Prom night playlist

Madelynn Dake

For generations, prom has been a right of passage that has been celebrated in many different ways, but there is one thing that every prom needs: music. 

Over the years, the soundtrack for prom night has changed. According to The Industry Observer, songs like “Take On Me” by a-ha, “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston were what had students dancing in the late 80’s and early 90’s. These songs were popular then and still are among some students now.

“I can honestly say some of my favorite music I hear at school dances comes from the 1990’s-2000’s,” Xavier senior Lizzy Schmitt said. “Those songs might be ‘old’, but they are still some of the best songs to dance to hands down.”

While these songs are favorites, rock and techno music has been exchanged for pop and rap as the years have gone on. In a poll done by Mashable, the top song of prom in 2014 was “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and current teacher and Xavier alumna, Meredith Diebold (X14), still remembers those artists that ruled her prom night.

“I remember hearing lots of Macklemore on prom night,” Diebold said. “And anything by Beyoncé was a sure bet.”

In 2021, Cardi B’s “Up”, Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” and DaBaby’s “Rockstar” are making it to the top of DJs’ prom playlists after raking in millions of streams this year. While some students like the throwbacks, others love the hits of the present day.

“I love pop and rap at dances,” Xavier junior Mary Clare Bean said. “It is some of the best music we get because there is usually something within the genre everyone likes.”

According to Billboard, some of the top songs of prom nationwide are “Party In The U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus, “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars and “Crazy In Love” by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z. 

While music tastes have changed from generation to generation, hits of the past and present all go into making prom a night to remember.