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Taylor Swift, Drake, Cardi B & More Among Teen Choice Awards 2018 Nominees

The Best Songs of 2018 (So Far)

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift, Drake, Cardi B & More Among Teen Choice Awards 2018 Nominees

The first wave of nominees for the 2018 Teen Choice Awards was announced June 13, with the biggest stars of music, movies, television and sports from the past year receiving nods. Taylor Swift, Drake, Cardi B and Shawn Mendes are just some of the artists featured in the music category, which recognizes stars of every genre including J Balvin, Calvin Harris and Carrie Underwood.

Outside of music, box office hits Black Panther and The Greatest Showman received several nominations in the movie field, and the television category includes hit shows such as Riverdale and This Is Us. But these are only a handful of the nominees, and more are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks, along with this year's presenters, performers and hosts.

Voting is open now, and fans can cast their votes at and on Twitter through June 19. Fans are allowed 10 votes per category, per day, per platform user ID. To vote on Twitter, fans can tweet the category hashtag (each indicated below) with the nominee’s name, either @nominee or #nominee if they don't have an account. Only one Teen Choice nominee can be mentioned per tweet.

The 2018 Teen Choice Awards will air live Aug. 12 on FOX. Check out the first wave of nominees below.

Choice Male Artist (#ChoiceMaleArtist)

Bruno Mars
Ed Sheeran
Louis Tomlinson
Niall Horan
Shawn Mendes

Choice Female Artist (#ChoiceFemaleArtist)
Ariana Grande
Camila Cabello
Cardi B
Demi Lovato
Dua Lipa
Taylor Swift

Choice Music Group (#ChoiceMusicGroup)
5 Seconds of Summer
Fifth Harmony
Florida Georgia Line
Maroon 5
Why Don’t We

Choice Country Artist (#ChoiceCountryArtist)
Blake Shelton
Carrie Underwood
Kane Brown
Kelsea Ballerini
Maren Morris
Thomas Rhett

Choice Electronic/Dance Artist (#ChoiceElectronicDanceArtist)
Calvin Harris
Martin Garrix
Steve Aoki
The Chainsmokers

Choice Latin Artist (#ChoiceLatinArtist)
Becky G
Daddy Yankee
J Balvin
Luis Fonsi

Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Artist (#ChoiceRBHipHopArtist)
Cardi B
Childish Gambino
Nicki Minaj
Post Malone

Choice Rock Artist (#ChoiceRockArtist)
Imagine Dragons
Panic! At the Disco
Portugal. The Man
twenty one pilots
X Ambassadors

Choice Song: Female Artist (#ChoiceSongFemaleArtist)
Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left To Cry”
Camila Cabello (feat. Young Thug) – “Havana”
Demi Lovato – “Sorry Not Sorry”
Dua Lipa – “New Rules”
Halsey – “Bad at Love”
Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do”

Choice Song: Male Artist (#ChoiceSongMaleArtist)
Charlie Puth – “Attention”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Drake – “God’s Plan”
Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
Justin Timberlake (feat. Chris Stapleton) – “Say Something”
Kendrick Lamar (feat. Zacari) – “Love.”

Choice Song: Group (#ChoiceSongGroup)
5 Seconds of Summer – “Youngblood”
Imagine Dragons – “Whatever It Takes”
Maroon 5 – “Wait”
Panic! At the Disco – “Say Amen (Saturday Night)”
Portugal. The Man – “Feel It Still”
Why Don’t We – “Trust Fund Baby”

Choice Collaboration (#ChoiceCollaboration)
Bebe Rexha (feat. Florida Georgia Line) – “Meant to Be”
Bruno Mars (feat. Cardi B) – “Finesse (Remix)”
Taylor Swift (feat. Ed Sheeran & Future) – “End Game”
The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar – “Pray for Me” (“Black Panther” soundtrack)
Zac Efron & Zendaya – “Rewrite the Stars” (“The Greatest Showman” soundtrack)
Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – “The Middle”

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The Best Songs of 2018 (So Far)

Don't settle for the blare of an ice cream truck's nursery rhyme siren or the maddening hum of an air conditioning unit to serve as your official soundtrack to summer — in 2018, pop music has delivered more than enough to get you through — so long as you've got a trusty set of noise-canceling headphones, anyway.

