Today (6/21) marks the first day of summer. The summer solstice occurs when the sun appears to be directly over the Tropic of Cancer, and for 2023, that’s 10:58 a.m. Eastern.

The longest daylight hours of the year will vary depending on how far you are from the equator. Daylight hours will gradually shorten until the winter solstice in December. The situation is reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, where winter starts in June.

But enough about the science of summer; we love summer because it’s fun. Most country stars feel the same way. Luke Bryan told us recently, before he launched his 2023 “Country On” tour, “Nothing is better than being out on the road in the summer.”

For Dierks Bentley, summer is about having fun and lighting things up a bit. A few years ago, Dierks told us before he launched a summer tour, “Fireworks were a big part of my summers growing up and explosives and putting half sticks of dynamite in mailboxes and just having fun.”

Chris Young told us a few years back that summertime is the time to work when you are a country singer, and vacations during the summer are few and far between. He said, “Everyone else is getting a chance to relax a little more, but as a musician, you’re playing somewhere, and it’s always tricky trying to work that out. Everyone is like, ‘You should come over; we’re having a barbecue,’ and I’m like, ‘I’m gonna be in the middle of the country.”

Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet told us about his group’s summer anthem, “Pontoon,” when it first came out, “It’s just fun, it really is, it feels like summer, and it feels exactly what it sounds like. I grew up on pontoon boats in the summer on the lakes and just having a blast.”

As we bring in the official start of summer today, we look at what we believe are twelve of the best country music songs celebrating the summertime.

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