Watch: Top 12 ‘white’ songs you can play at the cookout

What is your favorite "white" song to play at a cookout? TheGrio curated the perfect Top 12 list of songs and their invite-worthy artists.

It's cookout time, and theGrio has put together the Top 12 "white" songs that should make your playlist.

June is Black Music Month and theGrio curated several Top 12 lists all month long for every occasion. How old were you when you realized that a white person sang “What You Won’t Do For Love”? Our cookout playlist will always be for the culture, but our Top 12 “white” songs you can play at a cookout certainly get a pass.

12. “Leave (Get Out)” by JoJo

(Courtesy: JoJo YouTube)

The world should’ve known that JoJo was a force to be reckoned with when “Leave (Get Out)” was her debut single. In 2004, when the single reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart, JoJo became the youngest female solo artist to have a No. 1 single in the United States at age 13. It’s been 20 years since JoJo hit the scene and her voice is still unmatched.

11. “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” by Hall & Oates

(Courtesy: Daryl Hall & John Oates YouTube)

This 1981 classic feels like it was released yesterday. “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” has a certain level of funk that’s almost addicting. There’s a handful of songs we could’ve chosen by Hall & Oates, but “I Can’t Go For That” came out on top.

10. “Summer” by Calvin Harris

(Courtesy: Calvin Harris YouTube)

Singer, songwriter, producer, and DJ Calvin Harris has produced hit songs for some of your favorite artists, but his 2014 hit “Summer” is just as electric 10 years later. This track is right for several occasions: a cardio-focused gym workout, pregaming for a night out with friends, and the perfect summer cookout.

9. “What A Fool Believes” by the Doobie Brothers

(Courtesy: Doobie Brothers YouTube)

This song was written by Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, but the best-known version was recorded by the Doobie Brothers. This 1979 track received Grammys for Song of the Year and Record of the Year, and most recently, in 2024, this song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame

8. “Square Biz” by Teena Marie

(Courtesy: BrownPrider Funk YouTube)

The late Teena Marie had so much soul that if you close your eyes when listening to her, you would think she was one of us. The 1981 classic has the perfect mix of R&B and funk. This track has been a household favorite for the past 40 years and it’ll probably be hot for another 40 more.

7. “Peaches” by Justin Bieber featuring Giveon & Daniel Caesar

(Courtesy: Justin Bieber YouTube)

Justin Bieber is no stranger to sprinkling a little soul on a song, but his 2021 single “Peaches” brought in Giveon and Daniel Caesar as the perfect trifecta. This track was the fifth single from Bieber’s album ‘Justice’ and was able to give Caesar and Giveon their first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Bieber hasn’t released a new album since, but his fans have been hoping he comes back soon.

6. “They Don’t Know” by Jon B

(Courtesy: Jon B YouTube)

Jon B walked so some of the artists on this list could fly. Jon B’s swag when it comes to his sultry R&B songs is one of one and “They Don’t Know” might be his best one. This song is the third single from Jon B’s 1997 “Cool Relax.” No one does it quite like Jon B and his effortless vibe.

5. “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell & T.I.

(Courtesy: Robin Thicke YouTube)

“Blurred Lines” was the lead single from Robin Thicke’s sixth studio album that shares the same name. Produced by Pharrell Williams, this track became one of the best-selling singles of 2013. It felt like you couldn’t escape this song no matter how hard you tried. The intoxicating beat is hard to shake.

4. “Señorita” by Justin Timberlake

(Courtesy: Justin Timberlake YouTube)

Whether you’re team Janet or team Justin, “Señorita” is one of those songs you can’t help but sing along to. This track is from Timberlake’s debut album, “Justified,” and he co-wrote this track with its producers, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes. According to the “Cry Me a River” artist, this track was influenced by Stevie Wonder.

3. “All Around the World” by Lisa Stansfield

(Courtesy: LisaStansfieldtv YouTube)

This song by singer, songwriter, and actress Lisa Stansfield is from her debut 1989 album, “Affection.” In 1992, Stansfield re-recorded “All Around the World” as a duet with Barry White and their voices together were the perfect combination. This is one of those feel-good tracks you can’t get away from.

2. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

(Courtesy: EminemMusic YouTube)

We’re sure Eminem is no stranger to a cookout, but his role in the 2002 film “8 Mile” secured his seat at the table for years to come. “Lose Yourself” is the single from the movie’s soundtrack that everyone knows, but it was Eminem’s first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single. It’s always fun to chant the lyrics to this song at any outing, but it can also double as the perfect hype-up song.

1. “What You Won’t Do for Love” by Bobby Caldwell

(Courtesy: Bobby Caldwell – Topic YouTube)

There aren’t too many songs that sound as perfect as “What You Won’t Do for Love” and that’s why this song is No. 1 on our list. It wasn’t too long ago that some people realized Bobby Caldwell, who died last year, was white. This 1978 track was the lead single from Caldwell’s debut album and is his signature song.

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