June is Black Music Appreciation Month. What better way to celebrate than with a party playlist featuring the greatest Black artists in music history? You can have great decor, snacks and drinks, but it’s the music that can make or break a celebration. Whether you’re hosting a birthday party, wedding reception or a summer barbecue, you want everyone to have a good time. (And that means having everyone up and dancing. Even Grandpa Joe.) From Diana Ross to Megan Thee Stallion, we found the 50 best party songs by Black artists to sing and dance to, whether it’s at a wedding or in your living room.
1. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin (1965)
Join Aretha Franklin and belt out “R E S P E C T” while soulful beats (aka saxophones, drums and bass guitars) play in the background. It’s one of the greatest song of all time for a reason.
2. “I Got You (I Feel Good)” - James Brown (1965)
The soulful vocals and funky instrumentals make this masterpiece a staple at any function.
3. “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder (1972)
If you look up “soul” in the dictionary, you'll find this timeless Grammy-winning tune.
4. “Got To Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye (1977)
We can all relate to the opening lines, “I used to go out to parties, and stand around. ‘Cause I was too nervous, to really get down. But my body yearn to be free. I got up on the floor, somebody could choose me…” The disco song motivates us to enjoy the party (and not care if anyone’s watching).
5. “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)
The opening lines, “Do you remember, 21st night of September?” is enough to get everyone up and busting a move.
6. “Last Dance” by Donna Summer (1978)
A song to end the party on a good note. The disco beats will have you putting on your boogie shoes for the last dance of the night.
7. “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson (1979)
With lyrics like “I wanna rock with you (all night), dance you into day (sunlight), I wanna rock with you (all night), We’re gonna rock the night away…” dedicate this 1979 number to your dance partner.
8. “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge (1979)
Playing DJ for your family reunion? We have just the tune: “We are family. I got all my sisters with me. We are family, get up everybody and sing.”
9. “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang (1980)
Whether it’s a birthday, wedding or barbecue, toss this one in the playlist. The disco hit will have the whole crowd singing along when the chorus starts.
10. “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross (1980)
Grab your dance shoes and get in on this disco-funk mix. When you hear, “I’m coming out,” it’s time to unleash your inner Diana.
11. “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross (1981)
This is for all the couples at the party. Grab your significant other and sway together to this R&B classic.
12. “Before I Let Go” by Maze ft. Frankie Beverly (1981)
While we love Beyonce’s version, we have to go with the original at our parties. The R&B band’s vocals is just what you need to jam out at the cookout.
13. “I’m So Excited” by The Pointer Sisters (1982)
Let The Pointer Sisters get you pumped. It’s time to let loose when this 1982 hit is on the stereo.
14. “All Night Long (All Night) by Lionel Richie” (1983)
Yup, Lionel Richie is officially giving you an excuse to party until sunrise.
15. “Electric Boogie” by Marcia Griffiths (1983)
The electric slide is a must (sorry, we don’t make the rules). All ages can enjoy doing this line dance—no matter what you’re celebrating.
16. “Nasty” by Janet Jackson (1985)
Admit it, you’ve tried to recreate the music video and learn all the choreography at least once.
17. “Candy” by Cameo (1986)
Indulge in this funky track, work your air guitar skills during the instrumental break and be the star of the party.
18. “Rhythm of the Night by DeBarge (1987)
The dance-pop song paints the perfect picture of a celebration. If you’re looking to boost your mood, listen to this fun track to uplift your spirits.
19. “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa (1987)
This Grammy-nominated single is not only the party song, but a great karaoke track to try with your bestie.
20. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston (1987)
Need some convincing to get up and dance? Well, Whitney Houston can definitely persuade you to find a dance partner and enjoy the festivities.
21. “It Takes Two” by Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock (1988)
Ready to break a sweat? You’ll be doing the Running Man, the Robocop and every other ‘80s dance move you can think of.
22. “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe (1990)
While the lyrics aren’t exactly party-friendly, the group’s vocals and funky percussions will still get you on your feet.
23. “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot (1992)
When you hear the first verse, you can’t help but sing along and dance with your friends. It’s peak ‘90s for its catchy beats and body positive messaging.
24. “This How We Do It” by Montell Jordan (1995)
Fact: This song will have the quietest person racing to the dance floor to show off their moves.
25. “Fantasy” by Mariah Carey (1995)
Put a smile on your S.O.’s face and sing this sweet number to them. (Plus, anything with Mariah Carey is worth adding to the party lineup.)