Only five months into the year, veteran pop acts like the Backstreet Boys, new queen of hip-hop Cardi B and promising vocal powerhouse Louisa Johnson have all released tracks that'll have you buzzing en route to the beach (or, if you're very lucky, your backyard pool). Artists have made magic themselves (Nicki Minaj) and in pairs (Rita Ora and Liam Payne); collectively, pop's A-list have arranged a playlist that's pretty much bulletproof.

Sure, there will be plenty more tracks to discuss once the weather cools and winter approaches, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Below, PopCrush has collected our favorite pop songs of 2018 so far — check 'em all out and get to streaming!

Ariana Grande, “No Tears Left to Cry”

Ariana Grande had an impossible task to take on when deciding which track to release as her comeback single following the tragic 2017 Manchester concert attack. Fortunately, the resilient pop star chose “No Tears Left to Cry,” offering listeners a single as emotionally and sonically complex as the singer herself. Featuring jazzy, shimmey production that teeters between full ‘90s diva pop, early 2000s dance anthem and lush, soulful electro-ballad, “No Tears Left to Cry” is at once sad and joyful, tender and powerful, sparse and bursting with emotion.

Rita Ora and Liam Payne, “For You”

Rita Ora and Liam Payne’s duet for the third Fifty Shades of Grey film, Fifty Shades Freed, “For You” offered one of 2018’s most surprising and promising singles back in January. A lush, sweeping pop anthem, “For You” shucks the brooding alt-pop trend for something more earnest and glitzy. Twinkling synths crash around Ora’s full-bodied belting, while Payne’s low-key croon provides a nice contrast, creating a vocal chemistry that lends to the track’s romanticism.

Backstreet Boys, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"

No, this is not an Elton John and Kiki Dee cover, and no, it’s not a joke: boy band legends the Backstreet Boys climbed back onto the charts in 2018 with a seriously addictive new pop single, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” The pulsing dance track is the group’s first entry on the Billboard Pop Songs chart since 2007, and it bleeds with nostalgia—you didn't know how badly you needed Nick Carter and AJ McLean trading verses again. The blaring synth and drum claps in the chorus work well, the high harmonies are sharp and, if you want to bet on the darkest of dark horses for Song of the Summer, Backstreet’s back, alright.

Cardi B feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin, "I Like It"

Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy is a melting pot of hip-hop, and “I Like It" makes the cauldron bubble. Heavily influenced by Latin hip-hop, the trap/salsa track features verses from Puerto Rico’s Bad Bunny and Colombia’s J Balvin, set over samples of Pete Rodriguez’s 1967 boogaloo hit, “I Like It Like That.” (Fun fact: Rodriguez’s song benefitted from a 2,520% streaming increase when “I Like It” dropped.) The track is vibrant, catchy and nearly impossible not to dance to, making it a serious contender for Song of Summer.

Shawn Mendes, "Youth" feat. Khalid

It’s rare that a song like “Youth” — especially from two artists still finding their footing within the industry — can evolve past its Very Special Message and become a track that is both well-executed and purposeful. (See: Charlie Puth’s similarly themed yet schmaltzy James Taylor team-up, “Change”). But Shawn Mendes’ Khalid-aided gun control anthem does just that, focusing less on a feel-good plea for everyone to get along and more on the simple resilience in being a kid at time when national tragedy seems hellbent on forcing them to grow up. It’s a message that will undoubtedly resonate — and hopefully inspire — his young fan base, many of whom are facing school shootings at an alarming rate. It's also one delivered among defiant, thumping production and some truly beautiful harmonies to boot.

Louisa, "YES"

In the era of sonic-chill and breezy trop-house, the loudest and most talented X Factor winner yet has supplied radio with a much-needed exclamation point. Featuring 2 Chainz, "YES" is a modern adaptation of Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty,” and finds its storyteller knocking down the party’s door more forcefully than the big bad wolf’s huffing and puffing. “We getting wild, yeah, we getting raw / No one can breathe, still want some more / If you're a freak like me one time, lemme hear you say yes,” Louisa roars with a boom that could cause seismic shifts.

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