Ah, Miami. The city’s year-round sun, beautiful beaches, babes, and unparalleled nightlife have inspired countless musical tributes that attempt to capture its festive, multi-cultural vibe. Everyone from Ray Charles to U2 have crooned about this urban oasis, but not all songs ode to Miami are created equal. Here, we narrowed down our five favorites that embody Miami’s never-ending capacity for fun, its rich history, and its spicy spirit.
“Miami Vice Theme” by Jan Hammer
No other TV show put Miami (and pastels) on the map more than Miami Vice, which starred Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. The show and its theme—heavy on the synthesizers—romanticized the gritty vibe of South Beach in the 1980s.
“Welcome to Miami” by Pitbull
A Miami native, Pitbull’s ultimate love letter to his city doesn’t gloss over the Miami beneath the surface: “Welcome to Miami where they Hustle hey…Palm trees blue skies ganstas and goons…”
“Conga” by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
This classic ’80s jam never gets old. Full of Latin flavor, it reflects the city’s diverse demographic and Estefan’s Cuban roots.
“I’m in Miami Bitch” by LMFAO
These party-rockers have two things in mind when they go to Miami: “Drink all day, play all night.” The song was the band’s debut, and created a frenzy around the animal print-clad duo.
“Miami” by Will Smith
Will Smith got the Miami bug during a quick visit and wrote this catchy homage to late nights and ladies, “Everyday like a Mardi-Gras, everybody party all day…Miami bringing heat for real, y’all don’t understand.” We totally understand – and clearly so does the rest of the world, as the hit is Smith’s highest grossing single ever.