It's fun to debate whether a "song of the summer" is actually any good, but there's usually total agreement on what that song is.
It's the one you can't escape from — where every bar or club, every radio station you turn to, every party is playing it.
This year, it is unquestionably "Blurred Lines," also known as the song from the Radio Shack Commercial. It's already spent five weeks on the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and is in the top 30 on six other Billboard genre charts.
We wanted to go back and look at what were the most dominant summer songs of all time, as measured by ubiquity.
To do so, we looked at the songs that spent the most consecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 (or its equivalent prior to that measure's advent). Some deranged Wikipedian laid out every single No. 1 song for every year going back to 1940. We started when summer songs became legit summer-y, in the mid-50s. For songs that spent equal amounts of consecutive weeks, we also looked at what other genre's charts they were shooting up.
We're defining summer as the span of a typical school summer break (the age at which you were most likely to be aware of the "summer song") — to qualify, it must have hit No. 1 (and stayed) at some point between May 15 and August 15, it made the cut.
11) "Hot In Herre" by Nelly
First week at No. 1: June 29, 2002
Combined consecutive weeks at No. 1: Seven
Comment: Starting at the end of June with this song, followed by "Dilemma" (feat. Kelly Rowland), Nelly had a two-and-a-half-long run of chart-topping dominance. Man, this guy was everywhere at one point, and not just after his breakout debut dropped in 2002. But now he's pretty much vanished.
8) "That's The Way Love Goes" by Janet Jackson
First week at No. 1: May 15, 1993
Consecutive weeks at No. 1: Eight
Other chart positions: R&B/Hip-hop: #1, Dance #1, Pop #1, Adult Contemporary #16
Comment: A genuinely solid early-90s downtempo club track.
5) "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans feat. 112
First week at No.1: June 14, 1997
Consecutive weeks at No. 1: 11
Other chart positions: R&B/Hip-hp #1, Rhythm #1, Top 40 #11
Comment: Probably the most depressing song on this list, this was Puffy's tribute to Notorious B.I.G, who'd died earlier that year. It was the phase (ok he pretty much only had one phase, as a quasi-solo artist) where Diddy was taking the most successful songs ever — in this case The Police's "Every Breath You Take" — and repurposing them for his own ends.
3) "The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy and Monica
First week at No. 1: June 6, 1998
Consecutive weeks at No. 1: 13
Comment: By our measure, the most dominant female R&B song of all time. Beyonce has never had anything linger at the top of the charts this long.
2) "Macarena" (Bayside Boys Mix) by Los Del Rio
First week at No. 1: August 3, 1996
Consecutive weeks at No. 1: 14
Other chart positions: Pop #5, Adult Pop #19, Adult Contemporary #28
Comment: This is basically America's awkward Facebook photo that we now hope will be buried among our other albums. But at the time this song virtually took over the country. Everyone old enough to remember this song blowing up will own up to having done the dance at some point.
1) "I Gotta Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas
First week at No. 1: July 11, 2009
Combined consecutive weeks at No. 1: 14
Other chart positions: Pop #1, Dance #9, Adult Pop #4, Adult Contemporary #16
Comment: After "Boom Boom Pow," "I Gotta Feeling" took over at the helm for the rest of the year. Arguably not a coincidence: 2009 was the first summer after the recession...
complete list @ source