lyrics? Check. Soaring chorus? Check. Ability to inspire spontaneous top-of-your-lungs sing-along sessions? Check. Yup, Demi Lovato's "Cool for the Summer" has what it takes.
David Guetta — "Hey Mama" (Feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha, & Afrojack)
Problematic lyrics haven't kept David Guetta's "Hey Mama" from getting loads of radio airplay. The frantic EDM track isn't a personal favorite of mine, but its success thus far makes it a serious threat.
Fetty Wap — "Trap Queen"
Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" may have peaked too early to be crowned 2015's Song of the Summer — but I think it still has a shot.
Selena Gomez — "Good For You" (Feat. A$AP Rocky)
Selena Gomez tried out a new sound with "Good For You," and so far, it's paid off! The sexy slow jam debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving the former Disney star the third top 10 single of her career. I predict the song will continue to grow in the coming weeks.
Major Lazer — "Lean On" (Feat. MØ & DJ Snake)
I don't claim to understand its lyrics ("Blow a kiss, fire a gun/We all need someone to lean on"? What does that even mean?), but Major Lazer's "Lean On" is really starting to take off.
Maroon 5 — "This Summer's Gonna Hurt"
I didn't mind Maroon 5's "This Summer's Gonna Hurt" at first — but I've grown to despise it. However, it has the word "summer" in its title, so I figured it was worth mentioning. Plus, I hear it on the radio all the time, so some people must love it!
Sia — "Elastic Heart"
"Elastic Heart" is Sia's second top 20 single as a lead artist. Whenever I hear it, I have to turn the volume all the way up. I can't help myself! Like many other Song of the Summer hopefuls, it just sounds better that way.