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What was the Song of the Summer for 2016?
Drake? Calvin Harris? Sia? Who’s it going to be?


AT THE BEGINNING of the summer, we presented a number of contenders for the title of Song of the Summer 2016.

Winners in previous years have included Cheerleader and Get Lucky. This year we had a number of songs jostling for the title, including seemingly countless numbers featuring Justin Bieber.

Let’s look back on the summer that was, shall we?

Back in June, it looked as though these songs were shaping up to be the major contenders.

Based on radio airplay, chart performance and streaming, the following dozen or so songs looked like the main contenders.

  • Drake - One Dance
  • Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling
  • Calvin Harris – This Is What You Came For
  • Sia – Cheap Thrills
  • DNCE – Cake By The Ocean
  • Galantis – No Money
  • Drake and Rihanna - Too Good
  • Mike Posner – I Took A Pill In Ibiza
  • KUNGS vs. Cookin’ On Burners – This Girl
  • The Chainsmokers – Don’t Let Me Down
  • Adele – Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
  • Cheat Codes x Kris Kross – Sex
  • Fifth Harmony – Work From Home

Immediately we can discount some of these songs that didn’t quite last the summer…

Cake By The Ocean, I Took A Pill In Ibiza, Sex and Work From Home were all hanging around the lower echelons of the top 30 by the time August came around, thus taking them out of contention. (In fairness, a number of these songs had also been out considerably longer than a number of the other contenders, but Song of the Summer they weren’t.)

giphy (7) Giphy Giphy

With the elimination of these songs, we had to consider some songs that entered the fold late on…

Like Major Lazer’s Cold Water (featuring the dulcet tones of Justin Bieber), Jonas Blue’s Perfect Strangers and DJ Snake’s Let Me Love You (once again featuring vocals from Justin Bieber). This trio of songs kind of ruled the charts during the latter half of the summer.

JonasBlueVEVO / YouTube

While we’re on the subject of late contenders, I must now admit that I underestimated the appeal of The Chainsmokers.

Back in June, I wrote, “I cannot in good conscience acknowledge the existence of a group called The Chainsmokers, so I am hereby ruling this out of contention.”

Reader, I was wrong to dismiss The Chainsmokers. Don’t Let Me Down was one of the most consistent performers of the summer and remained in the top 10 for the entire summer. They are also now sitting pretty atop the charts with their new song Closer.

All hail The Chainsmokers, I guess?

ChainsmokersVEVO / YouTube

So, who won the summer?

Well, Justin Timberlake won the battle on radio. A quick gander at the Irish Radio Airplay Chart reveals that Can’t Stop The Feeling is the third most played song of the year, lagging just behind Lush Life and Cheap Thrills.

When you consider that it only came out in May, that’s quite a feat. (Lush Life and Cheap Thrills have been out since January and February, respectively.)

Other Song of the Summer contenders that performed very well on radio? This Is What You Came For (the 8th most played song on radio this year) and This Girl (14th most played song on radio this year).

pla Irish Radio Airplay Chart / Twitter Irish Radio Airplay Chart / Twitter / Twitter

But the undisputed King of the Summer?

That would be @champagnepapi himself.

Drake’s One Dance absolutely dominated the summer. He spent a whopping twelve weeks at number one and a further three weeks inside the top three. In fact, the song is still in the top 10 this week.

That success was replicated elsewhere as well. It spent 15 weeks at number one in the UK and topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 non-consecutive weeks. Brazil, Australia, Sweden, Lebanon — they’re just a handful of the countries where it reached number one.

In other words: One Dance, with its dancehall vibes and infectious hook, achieved near global domination.

Take a bow, Drizzy.

Grips on your waist, front way back way… 

Special honorary mentions for…

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  • Christine and the Queens who scored a massive hit with Tilted, which became The Song You Were Most Likely To Hear In A Shop This Summer.
  • Calum Scott‘s slow cover of Dancing On My Own, which has gone down very well with Irish listeners indeed. (We still prefer Robyn’s.)
  • The Killers! Mr. Brightside re-entered the Top 100 the week of July 29th and have remained in it ever since. Further proof that it is every drunk Irish person’s favourite song.

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