Well it’s been a wild ride deciding the Song of the Summer in 2021, but we’ve finally come to a decision.
First of all, thanks to everyone who submitted nominees and came back to vote for the final 2. It’s a long process, I know, but well worth it to get the accurate data-driven Song of the Summer. All songs that were submitted are logged in a highlight on my Instagram. I wanted to make a playlist but I got lazy cuz these things take way longer than I’d like to admit, if someone else wants to be a team player and compile one that’s sick but otherwise it’s saved on my profile. Seriously though this is fun and I love hearing everyone’s thoughts and comments and I like hearing that people look forward to it, so thank you! Ok let’s do it.
Here are some of the honorable mentions before we get to our winner (all submitted via the initial Google Form).
- “Butter” – BTS
- The Jackie – J. Cole & Bas
- Last Train Home – John Mayer
- Down to One – Luke Bryan
- Brutal – Olivia Rodrigo
- Fancy Like – Walker Hayes
- Never Going Home – Kungs
- Heat Waves – Glass Animals
Those were all good submissions, but these following ones are the runner ups (in no particular order).
“The Business” – Tiesto
Although this song did come out a few years ago, it did undeniably peak this summer in my opinion. Just as the world was reopening and I was returning to the music-blasting bars I missed so much, this song got me more hyped than anything. So, Hope, completely agree when you said “nothing got Loft on MV going quite like The Business did”. Early June, on Martha’s Vineyard, at a massive bar, after not having full-throttle enjoyment like that since the pandemic began? Nothing like it.
“Industry Baby” – Lil Nas X (feat. Jack Harlow)
I absolutely love this song and was shocked it didn’t receive more votes. Possibly because it caught steam more in the middle of the summer? Regardless, I agree with Annie’s notes on her submission in which she said “Anything lil nas x is #1” as well as Abby’s comment “It is the only correct answer!”. But unfortunately the numbers don’t lie and that statement is false due to the votes. We need to do some campaigning next time so bangers like this get their roses. But with a new album out today and the amount of success he’s already had, I don’t think Mr. Nas X is gonna be too distraught over losing SOTS this year.
“Wusyaname” – Tyler, the Creator (feat. NBA Youngboy)
This was my personal Song of the Summer for sure. Great summer vibes for cruising around with the windows down from one of my favorite artists, but alas, it didn’t get that radio play that is so needed to be crowned SOTS. So although the person who submitted this nomination, who affectionately called themselves “Butt Cheeks”, said “There is no debate. Give me my monaaayyy”, I can not in good conscience give you any such thing. But as a consolation prize, just know that I was as big of a fan as you.
“Levitating” – Dua Lipa
Of course, I was rooting for this one, but I knew in my heart it just wasn’t right. I think Emily had a great analysis, saying “I don’t think it can be Levitating. To me, Future Nostalgia is the soundtrack of us actively going into the pandemic. Levitating feels too old, and it’s been on the chart for 48 weeks now. That’s almost an entire year.” While hot at the beginning of the Summer and as the world was reopening, it didn’t have the spiciness of a fresh FRESH song of the summer since it was cooking for months before the season anyways. So wasn’t gonna cut it.
“Kiss Me More” – Doja Cat & SZA
I am honestly so surprised this wasn’t a finalist, and I was trying to use my influence to make it happen. Despite my best efforts I couldn’t include it. It really didn’t hold a candle to the support Good 4 U and Stay had. I think this had all the fixings of an SOTS. It was fun to dance to, got people excited, super popular, peaked this summer, and was from 2 mega-stars. So what went wrong? No clue. I think Olivia Rodrigo is just having a bigger moment and I think “Stay” is just being heavily promoted on all platforms right now and is impossible to get out of your head.
I did want to touch on one comment that was left on the poll that I found interesting. Friend of the blog, Hannah Williams, said “Honestly not a toooon of bops this summer 😢” and I do kind of agree. While I liked a lot of the songs that were submitted, there wasn’t one that I feel was universally beloved and super super fun. Even the 2 finalists I know people on both sides got annoyed with at some point. Whereas I think Truth Hurts and Watermelon Sugar (previous winners of the award) were pretty well-liked no matter what. I actually wrote a post back in 2018 about this similar phenomenon, where I didn’t think there was a SOTS. That year is actually what led me to create the criteria and start polling the people, which I’m glad I started to do because although I personally didn’t have a clear cut Song of the Summer, the people have certainly spoken.