26. “Hypnotize” by Notorious B.I.G (1997)
Calling all ‘90s babies. Crowned the greatest hip hop song of all time, this 1994 hit will have you reliving your favorite outdoor shindigs.
27. “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill (1998)
Impress your guests with your rapping and singing skills. This 1998 track is just what you need for a Friday night gathering.
28. “No Scrubs” by TLC (1999)
We guarantee that everyone will be belting out this song. Once the chorus comes on, get ready to sing your heart out.
29. “Be Faithful” by Fatman Scoop & The Crooklyn Clan (1999)
Want to feel like you’re at the club with your own personal DJ? This 1999 track gets you involved in the song. One minute you’re raising your hands and the next you’re saying “Hey! Ho!” along with Fatman Scoop.
30. “Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper (2000)
No party is complete without this end-of-the-millennium number. Show off your ‘Cha cha’ skills and follow along as Mr.C instructs all the steps (featuring stomps, hops and smoove moves).
31. “No Letting Go” by Wayne Wonder (2002)
This reggae-dancehall mix is all about a lost love. Add the funky beats and traditional Diwali Riddim (aka hand clapping), and you’ve got yourself a party.
32. “Hot In Herre” by Nelly (2002)
A summer blowout is never complete without this vintage track. You’ll definitely break a sweat (and the lyrics are proof).
33. “In Da Club” by 50 Cent (2003)
Happy birthday, who? Once you hear, “Go, shorty, it’s your birthday, we gon’ party like it’s your birthday,” you’ll forget all about using the traditional song.
34. “Hey Ya” by Outkast (2003)
When Andre 3000 says, “shake it, shake it, shake it,” be ready to move “like a Polaroid picture”.
35. “Yeah” by Usher ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris (2004)
We can’t help but sing out “yeah, yeah, yeah,” everytime Usher does. Add Lil Jon’s adlibs and Ludacris’s verse and you got yourself a classic track.
36. “Lose Control” by Missy Elliot (2005)
If anyone is party shy, play this memorable hit: “Music make you lose control, music make you lose control.”
37. “Cupid Shuffle” by Cupid (2007)
While the “Electric Slide” and “Cha Cha Slide” will be classics, don’t sleep on this one. The line dance has the steps in the song so everyone can follow along (yes, even Grandma).
38. “Low” by Flo Rida ft. T-Pain (2007)
If there’s one song to describe the early ‘00s (especially the fashion), it’s this hip-hop number. Go low, low, low at the barbecue and let the nostalgia begin.
39. “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” by Soulja Boy (2007)
There are many songs that define a generation. This dance hit will have any millennial running to the dance floor to do the Superman.
40. “Just Fine” by Mary J Blige (2007)
A feel-good song after a stressful week is just what a party is missing. Mary J. Blige’s empowering track will leave you in a happy mood.
41. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” by Beyonce (2008)
You don’t have to be single to enjoy this unforgettable hit. Besides, you know you remember all the choreography.
42. “Wobble” by V.I.C (2008)
This wedding reception must-have gets all the guests up to wobble across the dance floor. Listen to the steps and move your arms to the beat.
43. “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj (2011)
Test your friends and see who can catch up to Nicki Minaj’s quick verses before collectively belting the chorus.
44. “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars (2016)
We hope you’re blasting this timeless track at your next rooftop party. When Bruno Mars says it’s showtime, be prepared to put down your drink and head to the dance floor.
45. “Work” by Rihanna ft. Drake (2016)
Remember the late 2010s, before Rihanna was a beauty mogul? Your guests will, too.
46. “In My Feelings” by Drake (2018)
This hip-hop hit went viral, and for good reason. When the chorus comes on, you’ll have all eyes on you while you’re doing the iconic Instagram dance.
47. “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott ft. Drake (2018)
The changing beats and quick verses by Travis Scott and Drake will have you moving from start to finish. (And you just might get a workout with all the dancing you’ll be doing.)
48. “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo (2019)
FYI, any Lizzo song can elevate a function. But whether you’re going through a breakup or need a pick-me-up, consider this infectious bop.
49. “Hot Girl Summer” by Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj (2019)
We have to thank Megan Thee Stallion for coining ‘Hot Girl Summer’ and creating an anthem to live your best life from June through August.
50. “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd (2020)
If you’ve spent even one second on TikTok, you’ve heard this one. (And if you’re like us, you have a soft spot for its major ‘80s vibes.)