Here Are Most Popular Wedding Reception Songs and Artists


Think back to the best wedding reception you’ve ever attended. Was there dancing? There probably was, and it’s pretty likely you shook your booty to OutKast’s modern classic, “Hey Ya!” That’s according to data collected by FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey, who compiled a list of the most popular wedding songs and artists.

Hickey asked readers to send in their wedding reception jams and received 163 playlists with a total of 9281 songs. The top five songs were: “Hey Ya!,” Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’s “Uptown Funk,” “Shout” by The Isley Brothers, and Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love.” The top five artists in the survey were Michael Jackson, Beyonce, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and OutKast.

While the results reveal some clear trends across a wide variety of weddings and wedding-havers, Hickey writes that he also found a fair share of variance:

“There were 3358 unique songs in this set. The top 359 songs accounted for just half of the plays. The point: Wedding playlists consist of a core of songs that appear very regularly, plus several more unusual songs that are informed by the choices of the couple and—based on what people told me in their emails—the often emphatic recommendations of family.”

On the other end of the spectrum, people also reported their “do not play” songs, which included divisive hits like Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

Perhaps most revealing is Hickey’s observation that many of the songs seem to reflect the youthful favorites of the bride and groom themselves, as well as their parents and grandparents, creating distinct eras of audio representation (a.k.a. “Everyone just wants to relive their 20s”).

For more analysis and to see the full lists, head on over to FiveThirtyEight. While you’re there, be sure to also read Hickey’s amazing investigation into “Shout.” Let wedding season commence!