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Barbecue Beats Playlist

Spanning the ’60s through today, these sizzling summer jams have the sauce.

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illustration of bbq food items and phone playing music
Mora Vieytes
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No matter what you’re cooking – ribs, chicken, seafood kabobs, corn on the cob, and burgers and dogs (don’t forget veggie and vegan options) – it’ll taste even better when enjoyed with a soulful soundtrack.

What songs make you, your family and friends exclaim, “That’s my jam!” as you dig into a well-balanced plate (wink) piled with tasty sides like potato salad, baked beans, greens and deviled eggs? Well, we thought long and hard about what summer jams have the sauce. We’ve got you covered with nearly three hours of danceable, smooth and head-nodding barbecue beats that span the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and into the 21st century.

Whether you’re a millennial or a baby boomer, chances are you will find more than a few of your faves on this smokin’ playlist, Sis.

Sing along with songs like “Can We Talk” by Tevin Campbell; “Dancing in the Street” by Martha & The Vandellas; “Got to Be Real” by Cheryl Lynn; and “Before I Let Go” by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. Stay in the groove with Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Fantasy”; Luther’s “Never Too Much”; Mary J.’s “Family Affair''; Usher’s “Yeah!,” featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris; Sean Paul’s “Get Busy”; Teena Marie’s “Square Biz”; and Beyoncé’s “Cuff It” (on this banger, Bey gives a nod to the aforementioned Teena with an “Everybody get up!”).

Need even more musical fuel for your BBQ blowout? Reminisce with funky sensations by R&B divas like Chaka Khan (“Do You Love What You Feel”), Stephanie Mills (“What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin’”) and Phyllis Hyman (“You Know How to Love Me”), and blue-eyed soul stirrers from Hall & Oates (“I Can’t Go for That [No Can Do]”), Madonna (“Holiday”) and Boz Scaggs (“Lowdown”).

So get your grub on (it’s OK to go for seconds), enjoy being “Back Together Again” with your tribe, and keep the party going with kinetic closers like Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up - Pt. 1,” McFadden & Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” and the Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark Pt. 1 & 2.”

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Follow Article Topics: Playlists