“I can tell that you’re wantin’ more,” Khalid sings in his smooth-groove R&B smash “Talk.” Listeners took heed of the Grammy-nominated act’s lyrical mandate—making the No. 1 pop and R&B/hip-hop radio track the official Song of the Summer, based on total on-air listener impressions, from June 1 to Aug. 30, according to data provided to Inside Radio by Mediabase.
In all, Khalid accumulated 2.12 million audience impressions in the summer months, peaking in July—although the song is such an enduring hit that it is currently No. 1 on the Billboard Radio Songs roster, for the week ending Aug. 31.
For the months of June, July and August, that puts the RCA track more than 206,000 impressions ahead of the No. 2 Song of the Summer, “I Don’t Care,” from Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber. With, 1.91 million impressions, that duet was a cross-format smash, garnering the most spins at Top 40, followed by Hot AC and AC, according to Mediabase, while even tickling the triple-A format. The Def Jam/Atlantic release also reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Radio Songs chart.
The No. 3 Song of the Summer marks the triumphant return of Jonas Brothers following a six-year hiatus, as their “Sucker” became Joe, Nick and Kevin’s first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 (their previous biggest hit was 2013’s No. 5 “Burnin’ Up”). The maddeningly catchy pop song exhibits all the attributes of an indelible keepsake Song of Summer, with a gimmick-free uptempo singalong chorus. In fact, if our Summer countdown data comprised the months of April through August, the Republic release would have, in fact, been the No. 1 top Song of the Summer, based on total audience. With 1.86 million listener impressions, it reached No. 1 on the Radio Songs tally at Billboard and topped the Hot AC playlist.
Another singalong smash comes from the ever-growing hit catalog of Canadian singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes. His Island/Republic-issued “If I Can’t Have You,” scoring 1.48 million audience impressions, robustly rode the rails at both Top 40 and Hot AC—and is the No. 4 Song of the Summer—winning its declaration just as his admirably melodic duet with Camila Cabello, “Senorita,” hits No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for Aug. 31, 2019; that track also scores the biggest gain in airplay over Labor Day weekend.
The second longest-lived title to score kudos among the top 10 2019 sunshine rankings is “Dancing With A Stranger” from Sam Smith & Normandi, which was released to radio in the U.S. some 32 weeks ago. Its 1.39 million impressions took it to the top on Billboard Radio Songs, and No. 5 for Song of the Summer. The RCA-Capitol dance track swept across all formats, according to Mediabase charts, including Top 40, Rhythmic, Hot AC, AC, and even a modicum of spins at Urban AC and triple-A. Total impressions for the Best New Artist Grammy winner reached 1.39 million.
The sixth song on Inside Radio’s exclusive tally based on Mediabase audience impressions is the ubiquitous “Old Town Road” from Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, via Columbia. The sing-song country/trap novelty, of course, has become the biggest Hot 100 song in history, with 19 weeks at the top of the all-inclusive sales, streaming and radio play chart (outlasting previous record-holders “One Sweet Day” from 1995 with 15 weeks, by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men; and “Despacito,” the Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi and Justin Bieber collaboration from 2017). Despite its lofty achievement, “Old Town Road” only went as high as No. 2 on Billboard Radio Songs. It scored airplay at Top 40, R&B/Hip-Hop, Rhythmic and at a distance, Hot AC.
Post Malone delivers the only other rap song to make the 2019 SoS top 10, with the rather bare-bones “Wow,” the act’s sixth top 10 single. It follows Post Malone’s triumphant “Sunflower” with rapper Swae Lee from the Marvel film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”—which reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 and at Top 40, R&B/Hip-Hop and Rhythmic radio. One reviewer called “Wow” the artist on “autopilot”; it still managed a No. 2 peak on the Hot 100 and No. 3 on Billboard Radio Songs. Issued by Republic, its airplay centered at Top 40, R&B/Hip-Hop and Rhythmic.
Back to memorable uptempo pop, the No. 8 song comes from American singer/songwriter Ava Max, whose delightful debut “Sweet But Psycho” reached No. 1 in 26 countries, and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Top 40 and Hot AC were the Atlantic release’s two foremost radio homes in the U.S. It also topped the Billboard Dance Songs chart. Max was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2019 MTV Music Awards (Billie Eilish won).
At No. 9, one of three hits this year for Panic! At The Disco lead Brendon Urie—and the band’s biggest’s hit to date—is “High Hopes.” It peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100, becoming Panic!’s second top 10 hit, behind 2006 debut “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” The Fueled By Ramen/EMG song’s initial radio traction came from Alternative radio, followed by Top 40, Hot AC and even Rhythmic. Follow-up single “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” is currently top 20 on the Hot 100; while Urie also reached No. 2 with “Me!” his duet with Taylor Swift.
And finally, Halsey’s fifth top 20 hit on the Hot 100—a former No. 1 on the chart and No. 1 on Radio Songs—is the sweet midtempo “Without Me,” whose bridge contains an interpolation of the pre-chorus of Justin Timberlake's “Cry Me a River.” (Halsey also topped the Hot 100 as a featured artist on The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” in 2016, nominated for a Grammy.) It comes in at No. 10 on Inside Radio’s exclusive Song of the Summer chart, based specifically on radio audience impressions. The Capitol release has scored massive airplay since its release 40 weeks ago—the oldest song in our top 10—at Top 40, Rhythmic, Hot AC, AC and spins at triple-A. In fact, its airplay in January and February, respectively, was higher than June-August combined. And here’s an award to remember: Halsey won a Guinness World Record in 2019 for the Most Viewed YouTube Video in 24 Hours for her collaboration with BTS, “Boy with Luv.”—Chuck Taylor