2015 Summer Pop Playlist

Your summer of fun requires a great playlist of pop songs to make you smile. 25 songs with the big hits, latest releases, and a few classics are the place to start for the soundtrack to summer 2015.

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Little Mix - "Black Magic"

Little Mix Black Magic
Little Mix - Black Magic. Courtesy Columbia

Back in 2011, the girl group Little Mix became the first group to win on the UK's . Since then they have released two top 10 charting albums here in the US. In addition six of their singles have gone to the top 10 in the UK. "Black Magic" is the first single from an upcoming third studio album and is released just in time for summer. 

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Zedd - "Beautiful Now" featuring Jon Bellion

Zedd Beautiful Now
Zedd - "Beautiful Now" featuring Jon Bellion. Courtesy Interscope

Dance music DJ and producer Zedd has just released his second studio album True Colors. The second single from the project is this song featuring vocals from rising singer-songwriter Jon Bellion. He has released a series of successful mixtapes. The most recent was last fall's The Definition.

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American Authors - "Go Big Or Go Home"

American Authors Go Big Or Go Home
American Authors - "Go Big Or Go Home". Courtesy Island

Last year the New York City based band American Authors climbed to #11 on the pop singles chart with their breakthrough hit single "Best Day Of My Life." They have returned with the rousing folk-inflected pop-rock single "Go Big Or Go Home" featuring banjo as on their first hit. It is expected to be a single from the group's upcoming second studio album. 

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Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea - "Pretty Girls"

Britney Spears Iggy Azalea Pretty Girls
Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea - "Pretty Girls". Courtesy RCA

The latest big superstar female duet is this dance-pop single from Britney Spears and rapper Iggy Azalea. The song has much of the same appeal as Iggy Azalea's breakthrough #1 smash "Fancy." The pair performed the song live at the Billboard Music Awards. 

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Calvin Harris - "Summer"

Calvin Harris - Summer
Calvin Harris - "Summer". Courtesy Columbia

One of the biggest pop songs of summer 2014 was this dance track from Calvin Harris titled simply "Summer." He features himself on vocals, and the song is on its way to becoming a summer pop classic.

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Sam Hunt - "Take Your Time"

Sam Hunt Take Your Time
Sam Hunt - "Take Your Time". Courtesy Capitol

One of the big pop music stories of 2015 is the growing ability of country songs to cross over to pop audiences. One of the songs at the forefront of the trend is this achingly romantic song from singer-songwriter Sam Hunt. "Take Your Time" topped the country radio airplay chart and has already sold more than one million digital copies.

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Adam Lambert - "Ghost Town"

Adam Lambert Ghost Town
Adam Lambert - "Ghost Town". Courtesy Warner Bros.

Adam Lambert is warming up for his third studio album The Original High with this dark, moody slice of dance-pop. Max Martin co-wrote and co-produced the song. It has broken into the top 30 at adult pop radio.

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OMI - "Cheerleader"

OMI Cheerleader
OMI - "Cheerleader". Courtesy Ultra Music

One of the biggest worldwide pop hits so far this year is this breakthrough hit single by Jamaican artist OMI. The song has been remixed by German DJ Felix Jaehn. It has already gone to #1 in the UK and is a hit on both dance and mainstream pop radio.

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Fetty Wap - "Trap Queen"

Fetty Wap - Trap Queen
Fetty Wap - "Trap Queen". Courtesy RGF

Paterson, New Jersey's Willie Maxwell, aka Fetty Wap, is one of the unexpected breakout artists of 2015. He has received acclaim from his peers including endorsement by Kanye West. "Trap Queen" has gone to #2 on both the R&B chart and Billboard Hot 100 on the way to selling more than a million digital copies.

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Maroon V - "This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like a MotherF****r"

Maroon 5 This Summer's Gonna Hurt
Maroon 5 - "This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like a Motherf**er". Courtesy Interscope

Maroon 5 have released this new single as a track from the re-release of their hit album V. It was co-written and produced by Swede Shellback in one of his few projects without Max Martin. The song details painful feelings caused by having feelings for a popular girl.

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Taylor Swift - "Bad Blood"

Taylor Swift Bad Blood
Taylor Swift - "Bad Blood" featuring Kendrick Lamar. Courtesy Big Machine

"Bad Blood" is the fourth single from Taylor Swift's huge #1 hit album 1989. Significant speculation exists about the target of the lyrics of the song. Many have suggested that it is Katy Perry. The star studded music video was given a televised world premiere before the opening of the Billboard Music Awards. 

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David Guetta - "Hey Mama" featuring Nicki Minaj and Afrojack

David Guetta - Hey Mama featuring Nicki Minaj and Afrojack
David Guetta - "Hey Mama" featuring Nicki Minaj and Afrojack. Courtesy Atlantic

French DJ and producer David Guetta has returned to the US pop charts in a big way with this big, brash dance floor hit. It is his third hit collaboration with Nicki Minaj. Her singing is featured as well as raps.

