Could an artist with Utah ties have the 'song of the summer'?

Benson Boone, an up-and-coming artist with Utah ties, might have the song of the summer on his hands.

Benson Boone, an up-and-coming artist with Utah ties, might have the song of the summer on his hands. (Dennis Leupold, Warner Records)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Some music listeners are already itching to crown the "song of the summer" — that earwormy chart-topper with commercial clout and cultural cachet that grips radio stations, TikTok For You pages and store speakers from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Summer doesn't officially begin until Thursday, but the Associated Press already has its eye on some contenders for song of the summer. So who made the list? The usual top dogs — Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Post Malone — but also Benson Boone, an up-and-coming star with Utah ties.

Benson Boone

Boone's "Beautiful Things" came out in January, but its momentum is propelling it into the summer months with a secure spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

"There isn't a hint of edge in his soft pop-rock, but there is a lot of love," the Associated Press wrote.

The folky pop-rock power ballad, reminiscent of Noah Kahan and fellow Utahns the Backseat Lovers, has kept a spot on the Hot 100 for 21 weeks, peaking at No. 2. The song is nearing 1 billion streams on Spotify.

Path to stardom

Boone, 21, is a seeming overnight success. Just a few years ago, he didn't even know he could sing. Now, he has a record deal with Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds' label and will be the opening act for Taylor Swift on her Eras tour next week.

So how did he get so big, so fast? TikTok. Boone's personal TikTok has more than 7 million followers, and most of his videos have well over a million streams each. His music is also a popular choice for user-generated content on the platform.

Boone also had a brief stint on "American Idol" in 2021, though he ultimately decided to drop out of the reality show's Top 24 to pursue music independently.

Utah connections

Even in his success, Boone has Utah ties. He was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and attended Brigham Young University-Idaho for one semester before dropping out to pursue music. His family now lives in St. George — which happens to be where he filmed the "Beautiful Things" music video.

Boone hasn't publicly commented on his religious upbringing, but he alludes to God throughout "Beautiful Things," singing, "And I thank God every day/ For the girl He sent my way/ But I know the things He gives me/ He can take away," and "It's been a while, but I'm finding my faith."

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Emma Everett Johnson covers Utah as a general news reporter. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University.


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