In September, the other Insiders and I are heading to Orlando for the annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism. For some, that means a plane ride. But for me, Orlando is only about an hour’s drive away -- a distance that’s too short for an audiobook but perfect for singing at the top of my lungs as my Honda Civic barrels down Interstate 4.
This isn’t the time for the Great American Songbook. This is the time for cheesy pop songs! And who better to get the party started than entertainers with an Orlando connection? Here’s my tentative playlist. Perhaps it’ll become yours, too, the next time you find yourself in Central Florida.
1) Backstreet Boys: I Want It That Way. Just one of many deliciously addictive singles from the Orlando natives. The video takes place in an airport, so this song can do double duty on the soundtrack for your next plane trip.
2) O-Town: Liquid Dreams. Folks are always accusing boy bands of being manufactured, but this one undisputedly was. O-Town, whose name is a nod to Orlando, formed in 2000 as a result of the MTV reality show Making the Band.
3) Britney One More Time: Baby One More Time. The pop princess grew up in rural Louisiana, but her tenure as a Mouseketeer (along her ex Justin Timberlake and his *NSYNC cohort JC Chasez) earns her a spot on this list.
4) Miley Cyrus: Party in the USA. The Disney Channel alum has come a looonnng way since her Hannah Montana days. To keep this list PG, I’ve picked a selection from well before the VMA-twerking episode.
5) Mandy Moore: Candy. Moore grew up in Seminole County, and I had the pleasure of interviewing her a few years ago for the Tampa Bay Times. She’s no Streisand, but she sure is sweet -- just like this song.
6) Matchbox Twenty: 3 AM. When fun days turn into late nights, this song by the Orlando rockers fits the bill.
7) *NSYNC: Bye Bye Bye. The song title should’ve been an omen that Justin Timberlake would eventually leave the Orlando band for the solo spotlight. It’s also the perfect closer to our road trip playlist.
What other guilty pleasure songs belong on this Orlando playlist? Leave your suggestions on my Facebook page. And check out these gems: