Billboard has a ranking of the top 10 songs of the summer for every year since 1958, the year the Billboard Hot 100 was introduced. every summer season since 1975. That was the year when Jaws more or less introduces the phenomenon of the summer blockbuster.
So what has captured the best each summer? The most popular song or the most profitable film? It’s really up to every music fan and movie buff to decide. But in this summer summary — to use the inimitable expression of Billboard‘s Gary Trust – we show the summer champion for songs and movies for every year since 1975, discuss their historical significance, and suggest what we think. You are free to agree or disagree.
As you will see while browsing this opus, certain names keep coming back. Andy Gibb, Mariah Carey, Usher, Katy Perry and Drake have all twice been the lead artist for a song of the summer. Jay-Z was the featured artist for Song of the Summer twice.
Gibb, the youngest brother of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees), is the only artist to have the song of the summer two years in a row. Three actors – Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Pratt – have starred in movies that have reigned at the box office in successive summers.
BillboardThe Songs of the Summer list measures performances on the Hot 100 between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The boxofficemojo.com chart measures from the first Friday in May through Labor Day weekend. A little different, but close enough.
So imagine it’s 1975. You’re in your car, with the Eagles on the radio. You rush to catch Jaws at your local theater. It’s a good starting point. We will take you to the present day.