The most popular summer song of the last 43 years

Katy Perry is the picture of summer.

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Katy Perry is the picture of summer.
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YouTube/KatyPerryVEVO

  • Everyone always wonders what song will break out to be the undisputed song of the summer.
  • INSIDER used Billboard’s charts to choose the highest-ranking summer song of each year from 1975.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Every year, there’s a battle to see which song can claim the title of “the song of the summer.”

It can become a point of contention as people argue over whether or not Carly Rae Jepsen is beating Justin Bieber or why Rita Ora isn’t getting her due recognition, but it’s a fun accolade to give an artist.

The jury is still out on which song will be this year’s biggest hit, but we used Billboard’s charts to choose the highest-ranking summer song for each year.

Whether or not you agree with the top song, here are the No. 1 summer songs from 1975 to 2017:


1975: “One of These Nights” — The Eagles

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Timothy B. Schmit, Glen Frey, and Don Henley of the Eagles perform during “History Of The Eagles Live In Concert” in 2013.
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Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Listen on Spotify.


1976: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” — Elton John and Kiki Dee

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Kiki Dee and Elton John in the song’s music video.
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YouTube/EltonJohnVEVO

Watch the video.


1977: “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” — Andy Gibb

Watch him on YouTube.


1978: “Shadow Dancing” — Andy Gibb

Watch him on YouTube.


1979: “Bad Girls” — Donna Summer

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Donna Summer in 2010.
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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Watch her on YouTube.


1980: “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” — Billy Joel

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Billy Joel in the “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” music video.
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YouTube/billyjoelVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


1981: “Jessie’s Girl” — Rick Springfield

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Rick Springfield in the “Jessie’s Girl” music video.
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YouTube/RickSpringfieldVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


1982: “Eye of the Tiger” — Survivor

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This is a screenshot from the “Eye of the Tiger” music video.
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YouTube/SurvivorVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


1983: “Every Breath You Take” — The Police

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The entire video is in black and white.
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YouTube/ThePoliceVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


1984: “When Doves Cry” — Prince

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Prince starts the video in a bathtub.
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YouTube/Prince

Watch the video on YouTube.


1985: “Shout” — Tears For Fears

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English pop/rock band Tears for Fears formed in 1981.
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Mercury

Listen on Spotify.


1986: “Papa Don’t Preach” — Madonna

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Madonna rocked short hair.
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YouTube/Warner Bros. Records

Watch the video on YouTube.


1987: “Alone” — Heart

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Look at that epic hair.
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YouTube/HeartVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


1988: “Roll With It” — Steve Winwood

Listen on Spotify.


1989: “Right Here Waiting” — Richard Marx

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That hair.
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YouTube/RichardMarxVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


1990: “Vision of Love” — Mariah Carey

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Mariah Carey in the video for “Vision of Love.”
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YouTube/MariahCareyVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


1991: “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” — Bryan Adams

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Bryan Adams performing the song live at Wembley in 1996.
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YouTube/BryanAdamsVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


1992: “Baby Got Back” — Sir Mix-A-Lot

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Sir Mix-a-Lot in 2015.
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Mike Windle/Getty Images for Dick Clark Production

Listen on Spotify.


1993: “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love with You” — UB40

Listen on Spotify.


1994: “I Swear” — All-4-One

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Can’t help singing along.
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YouTube/All-4-One (Official channel)

Watch the video on YouTube.


1995: “Waterfalls” — TLC

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Don’t go chasing waterfalls.
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YouTube/TLCVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


1996: “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” — Los Del Rio

Listen on Spotify.


1997: “I’ll Be Missing You” — Puff Daddy and Faith Evans feat. 112

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Puff Daddy and Faith Evans performed together in 2016.
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Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Live Nation

Listen on Spotify.


1998: “The Boy is Mine” — Brandy and Monica

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Brandy and Monica in 1999.
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Dan Callister / Stringer/Getty

Listen on Spotify.


1999: “Genie in a Bottle” — Christina Aguilera

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She showed off her dance moves in the video for “Genie in a Bottle.”
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YouTube/CAguileraVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2000: “Bent” — Matchbox Twenty

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Rob Thomas in the “Bent” video.
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YouTube/Matchbox Twenty

Watch the video on YouTube.


2001: “U Remind Me” — Usher

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Usher broke it down in the video for “U Remind Me.”
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YouTube/UsherVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2002: “Hot In Herre” — Nelly

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Nelly’s song got everyone dancing.
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YouTube/NellyVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2003: “Crazy in Love” — Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z

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Beyoncé has always ruled the world.
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YouTube/BeyonceVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2004: “Confessions Part II” — Usher

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Usher let loose in the “Confessions Part II” video.
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YouTube/UsherVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2005: “We Belong Together” — Mariah Carey

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Mariah knows how to make a summer song.
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YouTube/MariahCareyVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2006: “Promiscuous” — Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland

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This is a jam.
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YouTube/NellyFurtadoVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2007: “Umbrella” — Rihanna feat. Jay-Z

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She made umbrellas cool.
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YouTube/RihannaVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2008: “I Kissed a Girl” — Katy Perry

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This song shot Katy to the top.
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YouTube/KatyPerryVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2009: “I Gotta Feeling” — The Black Eyed Peas

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We dare you not to sing along.
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YouTube/BlackEyedPeasVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2010: “California Gurls” — Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg

Katy Perry is the picture of summer.

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This was a vibrant video.
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YouTube/KatyPerryVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2011: “Party Rock Anthem” — LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett and GoonRock

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Every day I’m shufflin’.
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YouTube/LMFAOVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2012: “Call Me Maybe” — Carly Rae Jepsen

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This is a catchy song.
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YouTube/CarlyRaeJepsenVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2013: “Blurred Lines” — Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell

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The song and video were controversial.
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YouTube/RobinThickeVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2014: “Fancy” — Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX

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The video was inspired by “Clueless.”
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YouTube/IggyAzaleaMusicVEVO

Watch the video on YouTube.


2015: “Cheerleader” — OMI

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Omi had a hit.
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YouTube/UltraMusic

Watch the video on YouTube.


2016: “One Dance” — Drake feat. WizKid and Kyla

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Drake has some interesting dance movies.
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YouTube/DrakeVEVO

Watch him on YouTube.


2017: “Despacito (Remix)” — Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, featuring Justin Bieber

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Luis Fonsi in the official video.
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LuisFonsiOfficial/YouTube

Listen to the song on YouTube.


2018: “In My Feelings” — Drake

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Drake inspired us all to get up and dance in our feelings summer 2018.
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Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money Records/YouTube

The song was on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 10 weeks and inspired a viral Internet challenge.

You can watch the music video here.