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Songs of the Summer: The ’90s Playlist

With the return of Billboard’s Songs of the Summer chart for 2020, we’re feeling a bit nostalgic for the warm-weather music of decades past. Every other week on Thursday, we’ll be revisiting a past decade to see which tunes ruled the chart.

Grunge may have made some mighty big waves during the 1990s, but it was pop and hip-hop that really heated up the Songs of the Summer chart. And it was none other than Mariah Carey who kicked off the chart in a massive way.

1990 was the year the singer dropped her eponymous debut album, with “Vision of Love” as its first single. The tune rocketed to become the first Song of the Summer of the decade. More love came the following summer, when the megahit movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves ruled the box office, helping to propel its theme song — Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” — to the top of the chart.

Below, see which other tunes snagged the top spot on the Songs of the Summer Chart in the ’90s, and revisit them in the playlist. Then vote in our poll and tell us which Song of the Summer that decade is your favorite!

  • 1990: “Vision of Love,” Mariah Carey
  • 1991: “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” Bryan Adams
  • 1992: “Baby Got Back,” Sir Mix-a-Lot
  • 1993: “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” UB40
  • 1994: “I Swear,” All-4-One
  • 1995: “Waterfalls,” TLC
  • 1996: “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix),” Los Del Rio
  • 1997: “I’ll Be Missing You,” Puff Daddy & Faith Evans feat. 112
  • 1998: “The Boy Is Mine,” Brandy & Monica
  • 1999: “Genie in a Bottle,” Christina Aguilera


See the top 10 tunes that ranked in our Songs of the Summer chart each year from 1958 to 2019 here.

Prior to 1992, Songs of the Summer were calculated from their Billboard Hot 100 chart performance during the summer months based on an inverse points system — with weeks at No. 1 earning the most value, and weeks at No. 100 raking in the least. After 1992, the songs are ranked based on each track’s performance on the Hot 100 chart during the summer.

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