June 25, 2024

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Summer Songs 1958-2022: The Top 10 Tunes of Each Summer

18 min read
Clockwise from top left: Madonna, Beyonce, Nelly, Drake, Carly Rae Jepsen & Usher

Time-travel through every year since the Hot 100 began with the top 10 hits each summer.

Hot weather and nostalgia make for a potent mix(tape). In order to aid your festive flashbacks, we analyzed the Billboard Hot 100 chart each year dating back to the survey’s August 1958 launch. Here’s the definitive list of the top 10 jams each summer that pumped out of your speakers most between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Beginning with the survey’s inception, summer songs have made for some of the most memorable hits in the Hot 100’s history, while many prominent artists have scored the top song of the summer, including Stevie Wonder, the Supremes and the Rolling Stones in the ‘60s; Bee Gees, Eagles and Donna Summer (naturally) in the ‘70s; Prince and Madonna in the ‘80s; Mariah Carey and TLC in the ‘90s; Usher and Beyoncé in the 2000s; and Katy Perry, Drake and more since.

Meanwhile, the right song at the right time has connected, regardless of the scope of an artist’s history. OMI, for example, has charted one Hot 100 hit, but it was a big one: his sunny “Cheerleader” soundtracked the summer of 2015 and wrapped as that season’s biggest hit.

Time-travel below through every year since the Hot 100 began with the top 10 hits each summer.

These hot tunes are ranked based on each track’s performance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the summer. For the period through 1991, prior to the advent of Luminate radio monitoring and point-of-sales data, the rankings are based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at lower ranks earning less. For the years corresponding with Luminate data tabulation from 1992 onward, rankings are based on accumulated radio and sales points, and points from other data sets, including streaming, included in the Hot 100 during those years.

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