These days, prom seems to be bigger than ever. Whether you’re about the corsages and promposals or just want to dance with a group of friends, you’ll need a great playlist. Here are the 55 best prom songs to make the night magical.
1. We Are Young — fun. Featuring Janelle Monáe
The pop band fun. dropped a couple of absolute bangers in the early 2010s. “We Are Young” is one of the best, with the hypnotic opening verse and the dramatic chorus.
Next: Ultimate list of songs about growing up & getting older (our picks)
2. I Gotta Feeling — Black Eyed Peas
When “I Gotta Feeling” was released way back in 2010, it was one of the quintessential party songs. When the opening chords hit, everyone will be running to the dance floor to sing the days of the week.
3. Lay Me Down — Sam Smith
Sam Smith is the modern king of slow dance ballads. This 2014 hit might be a bit melancholy, but it’s still a great choice for doing that classic high school dance sway.
4. Your Song — Elton John
The best songs are timeless, and Elton John’s “Your Song” is proof. This romantic song has been the perfect slow dance for prom for more than five decades.
Next: The best playlist of songs for graduations
5. I Swear — All-4-One
Released in 1994, “I Swear” is quintessentially 1990s. There’s a lot of drama in this smooth track, making it perfect for a slow dance with your date or just letting loose with a group of friends.
6. Rain On Me — Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande
Released at the height of the pandemic, “Rain On Me” didn’t get an introduction during prom season. Now, this fun electropop hit can enjoy its time in the spotlight.
Next: Our complete list of the greatest TikTok songs to dance to
7. Every Breath You Take — The Police
Is it creepy? Yes. Does it sound a bit like it’s about a stalker? OK, sure. But “Every Breath You Take” has become known far and wide as a classic slow dance song.
Next: List of songs that everyone knows and loves (our picks)
8. A Moment Like This — Kelly Clarkson
“A Moment Like This” is the perfect combination of dramatic and powerful. Whatever you’re hoping will happen on prom night, this could be the perfect soundtrack for it.
9. Save Your Tears — The Weeknd
“Save Your Tears” might have sad lyrics, but with such a catchy, upbeat melody, the song feels anything but sad. Appropriately, it opens with: “I saw you dancing in a crowded room.”
10. (I’ve Had) The Time of my Life — Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
Is there a more famous dance song than this classic from the movie Dirty Dancing? We hope that no one at prom will be attempting the Johnny and Baby final lift.
11. Mr. Brightside — The Killers
What is it about “Mr. Brightside” that makes everyone run for the dance floor? This upbeat song is a dance party staple, and you’ll probably find people singing along, too.
12. Cha-Cha Slide — DJ Casper
You can say that it’s been overplayed, and maybe it has. But no matter how many times you’ve done the “Cha-Cha Slide” before, it’s almost impossible not to hit the dance floor when it starts.
13. Thriller — Michael Jackson
It doesn’t matter that teens today weren’t born when “Thriller” was first released. Both the song and the dance routine remain legendary.
Next: Our list of the greatest singers in music history (our top picks)
14. Dynamite — BTS
K-pop is here to stay, and BTS is the proof. “Dynamite” is the perfect crowd dance song, with a strong upbeat tempo and some confusing lyrics.
15. All of Me — John Legend
John Legend’s sweet ballad “All Of Me” was written for his wife, Chrissy Teigen. It’s been a popular song for wedding first dances ever since, but it’s also an ultra-romantic slow dance song.
16. Wonderful Tonight — Eric Clapton
Loving an old-school slow dance song? “Wonderful Tonight” has been played at countless school dances, and it’s still just as romantic today.
17. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) — Katy Perry
“Last Friday Night” is all about a crazy night that spiraled out of control. It’s a fun party song, though we hope that prom night won’t end with a warrant.
Next: The top Friday songs for a fun playlist
18. Dancing Queen — ABBA
Sure, music has changed a lot since ABBA ruled the scene. But “Dancing Queen” is still a party staple, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s just that catchy.
19. Just Dance — Lady Gaga
Before she was winning Golden Globes, Lady Gaga was singing party anthems like “Just Dance.” It’s become one of the classic choices for upbeat group dances.
20. Perfect — Ed Sheeran
“Perfect” is one of Ed Sheeran’s most famous songs of recent years. Whether you prefer his duet with Beyoncé or the original version, you can’t deny that this is one excellent slow dance.
Next: The greatest duets for karaoke night (our ultimate list)
21. Holy — Justin Bieber Featuring Chance The Rapper
Justin Bieber has come a long way since his “Baby” days. “Holy” is a surprisingly sweet and slow song, perfect for swaying with your prom date under the dimmed lights.
22. Shake It Off — Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” is the ultimate response to all the haters, and it’s infectiously catchy. It’s the ultimate high-energy bop that will get everyone on the dance floor.
Next: The greatest Taylor Swift songs
23. TiK ToK — Kesha
Before TikTok was a social media app, it was the most danceable song of 2009. There’s something irresistible about those absolutely wild first lines involving brushing your teeth with whiskey.
24. I Wanna Dance With Somebody — Whitney Houston
Powerful vocals, an upbeat tempo, and lyrics that are all about dancing? I’m starting to think that there’s no occasion when Whitney Houston doesn’t belong.
25. Can’t Stop The Feeling! — Justin Timberlake
“Can’t Stop The Feeling!” was initially recorded for the Trolls movie, but it topped the charts on its merit. It’s a song that’s all about needing to break it down on the dance floor.
26. Bad Habits — Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran might be the king of slow dance ballads, but this upbeat song will get everyone on the dance floor. It might be about a man going on a downward spiral, but it’s irresistibly catchy.
