Now that school is well underway, it’s only appropriate that we take a look back at which songs truly defined the summer of 2019. Usually, summer hits are upbeat tracks in a major key that have a vaguely positive message, and Street wants to see how this summer measured up.
“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X
“Old Town Road” became a hit out of nowhere, largely due to its uniqueness as part of the “country rap” genre. “Old Town Road” made history by being the #1 single on the Billboard charts for 19 consecutive weeks, which is the longest in history. Although “Old Town Road” blew up in the late spring, its reign spanned long into the summer, along with various re–released remixes and a music video featuring Billy Ray Cyrus and Chris Rock.
“Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish
“Bad Guy” ended “Old Town Road”’s 17-week run on the Billboard charts in August, though Billie Eilish released the song with her debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? back in March. The song is known for its “pop–trap” feel with lyrics that describe being attracted to “bad guys.” The song is written in a minor key, meaning the melody isn’t as upbeat as most “summer songs.” In contrast, the tone for the whole song is rather somber and melancholic.
“Talk” by Khalid
Although written by Khalid, the song was produced by Disclosure. It was released in February 2019 as a prelude to Khalid’s second album, Free Spirit. The track immediately starts with a catchy beat with simple lyrics, asking “Can we just talk?” Although the song is in a slower tempo, it still has a positive energy with a mellow, memorable vibe.
“I Don’t Care” by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber
“I Don’t Care” came out in May of 2019 and broke Spotify’s streaming record for number of plays in a single day. This duet from two industry powerhouses starts off with Ed Sheeran singing with an upbeat and fast tone, and Justin Bieber comes in on the second verse and joins Sheeran later on to sing the titular line: “Cause I don’t care.”
“Truth Hurts” by Lizzo
Lizzo’s third album, Cuz I Love You, took the charts by storm after its release in April of 2019. The song “Truth Hurts,” which was actually released back in 2017, became a surprise hit, with memorable one–liner like, “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch.” Not only is the song fun, upbeat, and full of Lizzo's trademark charisma, but it is also an empowering mantra about recognizing self worth and moving on.
“Sucker” by The Jonas Brothers
Years after emerging from their Disney Channel fame, the Jonas Brothers came together this spring to debut “Sucker” and its iconic music video featuring all of their wives. Though this hit relied heavily on nostalgia, it is both playful and fun, carrying hints of the pop–rock edge from previous Jonas brother hits, such as “Year 3000.”
Out of the top songs of the summer, the most upbeat and positive one was definitely Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts.” Not only did this song take off over the summer, but Lizzo’s talent and charm launched her to superstardom this summer as well. Of course, other hits such as “Old Town Road” were more popular on the charts, but it's Lizzo’s message and energy that really defines “Truth Hurts” as the song of the summer.