Dance to Summer Playlists From TODAY Anchors and Catch Their Song of Summer Predictions — Spotify (2024)

Summer is well underway, and people across the northern hemisphere are busy soaking up the sunshine. Whether you’re taking time at the beach, pool, mountains, or simply your patio, there’s no better way to set the scene than with music.

The anchors of NBC’s TODAY, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Carson Daly, and Craig Melvin, know how to start weekdays off right at 7 am. And they all share a passion for music—especially live music, thanks to their annual Citi Concert series on TODAY. Recent musical guests on the show include the Jonas Brothers, Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan, KAROL G, and TWICE.

Away from the Rockefeller Center set, each anchor has their own summer plans and a playlist to help soundtrack their long sunny days. And because they’re always talking trends, talent, and takes, we asked them to share their thoughts on the hottest hits rising this summer. Find their predictions and playlists below, as well as on their TODAY profiles on Spotify.

Hoda’s Hybrid Dance Party–Wave-Watching Mix

Hoda Kotb’s playlist takes a more relaxed, slowly-swaying-in-the-summer-heat feel, with Luke Combs cover of “Fast Car,” “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest, and “Love and Sunsets” by Zac Brown Band and James Taylor all queued up.

What’s the vibe you’re trying to capture on your Songs of Summer playlist?

Part “party at night”—with sweaty dancing with the kids, on the back porch, or on the beach—and part mellow—watching the waves, feeling all the feels, asking summer to politely slow down. There are some songs that are just toes in the sand, eyes closed, sun in your face, and some that are “get up and dance.”

What’s your favorite throwback song on your playlist?

I have two. My favorite throwback is “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest. Since the beginning of my life, it has been my favorite song. There’s something about the imagery of it. Picture it: You’re on your back porch dancing and the moon is shining on the water. I’ve also gotten my kids to love “Dancing in the Moonlight,” so I already handed it down. It reminds me of being a kid, so to watch my kids dance around to it is pretty magical.

The other one I love is “Fast Car,” the Luke Combs version of Tracy Chapman’s song. Every time I play it, I get a big smile on my face. It’s one of those full-blast songs and it reminds me of being younger and also right now. It reminds me of having the windows down in the car, the wind blowing through, and being on my way to somewhere cool.

Share a top summer music memory?

For me, it’s the fact that we get so many concerts all summer long, live. There’s something magical about live concerts, and they’re so intimate at The Today Show because it’s a small venue. We get to have live music on the plaza at The Today Show all summer long. Artists are rehearsing in the heart of midtown Manhattan and there’s incredible music.

What’s your prediction for top song of summer?

Fast Car” because it crosses over both generations and genres.

Savannah’s Breezy, No-Stress Summer Playlist

Savannah Guthrie’s playlist includes a summery hit from the Jonas Brothers’ 2023 album, tracks from Miley Cyrus, Harry Styles, and Niall Horan, and plenty of remixes and radio edits sure to get you in a dancing mood.

What’s the vibe you’re trying to capture on your Songs of Summer playlist?

I was trying to capture an easy, breezy, peppy vibe. No stress, light, with some good dance music mixed in.

What’s your favorite throwback song on your playlist?

Well, I don’t know if it’s a throwback, but “Harvest Moon” is an old song by Neil Young and I love this version of “Harvest Moon” by Poolside that sounds like it should be playing at a pool party in Miami. It has little “untz, untz, untz.” So it’s kind of a throwback song but with a modern twist.

Share a top summer music memory?

One of my favorite summer memories was listening to the soundtrack of Grease blasting so loud through the neighborhood that our neighbors who lived probably seven houses down could hear it from their backyard. And my sister and I would stand on the wall singing the lyrics to Grease and then the neighbor kids would be singing them right back to us.

What’s your prediction for the top song of summer?

Calm Down (with Selena Gomez)” by Rema. It’s on my list. I love it. And it’s also my message to my kids right before bedtime—calm down!