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Elle King - "Ex's & Oh's"

Elle King Ex's and Oh's
Elle King - "Ex's & Oh's". Courtesy RCA

Tanner Elle Schneider, aka Elle King, is the daughter of comic actor Rob Schneider. Her debut album Love Stuff was released in February to strong positive critical reviews. The song "Ex's & Oh's" incorporates elements of blues and rock while maintaining a catchy hook. It has been a hit at both alternative and rock radio.

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Wiz Khalifa - "See You Again" featuring Charlie Puth

Wiz Khalifa - See You Again featuring Charlie Puth
Wiz Khalifa - "See You Again" featuring Charlie Puth. Courtesy Atlantic

Wiz Khalifa collaborated with newcomer Charlie Puth on one of the biggest hit singles of 2015 so far. It was written as a tribute to actor Paul Walker who died in a car crash in late 2013. The song is included on the soundtrack to the actor's final film Furious 7.

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Walk the Moon - "Shut Up and Dance"

Walk the Moon Shut Up and Dance
Walk the Moon - "Shut Up and Dance". Courtesy RCA

Cincinnati based pop-rock band Walk the Moon broke into the pop mainstream with this upbeat, catchy hit. "Shut Up and Dance" has gone all the way to #1 at rock and adult pop radio as well as performing well at adult contemporary and dance radio.

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Martin Garrix - "Don't Look Down" featuring Usher

Marting Garrix Don't Look Down
Martin Garrix - "Don't Look Down" featuring Usher. Courtesy Spinnin'

Teenage Dutch DJ Martin Garrix broke into pop charts around the world with his hit single "Animals." This collaboration with R&B vocalist Usher has already been a top 10 hit in dance clubs. 

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Fifth Harmony - "Worth It" featuring Kid Ink

Fifth Harmony - Reflection
Fifth Harmony - Reflection. Courtesy Epic

Girl group Fifth Harmony have broken into the pop top 20 for the first time with this breezy, positive hit. They are the most successful recording act to emerge from the US version of . "Worth It" is the group's fourth consecutive gold certified single.

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Ryan Cabrera - "House On Fire"

Ryan Cabrera House on Fire
Ryan Cabrera - "House On Fire". Courtesy Dynamite Music

Singer-songwriter Ryan Cabrera broke into the pop mainstream in 2004 with his debut hit single "On the Way Down." He followed it up with the top 20 hit "True." "House On Fire" is a rousing uptempo single in the vein of Phillip Phillips multi-million selling "Home." It is currently climbing dance club charts in a remixed version.

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Rachel Platten - "Fight Song"

Rachel Platten - Fight Song
Rachel Platten - "Fight Song". Courtesy Columbia

Singer-songwriter Rachel Platten first had significant chart success back in 2011 when her single "1,000 Ships" climbed to #24 on the adult pop radio chart. "Fight Song" is on its way to being an even gigger hit. The song is about self-confidence and has been used on multiple TV shows. It has earned Rachel Platten a signing to major label Columbia Records.

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Andy Grammer - "Honey, I'm Good"

Andy Grammer - Magazines Or Novels
Andy Grammer - Magazines Or Novels. Courtesy S-Curve

One of the unexpected pop breakouts of 2015 has been the success of singer-songwriter Andy Grammer with his "hoedown" song "Honey, I'm Good." The tale of staying faithful while on the road touring has struck a chord. It is nearing the pop top 10.

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Nicki Minaj - "The Night Is Still Young"

Nicki Minaj The Night Is Still Young
Nicki Minaj - "The Night Is Still Young". Courtesy Cash Money

Rapper Nicki Minaj is climbing pop charts over the summer of 2015 with two different songs. She is featured on David Guetta's hit "Hey Mama," while scaling charts with this solo hit. It was co-written and co-produced by Dr. Luke.

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DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - "Summertime"

DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince Summertime
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh - "Summertime". Courtesy Jive

Although this song is more than 20 years old, it still sounds contemporary and is a summer classic. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group on the way to peaking at #4 on the US pop chart and #8 in the UK. The song is built on a sample of Kool & the Gang's "Summer Madness."

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DJ Snake and AlunaGeorge - "You Know You Like It"

DJ Snake and AlunaGeorge - You Know You Like It
DJ Snake and AlunaGeorge - "You Know You Like It". Courtesy Island

UK electronic pop duo AlunaGeorge first released "You Know You Like It" in 2012 as the lead single from their debut studio album Body Music. It peaked at #55 then on the UK pop singles chart. A re-release in 2013 climbed higher to #39. Now, as the subject of a remix by DJ Snake, "You Know You Like It" has turned into an international pop hit reaching the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.

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Years & Years - "King"

Years and Years King
Years & Years - "King". Courtesy Polydor

Years & Years are one of the hottest new acts of 2015 in the UK. They won this year's BBC Sound of 2015 poll. "King" has gone to #1 on the UK pop singles chart. It has reached the pop top 10 in multiple countries around the world. The trio's debut album Communion is due for release on July 10, 2015.

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OneRepublic - "Good Life"

OneRepublic - Good Life
OneRepublic - "Good Life". Courtesy Interscope

The upbeat "Good Life" was OneRepublic's first top 10 pop hit single after their smash hit debut "Apologize." It was first released in November 2010 but did not become a major pop hit until the summer of 2011.