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Here Are All The 2016 Song Of Summer Contenders

Rihanna and 15 other artists will all be fighting it out for the annual title.

May 25, 2016
Here Are All The 2016 Song Of Summer Contenders Illustration by Leah Mandel. Photographs from left Kevork Djansezian; Justin Tallis; Niklas Halle'n/Getty Images

Now that it's almost Memorial Day, it's time to officially start scoping out what will be 2016's Song of Summer. While last year there were multiple winners, and there may never again be just one song that's playing from every corner of the planet, the thought that there could be is still nice. This year's competition for singularity is brutal, with lots of familiar contenders. Let's look at the possibilities.


Adele, “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”
Here Are All The 2016 Song Of Summer Contenders XL Recordings

A breakup anthem that can make all of your aunts smile.

Evidence of heat: Produced by Max Martin. A fast Adele song is every radio programmer’s dream come true.
Last year’s version: The Weeknd, "Can't Feel My Face"

Rihanna f. Drake, “Work”
Westbury Road Entertainment / Roc Nation

Every DJ's standby crowdpleaser.

Evidence of heat: Nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Could possibly get a second life in the warmer months. "Needed Me" and "Love On The Brain" are waiting in the wings too.
Last year's version: Jamie xx f. Young Thug & Popcaan, "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)"

Drake f. Kyla and Wizkid, “One Dance”

The straight-up best song to dance to this summer.

Evidence of heat: Two weeks at number one already. Has been number one on Apple Music's streaming chart pretty much since its release.
Last year's version: Drake, “Hotline Bling”

Desiigner, “Panda”

How to bring boys to the dance floor.

Evidence of heat: Two weeks at number one, no signs of stopping.
Last year's version: Future, "Fuck Up Some Commas"

Fifth Harmony f. Ty Dolla $ign, “Work From Home”
Epic Records

Your younger sister and older gay brother’s favorite song.

Evidence of heat: The song just topped the pop charts for the first time this week.
Last year's version: Fifth Harmony f. Kid Ink, "Worth It"

Justin Bieber, “Company”

Bieber slowed down to a cool summer night BPM.

Evidence of heat: An slick Billboard Music Awards performance with a radio-ready dance version.
Last year's version: Skrillex and Diplo f. Justin Bieber, "Where Are Ü Now"

Mike Posner, “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” (Seeb Remix)
Here Are All The 2016 Song Of Summer Contenders Instagram

What college-sick fratboys are listening to in their childhood bedrooms.

Evidence of heat: A 2015 Norwegian dance remix of a 2014 Mike Posner song has been hovering in the top 10 for weeks but summer—or a good viral video—could give it the boost it needs to take the summer.
Last year's version: OMI, "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)"

Mø, “Final Song” and Zara Larsson and MNEK, “Never Forget You”
Here Are All The 2016 Song Of Summer Contenders Dennis Morton for The FADER

Two huge euro anthems good for long car rides.

Evidence of heat: The former has 273 million plays on Spotify and counting. The second has over 4 million Spotify plays in under a few weeks.
Last year's version: Major Lazer & DJ Snake f. MØ, "Lean On"

Fat Joe and Remy Ma f. French Montana and Infared, “All The Way Up”

New York rap that the rest of the country needs right now.

Evidence of heat: A newsy remix with Jay Z. Massive applause for it at the Bad Boy reunion concert.
Last year's version: Future f. Drake, "Where Ya At"

Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling”

An immediate smash by a familiar face.

Evidence of heat: The song hit number one on the Hot 100 in its debut week, which is still an incredibly rare thing to happen.
Last year's version: Nothing from last year, but it’s a mirror image of Pharrell’s “Happy” from 2014.

Beyoncé, “Sorry”
Parkwood Entertainment

What to hear to get over your summer fling.

Evidence of heat: It’s the highest charting song from Lemonade that’s not “Formation.” Good things could happen with a strong push to radio and a release of the stellar video on YouTube.
Last year's version: There is only one Beyoncé.

Young Greatness, “Moolah”

A hustler’s anthem that has staying power.

Evidence of heat: 15 million plays on Spotify and an appearance on the Hot 100. A remix from Yo Gotti and Lil Wayne should help things move along.
Last year's version: Fetty Wap, "Trap Queen"

Chance The Rapper f. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, "No Problem"
Here Are All The 2016 Song Of Summer Contenders

Absolute pure sunshine and a very awake Lil Wayne.

Evidence of heat: Unshakable placement at the top of the Apple Music charts.
Last year's version: (in terms of spirit) Rich Homie Quan, "Flex (Ooh Ooh Ooh)"

Kent Jones, "Don't Mind"

The dance all of your crazy cousins will try to teach you.

Evidence of heat: A meme-ready dance crazy you might actually want to listen to.
Last year's version: Silentó, "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)"

Ariana Grande, “Into You”

Pop masterclass, with lots of bass.

Evidence of heat: The latest single off her first ever U.K. number one album. It’s got a really hot video and the lyric a little less conversation and a little more touch my body.
Last year's version: David Guetta f. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack, "Hey Mama"

Here Are All The 2016 Song Of Summer Contenders