Al’s R&B Summer Singalong

Al Roker’s playlist will have you feeling all your R&B feels. He included classics like “September” from , as well as prime singalong tracks from Whitney Houston and Pharell, alongside nostalgic tunes from Aretha Franklin, The O’Jays, and Elton John.

What’s the vibe you’re trying to capture in your Songs of Summer playlist?

Upbeat music that you can sing along to while hanging with family and friends, and everyone knows the words and can sing together!

What’s your favorite throwback song on your playlist?

Philadelphia Freedom.” It was my song sophom*ore year of college. Also, summertime is all about celebrating freedom, so it’s the perfect summer anthem.

Share a top summer music memory?

My birthday is in August. One year, it fell during the Beijing Olympics and we were doing karaoke late at night with the whole Today Show team.

What’s your prediction for the top song of the summer?

Dance the Night” by Dua Lipa. It was a hit in the Barbie movie!

Carson’s No-Skips Summer Sounds

Despite track selections from Twenty One Pilots, The 1975, and Tame Impala, Carson Daly’s playlist isn’t solely an indie rock extravaganza. Catch a collaboration between The Weeknd, Playboi Carti, and Madonna, and the unmistakable summer sounds of Bob Marley.

What’s the vibe you’re trying to capture on your Songs of Summer playlist?

A playlist you can pop on at a summer BBQ and just let it roll. There’s something for everyone.

What’s your favorite throwback song on your playlist?

My favorite is , which came out the year I turned 21. It’s not only a classic song but a delicious fruity drink, great for summer.

Share a top summer music memory?

I have great memories of listening to Bob Marley while hanging on the beach in Santa Monica and Malibu as a kid. Surfing, skating, and just chilling out!

What’s your prediction for the top song of the summer?

I loved “Calm Down” this summer—music is great for my anxiety and panic disorder. That one really delivers. Literally calms me down!

Craig’s Easy-Breezy Outdoor Jams

Finally, Craig Melvin’s feel-good playlist brings together soothing vibes from across the decades. Tune in for tracks from Marvin Gaye, Beyoncé, The Isley Brothers, and Childish Gambino, as well as a reminder to “Take It Easy” from the Eagles.

What’s the vibe you’re trying to capture in your Songs of Summer playlist?

I wanted a nice mix of new and older. I wanted a mix of genres. So you’ll notice there’s some country in there, you’ll notice there’s some pop. You’ll also notice what I call “classic cookout songs” like Beyoncé, the version of “Before I Let Go,” like that classic track. I also added The Gap Band, Marvin Gaye, and the Isley Brothers—outstanding. I wanted to make sure that there was something for me and my kids, but also my parents as well.

What’s your favorite throwback song on your playlist?

Probably Marvin Gaye, “Got to Give It Up.” It’s one of those songs that I remember from when I was a kid. We’d have cookouts in the backyard—aunts, uncle, cousins—they’d all jam out to that and it’s a timeless summer song. I feel like it can be on that summer playlist literally every summer.

Share a top summer music memory?

A few years ago, I was doing a profile with my buddy Darius Rucker and he invited me to sing one of my all-time favorite songs, “Let Her Cry,” with him onstage during soundcheck, and I nearly cried.

What’s your prediction for the top song of summer?

That’s an easy one. It’s going to be “Fast Car” by Luke Combs. I’m generally not a fan of classic remakes, and when I heard that he touched Tracy Chapman’s song, at first I was like, “Uhh,” and then when I listened I was like, “Ohh yeah.” It’s great too because it gives the original version a whole new life as well. I explained to someone recently that while it’s not really a happy summer song, it’s a great song nonetheless. It’s definitely going to be the song of the summer.

Can’t get enough summer serenades? Catch the hottest tracks around the world and Spotify’s own list of Songs of Summer predictions.

Dance to Summer Playlists From TODAY Anchors and Catch Their Song of Summer Predictions — Spotify (2024)


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