With that being said, let’s look at our 2 finalists.
Stay – The Kid Laroi (feat. Justin Bieber)
This song truly encapsulates the moment the music industry is currently in. The song is from an exciting new artist, it gained steam on extremely viral tik tok trends that even Dr. Phil hopped on, and it got a feature from featuring an established mega-star. But beyond just the moment we’re in, it also fits the Song of the Summer bill pretty perfectly. Very fun, extremely catchy, widely-known and was hot all damn summer. Could it defeat the GOLIATH that is Olivia Rodrigo this year though? Well, let’s see what the song’s supporters had to say.
“This one just doesn’t miss!!! It’s widely known, catchy as hell, and truly had its peak moment this summer. I rest my case. “ – RDevs (sick nick name for yourself)
“There is no other choice in my humble opinion.” – Molly Donovan
“F***ing slaps” – Em Ryan (simple, yet powerful words)
“song f***in slaps man (gotta love the sweet “dance moves” when performed live)” – Victoria Jade (sensing a theme here, song f***ing slaps you heard it here first)
Some encouraging words from supporters of Laroi and the Biebs, but it’s gonna take more than that to beat our next contender…
Good 4 U – Olivia Rodrigo
No person in music has quite captured the hearts of America like Olivia this year. Coming hot out the gate with the massive break-up anthem “Driver’s License” at the top of the year, Olivia was already half-way to the hoop with the ball in her hands, she just needed a fun song to slam dunk her way into the Song of the Summer hall of fame. And that dunk came with Good 4 U. Riding the pop-punk resurgence and the teenage angst of a break-up everyone can relate to, she made an extremely fun song that was fun to sing, always hit when you heard it. The “like a damn sociopath” line could only be sung at the highest volume possible. Here’s what the Rodrigo heads had to say about this SOTS finalist.
“Probably not the best song but for sure got the people going anywhere you went this summer” – Stin, I agree with you. It’s what the song of the summer is about though. Not the best one, but the most universally enjoyed.
“Love it” – Kathryn, so do a lot of people apparently lol
That was legit all the commentary for this song. So while I originally thought this was set up for the easy win, the Stay supporters came in hot. It got me thinking this was going to be a closer race than originally intended, and boy was I right.
After narrowing it down to those 2, the battle began. It was fairly neck and neck until the last few hours of the poll being open when it became clear the gap between the two wouldn’t be closed…
With 66 responses this is how the vote was split when the poll closed…
But the question is…who is the blue? Who is taking home the grand title of the djchickenparm Official Song of the Summer 2021
…drum roll please…
GOOD 4 U – OLIVIA RODRIGO!
Congratulations Ms. Rodrigo! Here’s a screenshot of her accepting the award last night at the ceremony *due to the Delta variant it was simply me, her, Timothee Chalamet, and the green robot baby that Frank Ocean brought to the Met Gala. We just gave her the award then talked about what it’s like to be famous over a couple High Life’s in my backyard. It was chill.*
Here’s what Olivia had to say in her acceptance speech:
I’d like to thank djchickenparm and all of my fans for this prestigious award. I’ve been reading the blog since I was a kid (last year) and it was my goal when writing this song to be crowned the Song of the Summer by my favorite website. Thank you! Ok, green baby Frank Ocean brought to the Met Gala, can you pass me another High Life? Also djchickenparm, if you wouldn’t mind omitting this from the blog that’d be sick. I’m underage I could get in some serious trouble for pounding brews.
Wow, powerful words Olivia. We wish you nothing but the best.
Thanks to everyone who voted and stuck through this 5 day long process. Hopefully by next year I’ll have figured out a better way to do it and we’ll get hundreds and thousands of votes as the world catches on. We’ll see ya next year.