Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’ and The Killers’ ‘Mr. Brightside’ Among the Most Distracting Songs to Listen to While Driving

Many drivers enjoy listening to music while on the road, but some songs might not be good for that occasion. For example, a new study shows that Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” and The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” are great at distracting drivers. Interestingly, some other famous tunes have a similar effect.

Outkast's André 3000 and Big Boi in front of their group's logo
Outkast’s André 3000 and Big Boi | J. Merritt/FilmMagic

How a website determined if a song is distracting

How does someone try to prove that a song is distracting? First, Pass Me Fast looked at Spotify’s most popular songs. They did not include obscure songs in their ranking.

Second, they calculated how energetic, danceable, and emotionally charged Spotify’s most popular songs are. The website determined that distracting songs are energetic and emotional without being danceable. A song has to have an irregular beat for it not to be considered danceable. 

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What songs besides Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’ and The Killers’ ‘Mr. Brightside’ did Pass Me Fast consider distracting?

According to the website, the most distracting songs are, in ascending order, Zayn Malik and Sia’s “Dusk Till Dawn,” Dua Lipa‘s “Levitating,” Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life,” Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name,” Calvin Harris’ “Feel So Close,” the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Can’t Stop,” a-ha’s “Take on Me,” Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind,” The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” and Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” The latter song earned a 72.6% distracting score. 

On the other hand, the least distracting songs to enjoy while driving are John Legend’s “All of Me,” the Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” Olivia Rodrigo’s “Enough for You,” Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings,” Calum Scott’s “Dancing on My Own,” Justin Bieber‘s “Love Yourself,” Bruno Mars‘ “When I Was Your Man,” Lewis Capaldi’s “Bruises,” Noah Cyrus’ “July,” and Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.” The latter song earned an 8.1% distracting score.

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The way the world reacted to Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’ and The Killers’ ‘Mr. Brightside’

Regardless of what “Hey Ya!” and “Mr. Brightside” do to drivers, both of them were big hits. “Hey Ya!” reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks. It spent a total of 32 weeks on the chart. Outkast released “Hey Ya!” on the album Speakerboxxx/The Love BelowSpeakerboxxx/The Love Below was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for seven weeks of its 56-week run on the chart. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below lasted longer on the Billboard 200 than any of Outkast’s other albums.

“Mr. Brightside” became a hit as well, even if it wasn’t as popular as “Hey Ya!” “Mr. Brightside” peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 38 weeks. It remains The Killers’ only top 10 song in the United States. “Mr. Brightside” appeared on The Killers’ debut album Hot Fuss. Hot Fuss reached No. 7 on the Billboard 200, lasting on the chart for 98 weeks. None of The Killers’ other albums lasted as long on the chart. “Hey Ya!” and “Mr. Brightside” are classic 2000s tracks even if they aren’t great to listen to while driving.

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