Saturday, June 10, 2023

2021 Song of the Summer Contenders


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Story by Peyton Tranas / Core Writer

Every summer, there is one song that seems to uniquely define the season’s heady nights out, the late-night car rides with friends and its magical charmingness: this song is always deemed “the song of the summer.” 

While it’s only April and classes are still in session, the hot and highly coveted season is quickly approaching. 

Most of the time, these songs come out prior to the summer, if not months before. Past contenders have included “California Gurls” by Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen and “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus. 

While there has yet to be a “song of the summer” this year, here are a few current songs in the running for the crowning title.

1. “Levitating” by Dua Lipa ft. DaBaby

While the original version of this song came out in March 2020 on Lipa’s Future Nostalgia album, new life was brought to it by DaBaby in October 2020. Although this did release in 2020, the Dua Lipa hype was reignited after her performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards. The internet has been going crazy over this song, which only boosts streams and promotion for it.

2. “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat ft. SZA

With the newest release out of the list, Doja Cat has collaborated with SZA for her new single. After sweeping success with “Say So,” Doja Cat is solidifying her place in the music industry. Debuting at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 just this week, this song only has more room to grow and dominate. After last year’s success of “Savage (Remix)” by Megan Thee Stallion ft Beyoncé, “WAP” by Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion and even Doja Cat’s “Say So (Remix)” ft. Nicki Minaj, there is ample room for more successful female collaborations.

3. MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X

The main follow-up to Lil Nas X’s 2019 success came with a lot of chatter. While Nas has been talking about this song since 2020, it was finally released in March 2021. With the release of the song was an accompanying music video, which stirred an uproar. Having a controversial video just made the song more widely discusses, clearing the path for it to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

4. “Up” by Cardi B

Cardi B’s follow-up single from her hit, “WAP” ft. Megan Thee Stallion, further proved that Cardi can deliver catchy songs back to back. The song was immediately given the TikTok treatment of becoming a trending sound on the app, furthering the spread of the song after its February 2021 release. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after her Grammy performance of the song. This achievement made Cardi B the female rapper with the most #1 songs in Billboard Hot 100 history.

5. “Leave The Door Open” by Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak)

Bruno Mars has been relatively silent in terms of music releases since his 24K Magic album in 2016, but he has returned with assistance from Anderson .Paak to form a new duo: Silk Sonic. After tweet-related pleading from the group, they had their debut performance of their first single at the 2021 Grammy’s. The song charted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Ashley Barrientos, email

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