Call Me Maybe and Somebody That I Used to Know arguably proved to be the songs of spring AND summer, but what else did listeners seek out this season? USA TODAY turned to Shazam's Will Mills and Billboard's Silvio Pietroluongo to identify fans' favorite warm-weather tracks.
Payphone, Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa
Downloads sold: 3.9 million
Shazam searches: 3.3 million
Key lyric: "I'm at a payphone trying to call home/All of my change I spent on you"
Maroon 5 have gone from R&B-rockers to certified pop stars in the course of four albums, and newest single Payphone is a buoyant pop song with bitter undertones. "It's a melancholy and wistful song, but it's got a great melody and people overlook the (dark) lyrics," says Billboard chart director Pietroluongo. "It's going to be remembered as one of the top songs of the summer."
With a catchy melody and a guest verse from Pittsburgh upstart rapper Khalifa, Payphone appeared in Shazam's predictions for summer hits in May and has been climbing since, topping USA TODAY's top 40 airplay chart.
Wide Awake, Katy Perry
Downloads sold: 2 million
Shazam searches: 1.7 million
Key lyric: "Falling from cloud nine/Crashing from the high/I'm letting go tonight"
No artist has ruled the summer charts lately quite like the former Mrs. Russell Brand. For the fifth year in a row, Perry has appeared on Billboard's summer charts. "She's been a perennial Songs of the Summer artist," says Pietroluongo. "She's been in the top 10 with uptempo tracks like I Kissed a Girl and Waking Up in Vegas."
In a change of pace from her previous buoyant summertime singles, Perry returned to the airwaves with a dramatic anthem. There's little doubt who Perry is singing about in Wide Awake, which was written for the documentary/concert film Part of Me. Here's a hint: Perry recently finalized her divorce from a certain British comedian.
Lights, Ellie Goulding
Downloads sold: 2.9 million
Shazam searches: 3.1 million
Key lyric: "You show the lights that stop me turn to stone/You shine it when I'm alone"
The British singer/songwriter's electro-pop smash topped Shazam's charts for most-searched songs in the USA, and the music-identification app successfully predicted Goulding's rise to mainstream success (No. 2 on Billboard's Hot 100). The app "tags" a song every time a user holds up a tablet or smartphone to figure out what they're listening to; 85% of Shazam's No. 1 songs rise to the top 10 of traditional charts nationwide.
"She's been very popular on the U.K. Shazam charts, and it's great to see her popularity translate over to the U.S.," says Mills, Shazam's director of music.
She's making her name in EDM (electronic dance music) circles by collaborating with Swedish House Mafia and house producer Calvin Harris, as well as with her relationship with Skrillex.
Titanium, David Guetta featuring Sia
Downloads sold: 1.7 million
Shazam searches: 5.2 million
Key lyric: "You shoot me down, but I won't fall/I am titanium"
The French house producer has ridden EDM's massive wave to superstardom, and his latest single fuses Australian singer Sia's swooping vocals with bursts of synths to build a pounding track that's No. 3 on USA TODAY's top 40 airplay chart.
The popularity of Titanium and other fusions suggests fans can't get enough of the genre's sugar-high euphoria. "EDM is being integrated with pure pop, and that's the sound of dance today. It's mainstream," says Pietroluongo.
Titanium is among a handful of EDM tracks on Shazam's top charts, perhaps because the app lends itself well to identifying the wordless drops popular in dance music today. "You can't Google a kick drum or bass line," says Mills. "Shazam provides an easier way to connect to dance music in particular."
Mercy, Kanye West
Downloads sold: 1.5 million
Shazam searches: 1.8 million
Key lyric: "Lamborghini mercy/Your chick, she so thirsty"
This cut from West's GOOD Music imprint has been one of the few hip-hop tracks to make an impact on the charts this summer, peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Rap and hip-hop are having a tough time breaking through this summer," says Pietroluongo.
Despite the hip-hop drought on the top of the charts, listeners are still searching for Mercy, which features guest verses from other GOOD artists Big Sean, Pusha T and frequent collaborator 2 Chainz, whose own No Lie is also among Shazam's most-tagged tracks.
Good Time, Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen
In January, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez tweeted about their love for a little song titled Call Me Maybe, by ex-Canadian Idol contestant Carly Rae Jepsen. Fast-forward seven months, and the then-unknown singer is now an international star with a stronghold on the charts. Jepsen returned this summer with Good Time, a collaboration with fellow one-hit wonder Owl City, the singer responsible for 2009's Fireflies.
Blow Me (One Last Kiss), Pink
The latest from Pink shows the rough-around-the-edges rock queen doing what she does best: the kiss-off track. Her latest double-entendre-laden single is shooting up the charts, peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Amen, Meek Mill featuring Drake
Meek Mill has risen quickly within the rap community with his acclaimed and wildly popular mixtapes. Featuring a gospel sample and a guest verse from Drake, the Philly rapper's lead-off track from his upcoming debut album Dreams & Nightmares is predicted to be the next big rap single on the Shazam tag charts. It's already No. 4 on USA TODAY's urban airplay chart.