While most wedding playlists tend to be comprised of a lot of the tried and true wedding mainstays, current modern Top 40 still plays a role, albeit in a minor way because a lot of the modern hits you hear on the radio are not necessarily "dance-friendly". However, let me put on radio programming hat for a brief moment. In radio, songs are released and move up and down the Billboard charts based on their popularity. For example, "Old Town Road" spent a record-breaking 19 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart earlier this year. At the time of publishing of this post, the song is still Number 10 on the charts. It's now in it's 31st week on the charts and as it continues to slowly fall, the song will be placed into the "recurrent" category. Simply put, the "recurrent" category on station playlists is a place where the strong, chart-topping songs go after they leave the charts. These are songs that have made an impact through spins and chart success. They might be placed in the recurrent category for several months, or even several years. They are songs that have caught on with brides and grooms of all ages and songs that people want to continue to hear long after they leave the charts.
I remember speaking to a fellow DJ colleague out in Dallas earlier this year and we were talking about the state of current music today, whether it be on the Top 40, Urban, Rock, or Country charts. We both agreed that there are only a handful of songs each year that may have the strength to be played during future wedding seasons. Which songs over the past several years have been strong enough to continue to be requested at Charleston weddings? Which hit songs over the past several years have risen to the top of the request lists at weddings? The songs you see coming up on this post have been released over the past seven to eight years , but are strong enough to show up on Charleston wedding playlists.
"Talk Dirty" | Jason Derulo & 2Chainz | 2013
You might remember this song appearing on Jason Derulo's 3rd record "Tattoos" released back in the summer of 2013. "Talk Dirty" would peak at Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Number 1 on the Mainstream Top 40 and Rhythmic charts.
"Gangnam Style" | Psy | 2012
As the 2010s come to a close, I am sure "Gangname Style" will go down as one of the novelty songs of the decade. While some brides and grooms don't want it on their playlist, it's still showing up on a lot of wedding playlists around Charleston.
"Die Young" | Ke$ha | 2012
Released back in the fall of 2012, "Die Young" debuted in the Top 15 on Billboard Hot 100 and would peak at #2 later that year. The song would reach Number 1 on the Mainstream Top 40 charts. I got a request for this song at one of my summer weddings earlier this year and the crowd went wild.
"Blurred Lines" | Robin Thicke | 2013
Even though Robin Thicke got into trouble for sampling the classic Marvin Gaye "Got To Give It Up", this song was one of the biggest songs of 2013 and remains a recurrent request at Charleston weddings. The song was released in the spring of 2013 and would hit Number 1 in over 25 countries, becoming the song of the summer of 2013, and the biggest song of the year.
"Thinking Out Loud" | Ed Sheeran | 2014
Ed Sheeran knocked it out of the park in 2014 with this instant "first dance" song classic. A few years later in 2017, he'd create another masterpiece "Perfect". "Thinking Out Loud" would peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and top the Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40 charts.
"Watch Me" | Silento | 2015
This song makes me think back to a hot July wedding out at Middleton Place where a young child comes up to request this song. Little did I know it would become one of the biggest songs of 2015. Like "Gangnam Style", this song would definitely appear on a list of novelty songs of the 2010s. The song would peak at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. So, go ahead and do it. "Watch me whip, watch me nae nae". Do the Stanky leg too, if you oblige, but please don't break your legs.
"Shake It Off" | Taylor Swift | 2014
Lots of my brides are "swiftys" in recent years. "Shake It Off" was the first single to be released off the album 1989. The song would debut at Number 1 on the Hot 100 the first week of September in 2014. It's follow-up "Blank Space" would also become a recurrent at Charleston weddings.
"Uptown Funk" | Mark Ronson & Bruno Marrs | 2014
We're approaching the 5th anniversary since the release of this banger in November of 2014. The song would reach Number 1 in almost 20 countries, and would include a top ranking on the Billboard Hot 100, Dance Club songs, and Adult Top 40 charts.
"One Dance" | Drake (featuring WizKid and Kyla) | 2016
You can find this song on Drake's album "Views", released in 2016. Released back in the spring of 2016, Billboard would bless "One Dance" as the song of the summer of 2016. "One Dance" would top the Hot 100, as well as the Rhythmic charts.
"My House" | Flo Rida | 2016
"My House" was released in the fall of 2015 and would become one of the biggest songs of 2016. By February of 2016, "My house" would become Flo Rida's 7th Top 5 hit. It would peak at Number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Can't Stop The Feeling" | Justin Timberlake | 2016
You might remember this song on the soundtrack of the movie "Trolls". "Can't Stop This Feeling" was released in the spring of 2016 and was one of the biggest songs on dance floors at weddings around Charleston. The song would top the Hot 100 and Adult contemporary charts and has a firm placement in the modern recurrent wedding song category.
"That's What I Like" | Bruno Marrs | 2017
This follow-up to "24K Magic" was released during the winter of 2017 and would peak at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, as well as the Rhythmic charts.
"That's What I Like" might have a slight edge over "Uptown Funk", but both songs are still heavy request favorites on the Must Play list.