27. Wannabe — Spice Girls
The Spice Girls broke up decades ago, but “Wannabe” is just as fun as ever. We still don’t know what “zigazig ah” means, and we probably never will.
28. Girls Like You — Maroon 5 Featuring Cardi B
Maroon 5 has had plenty of slower hits over the years, but “Girls Like You” is a punchy, upbeat song that is perfect for dancing. You’ll probably find yourself singing along, too.
29. A Thousand Years — Christina Perri
Call it sappy, but we can’t resist Christina Perri’s melancholy love song. The music video even includes clips from “Twilight”—most particularly the slow dance scenes from Bella Swan’s own prom.
30. You Belong With Me — Taylor Swift
Is there any song more quintessentially “high school” than this one? The music video even ends at a high school dance!
Next: Ultimate playlist of songs about love at first sight
31. Despacito — Luis Fonsi Featuring Daddy Yankee
Unless you speak Spanish fluently (or you’ve listened to the song a lot) you probably can’t sing along to this superfast multilingual song. But that won’t stop you from breaking it down on the dance floor.
Next: Playlist of the greatest Spanish songs of all time
32. Drops of Jupiter — Train
This crowd favorite is a great choice for the end of the night. The party is winding down, and you need something that everyone knows and can enjoy together.
33. Hey Ya! — Outkast
“Hey Ya!” has been a prom favorite for many years. Though most of us don’t know the words (except for the title phrase), we’ve all been to countless parties that spun this classic track.
34. Party in the U.S.A. — Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has come a long way since her “Party In The U.S.A.” days, but this song has long since become a school dance favorite.
35. Can’t Hold Us — Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Featuring Ray Dalton
Macklemore is another artist who doesn’t seem to be in the spotlight much anymore. But back in his heyday, “Can’t Hold Us” immediately became known as a go-to party song.
Next: Our list of the greatest white rappers in music history
36. 1, 2 Step — Ciara featuring Missy Elliott
The song “1, 2 Step” is a fun throwback hit from the early days of crowd dances. There’s something hypnotic about the chorus ordering everybody to one-two step.
Next: The best throwback songs of all time
37. …Baby One More Time — Britney Spears
There’s not a person alive who doesn’t know the words to this classic Britney Spears hit. The music video even takes place in a school!
38. Don’t Start Now — Dua Lipa
“Don’t Start Now” could be describing high school couples’ drama. But even if you haven’t experienced that, you’ll still enjoy this energetic pop dance song.
39. Dance, Dance — Fall Out Boy
“Dance, Dance” is actually about a high school dance, at least according to the music video. It’s right at home at a high school prom.
40. I’m With You — Avril Lavigne
Early 2000s music wasn’t afraid to be angsty, and this one might just lead the pack. But there’s just something so fun about belting that melodramatic chorus.
41. Hey Look Ma, I Made It — Panic! At The Disco
Graduating high school isn’t easy. With graduation approaching soon after prom season, it’s easy to catch the infectious excitement of “Hey Look Ma, I Made It.”
42. Say So — Doja Cat
“Say So” went from a catchy song to one of the biggest TikTok dance crazes of the last few years. You’ve probably seen it performed countless times.
43. Bye Bye Bye — *NSYNC
“Bye Bye Bye” is proof that some songs just don’t have an expiration date. Today’s teens weren’t even alive when it was recorded, but almost everyone still knows and loves it.
44. Easy on Me — Adele
Call Adele the queen of the breakup ballad. It might be a strange choice for dancing with your date, but it’s bound to be a crowd pleaser.
45. Club Can’t Handle Me — Flo Rida Featuring David Guetta
Flo Rida is always a good choice for a bumping, high-energy crowd favorite. Songs like these have become prom standards, even years after their release.
46. Party Rock Anthem — LMFAO Featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock
“Party Rock Anthem” is the quintessential one-hit wonder of the early 2010s. It’s weird, catchy, and hypnotically danceable, long after LMFAO disappeared off the pop charts.
47. Baila Conmigo — Selena Gomez And Rauw Alejandro
Maybe you barely passed high school Spanish, but you can still sing along with the chorus of this super-fun song. We’ll give you a hint: it means “dance with me.”
48. Hold You Tonight — Gryffin & Chris Lane
Many slow dance songs are old classics, but “Hold You Tonight” is a more recent hit. No doubt it will be played at generations of proms to come.
49. Reckless — Madison Beer
It seems 2021 was the year of the upbeat breakup song. “Good 4 U” and “Reckless” both channel a kind of energy that many high school couples can likely relate to.
50. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) — Green Day
“Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” has become synonymous with leaving your hometown. It’s strangely fitting for a senior class enjoying their last high school dance: “But in the end, it’s right, I hope you had the time of your life.”
51. Thinking Out Loud — Ed Sheeran
“Thinking Out Loud” has become one of the most popular first dance songs in weddings of the last decade. With fancy dresses and promposals, the romantic vibes are also perfect for prom.
52. The Night is Still Young — Nicki Minaj
Prom might end before midnight, but for the night owls, the party is only just beginning. OK, even seniors probably have a curfew. But Nicki Minaj’s pop party song makes it fun to pretend.
53. About Damn Time — Lizzo
There aren’t many people who haven’t heard Lizzo’s pop hit at this point. The upbeat tempo and sheer attitude of the song make it impossible to resist.
54. Dancing on my Own — Robyn
Who said you had to have a date for prom? Robyn’s catchy song “Dancing On My Own” is proof that you can have a great time even if you don’t have a partner.
55. Footloose — Kenny Loggins
What song is better to get everyone dancing than this classic song all about dancing? The opening guitar chords immediately make you want to move, which is kind of the point.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.