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100 of the Best Songs to Update Your Summer Playlist

The time is here, everyone! It’s time for all of our windows to be down, our skin to be burnt and Twitter to be filled with that one random Riff Raff vine that shows up on our feeds around this time of year. As you can tell by the headline, this article is all about music. But, not just any music. It’s music that creates your anthem playlist for the summer! But, *warning* this playlist is extremely biased. These are all songs that I personally picked out and have always loved to hear on a hot summer day by the water or in my car. Now, there are several new songs that I added, so this isn’t an entirely accurate representation of my personal playlist, but it is pretty close. So, don’t judge it too harshly because I will probably ignore you and jam out peacefully by myself. 

In this playlist you can find anything from The Weeknd, to Elton John, to Kenny Chesney, to Otis Redding and more. There are songs that are slow and chill, upbeat and fast-paced, Latin, rap/hip-hop, country and Y2K and whatever else sounds like a fun song to listen to at that moment. 

This playlist is a perfect representation of who I am as a person. Which can be a good thing and a bad thing, depending on how you interpret it. I am an individual whose tastes and preferences change daily, and one who’s attention span is quite short. I can be obsessed with a song one day and then hate it the next. But, these songs manage to stay consistently at the top of my all time summer favorites.

Like I said before, I am aware that some of you may hate almost every song on this playlist. You may not understand how someone can go from Jimmy Buffet to Cardi B or Kenny Chesney to Tech N9ne, which I honestly can’t blame you for. So, as a solution to this little problem, I made this into a public Spotify and Apple Music playlist. It is open for any of you to add songs and to customize as your own! 

So, after that windy intro into what is a very simple article, I hope you guys enjoy the playlists and share it with your friends! Below, I listed 15 of the 100 songs to just give you a sample of everything that this diverse playlist has to offer. Let me know what you all think, and have a happy summer!

Deja Vu - Olivia Rodrigo

Anything and everything Olivia Rodrigo will be on this playlist… Do I really need to explain why?

Levitating (feat. DaBaby) - Dua Lipa

If you want a good beat to dance and scream to with your friends, then you will love this song. It is perfect for a fun day swimming and relaxing, but also a great hype song for a fun, summer party!

Magic in the Hamptons (feat. Lil Yachty) - Social House

This song screams SUMMER! Nothing like a chill vacay in the Hamptons… haha… totally relatable.

Sunflower Seeds - Bryce Vine

All I have to say is… VIBES! (I know that word is cringey, but it’s the only word I have to describe this masterpiece). This is my spring/summer anthem right now because, what is more “summer” than some ranch sunflower seeds? I don’t know about you, but this song just reminds me of going to the baseball fields when I was younger. It brings all of the nostalgia that many songs are missing today.

Don't Start Now - Dua Lipa

Another Dua Lipa song… shocker. All of her songs are perfect for any summer rave or get together with friends!

Ready or Not - Bridgit Mendler

Ok. This song deserves a Grammy. Not only is Bridgit Mendler a staple figure of my childhood, but this song has been in my summer playlist since 2012. It is fun, bubbly, upbeat and carries elements of rap and pop. It should be on everyone’s playlist, not just for the summer, but for the whole year (yes, this is a hill I will die on)!

Blinding Lights - The Weeknd

If The Weeknd was not on your summer playlist before, start rethinking your life a little bit. Anything by The Weeknd will hype you up and put you in a good mood. This song pays tribute to the 80s, but still carries elements of modern-pop. Not to mention, there is a pretty fun TikTok dance to this song.

Watermelon Sugar - Harry Styles

Just the name alone screams “SUMMER!” To understand why this should be on everyone’s summer playlist, all you have to do is go to any outdoor restaurant, turn on the radio, or simply watch the music video and then you will understand why this song deserves to be on this playlist. *cough* Plus, Harry Styles is just an uber talented, sexy man *cough.* Woah, who said that?

Finesse (Remix) [feat. Cardi B] - Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars should be a part of every playlist you make, especially a summer playlist. This song, in particular, was a hit last year and managed to get everyone excited to spend a day out in the sun drinking a frozen beverage and falling asleep on a raft in the pool.

Left Hands Free - Alt-J

If you have seen “Outer Banks,” then you know this song very well. It’s a good song for going on a road trip with some friends and singing with the windows down… or if you’re searching for a long lost treasure, or something like that. 

Don’t Stop Me Now - Queen

Freddy Mercury. Need I say more?

Livin’ La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin

This is the first Latin selection that is available in this playlist. And, what better than the song that was also in the best Dreamworks movie, “Shrek?” I think we can all agree that Latin culture and Latin music represents the fun and excitement that comes with the summer time. Ricky Martin is also one of the best Latin artists of all time, so that is also why he will stay on my summer playlist forever.

Tiny Dancer - Elton John

This song is the closing song to a long, hot summer day. It is this song that makes you reminisce on your fun day and brings a smile to your face. It is chill enough to make you relaxed and happy, but it is also a popular enough song that can make you want to jump around and sing it at the top of your lungs. 

Hips Don’t Lie (feat. Wyclef Jean) - Shakira

Another Latin classic! Shakira exudes everything that summer represents. I feel like I really don’t need to elaborate on why she is on this playlist. She is just a queen. 

When the Sun Goes - Kenny Chesney & Uncle Kracker

I live on a lake and this song is always one of the best songs to play at the end of the day. It gives boat day and barbeque on the Fourth of July vibes, and I am here for it!

That was just a little sneak peek of what the playlist has to offer. I hope you guys enjoy this hodge podge of songs and have a great (and hopefully COVID-free) summer. Let me know what you think or what you want me to add for the next playlist I might make!

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Hi! My name is Olivia Johnson and I am a journalism major at the University of Missouri! I was born and raised in Kansas City, but I live full-time in Columbia now! I love to write, research and sing (super random... I know). I have two dogs (a Goldendoodle named Larry and a Bernedoodle named Sully) and a cat (a Himalayan named Julius)! I love everything beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, so I love HER and the wide range of topics I can talk about here! Make sure you follow me on all of my social media accounts listed down below and make sure to follow the rest of the Her Campus team! Happy reading! Instagram: oliviagalejohnson Twitter: _OliviaJohnson_ LinkedIn: Olivia Johnson - https://www.linkedin.com/in/olivia-johnson-49739a206/
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