Songs that make CCTV America happy

World Today

Photos by: Stefano Montagner, epSos .de, Dietmar Temps, and Aikawa Ke.

In honor of U.N. World Happiness Day, CCTV America’s anchors, reporters, and correspondents share the songs that make them the happiest. Listen to our playlist on Spotify. (Free account registration required)

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Asieh Namdar:

“I hope you dance” by Leanne Womack.

(I love the message, for my daughters.)

Barnaby Lo

Barnaby Lo:

“Sugar” by Maroon 5.

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.

(For no other reason than I love the sound of the songs. So when I hear them on the radio, I do turn the volume up.)

Cathy Yang

Cathy Yang:

“Holiday” by Madonna. (Don’t we all need one?)

“Escapade” by Janet Jackson. (Weekend’s here!)


Chris Casquejo:

“Wouldn’t it be nice” by the Beach Boys.

(The intro reminds me of summer and a children’s song)

Dan Collyns

Dan Collyns:

“Happy” by Pharrell. (It’s not very original but my happiness nodes get tickled)

“Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder. (Beautiful tune)

Ginger Vaughn

Ginger Vaughn:

“Brown eyed girl” by Van Morrison.

Hendrik Sybrandy

Hendrik Sybrandy:

“Black Man” by Stevie Wonder.

(Saw him live this week. The song says we are all different colors and nationalities but the same people)

“Third Wind” by Pat Metheny Group.

(A fantastic piece of music by a great jazz guitarist)

Jim Spellman

Jim Spellman:

“Watch the Sunrise” by Big Star.

(Always makes me happy, though occasionally weepy too. It’s about putting aside fears and moving on. It’s a song that reminds me it’s okay to be happy and trust that the future will be better. It’s the song that I had playing when my daughter was born.)


Karina Huber:

“Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys

(This is a tune that I want to sing at the top of my lungs every time I hear it. It makes me happy because it reminds me that I live in a vibrant city that I absolutely adore. I always feel like ‘I’ve made it’ when I hear it)

kate parkinson

Kate Parkinson:

“Just Dropped In” by Kenny Rogers & The First Edition.

(This song never fails to make me smile and it usually gets me singing and dancing as well, although I don’t do either very well!)

Mark Niu

Mark Niu:

“What’s up?” by 4 Non Blondes. (When it came out, blew me away with its combo of kookiness and incredible vocal range. Plus it was a great party song!)

“Here I go again” by Whitesnake. (Unleashes my inner rock star dreams)

“I melt with you” by Modern English. (Reminds me of coming of age)


Michael Voss:

“Girl From Ipanema” the 1964 recording by Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto.

(The finest recording of the bossa nova classic ever recorded)

Michelle Begue

Michelle Begue:

“Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars. (Makes me really really want to dance. I put it on every morning, or while I’m cooking.)

“She’s Gone” by Hall and Oates. (Makes me think of my brother which makes me really really happy. He is an old soul and loves 60s, 70s, and early 80s music although he was born in 1988)

“Solamente Una Vez” by Trio de Los Panchos and Eydie Gorme. (Makes me really happy because I remember being six years old driving with my parents and little brother to our house in Mexico and singing along to beautiful romantic Spanish songs by Trio de Los Panchos along the drive. It makes me think of family, love, and special times.)

Michelle Makori

Michelle Makori:

“Fly me to the moon” Frank Sinatra.

“Love is in the air” Paul Young.

“My first, my last, my everything” by Barry White.

Nathan King

Nathan King:

“Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin. (My wife and I dance to this)

“Happy” by Pharrell. (My kids dance to this every evening after dinner)

“Au Fond Du Temple” by Georges Bizet (The Pearl Fishers’ Duet) (It reminds me of my mother)


Owen Fairclough:

“This Must Be the Place” by The Talking Heads.

(The greatest song by the greatest band ever. It takes me straight back to the dance floor at my wedding.)

Phillip TK Yin

Phillip Yin

“Firework” by Katy Perry

(Because it inspires young people around the world to pursue their dreams despite individual challenges.)

Richard Bestic

Richard Bestic:

“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” by James Baskett.

(Sing this in the shower in the morning and you’ll get your day off to a happy start.)

Roee Ruttenberg

Roee Ruttenberg:

“You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” by Barry White.

“Rescue Me” by Bell Book and Candle.

Sean Callebs

Sean Callebs:

“Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones.

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by the Beatles/George Harrison.

“Have a Drink on Me” by AC/DC.

“Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin.

“Whatcha Want” by the Beastie Boys.


Shraysi Tandon:

“Night Fever” by the Bee Gees.

(I can’t believe I’m admitting this but the Bee Gees are my closet favorite. Their song Night Fever always puts me in a good mood. The combination of 70’s disco, John Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever dance moves, and those incredibly high notes the Gibb brothers hit – that song never fails to put a pep in my step!)

Stephanie L. Freid

Stephanie Freid:

“Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot. (Really speaks to me – melodic, achingly beautiful, bittersweet)

“Sugar” by Maroon 5. (The video premise is super – surprising people at their weddings. Lots of fun, very upbeat)

“Barcelona” by Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballe for opening of Barcelona Olympic games (Combination of symphony, Mercury, opera – very uplifting.)

Wang Guan

Wang Guan:

“La Copa de la Vida” (Cup of Life) by Ricky Martin.

(I grew up playing soccer and soccer means a whole lot to me. When I first studied English at 15 through a home-stay program in Australia, I was accidentally assigned to stay with a family of Colombian immigrants. But the “misfortune” turned out to be a blessing in disguise. My English may not have improved much, yet I found a family and my passion for Latin culture, food, and people was ignited. Latin America, to this day, remains to be a place of endlessly fascination to me.)