"Body Like A Back Road" | Sam Hunt | 2017
Released during the winter of 2017, "Body Like A Back Road" would become one of the biggest songs of Sam Hunt's career. It would spend over 24 weeks at the top of the Hot Country charts.
"Closer" | The Chainsmokers Feat. Halsey | 2016
Released in the summer of 2016, "Closer" would become the first song to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts for the Chainsmokers, as well as Halsey. In 2018, the song would eclipse 10 million in sales and a diamond certification by the RIAA.
"Despacito" | Justin Bieber Remix (Luis Fonsi - Daddy Yankee) | 2017
Through out all of 2017 and between, everyone was learning that "Despacito" meant "slowly" in Spanish. "Despacito" was the first song (mostly sung in Spanish) to reach the top of the charts since 1996 when the "Macarena" was all over Top 40 radio. Since 1996, the "Macarena" is on 99% of all Do Not Playlists, but "Despacito" remains a strong recurrent request since it's peak in 2017.
"Call Me Maybe" | Carly Rae Jepsen | 2012
"Call Me Maybe" was the first huge hit for Carly Rae Jepsen. Released back in the fall of 2011, the song would top the charts in 15 countries, including the United States and become one of the most popular songs of 2012.
"I Like It" | Cardi B / Bad Bunny / J Balvin | 2018
"I like It" was released right before Memorial Day 2018 and would become one of the hottest songs of the summer of 2018. The song would peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the Rhythmic charts.
"In My Feelings" | Drake | 2018
2018 proved to be one of the biggest years for Drake. "In My Feelings" would top the charts for 10 weeks, and become one of the top songs of the year.
"Speechless" | Dan & Shay | 2018
I've used this song for the first dance, as well as for the ceremony for some of my clients. "Speechless" was released in the mid summer of 2018 and would be the second song to break off their self-titled album. It's popularity at Charleston weddings does not look to be dying anytime soon. In June 2019, another version of the song would be released that include American Idol semi-finalist Tori Kelly. "Sepechless" would hit Number 1 on the Hot Country and Country airplay charts, and would also be a crossover hit on the adult contemporary charts making it #6.
"Shut Up And Dance" | Walk The Moon | 2015
Wedding guests all around Charleston still respond to "Shut Up And Dance". Released in the fall of 2014, the song would reach Number 1 on the Rock Airplay and Adult contemporary charts.
"Cheerleader" | OMI - Felix Jaehn Remix | 2014
Recorded by Jamaican singer OMI, "Cheerleader" was released in the spring of 2014 and would become one of the most popular songs of the year. The Felix Jaehn remix would make it all the way to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
"Happy" | Pharrell Williams | 2014
You simply could not turn the radio on at any time in 2014 without hearing "Happy", and that popularity boiled over into Charleston wedding playlists during most all of 2014. The song would hit Number 1 in the United States, as well as 19 countries including the UK, France, and Germany.
"All Of Me" | John Legend | 2014
"All Of Me" was released in the mid summer of 2013, but would climb to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in May 2014. Whether, it's a first dance, ceremony music, or dinner music, "All Of Me" looks to be in the modern recurrent wedding playlists for many years to come. Be sure to watch the video down below, as it features John Legend's real life wife, Chrissy Tegan.
"Party Rock Anthem" | LMFAO & Lauren Bennett | 2011
Even as we approach 9 years since it's release, "Party Rock Anthem" is a huge crowd pleaser at Charleston weddings. The song would top the Billboard Hot 100 and Rhythmic charts and become one of the biggest songs of 2011.
"Turn Down For What" | DJ Snake & Lil Jon | 2014
Released at the tail end of 2013, "Turn Down For What" was a trap song that would make it all the way to the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. By the summe rof 2014, the song would hit 3 million in sales.
Need Some More Wedding Music Inspiration From One Of The Top Wedding DJs?
Hope you enjoyed reading over this blog post as much as I did making it for you. It's really interesting to get a gauge of what is still hot on the wedding dance floors around Charleston over the past 7-8 years. Most all of the additions to this post were based on what my clients have requested over the years, as well as what they are requesting now. One of my favorite things to do is talk about music with newly engaged brides and grooms. What kinds of you music do you love? What kinds of music do you hate? These are all discussions you need to have with your wedding DJ. Your wedding DJ should be asking you these questions as well as others. See below for some more helpful links.
Type Of Style For your First Dance
Most Requested Songs To Make Your Guests Dance
12 Questions Your DJ Should Be Asking You
Biggest Music Mistakes Ever
Ready To Set Up A Time To Book Mike As Your Charleston Wedding DJ?
We're approaching a new decade. The 20s are gonna be here again, but weddings in 2020 will be a lot different than they were in 1920. :) I would love to be your DJ in 2020 at your Charleston wedding. Helping couples create the perfect mix of music for their big celebration is an intense passion of mine. If you are on the fence about who you'd like your DJ to be, please also check out this post about Why Should Hire Me Then click HERE to tell me a little more about your big day and we can set up a time to discuss.