Hot Summer is a 7" single only released as a covermount with the August 2021 edition of Rolling Stone magazine in Germany on 29 July, 2021, to promote the Welcome 2 America, released the same week (the album’s first promo single, Welcome 2 America, had an announced release date of the day before, 28 July, 2021). The a-side is the album version of Hot Summer, while the b-side, The Bird, is a live version of the track as audio, taken from the concert video released on blu-ray as part of the deluxe edition of the album, from 28 April 2011: The Forum, Inglewood, CA, USA. Its inclusion marks back-to-back singles on which the b-sides are live versions by Prince of tracks originally released by The Time (a 2014 live version of Cool was included on the previous single, Partyman / Cool).
The cover photos were used in the initial promotion for the album, and appear in the lyric video for Welcome 2 America.
Although Hot Summer had been played on Minneapolis-based radio station Minnesota public radio station 89.3 The Current’s website on 7 June 2010 (Prince’s 52nd birthday), the track was not officially released at the time, despite occasionally being mentioned in media at the time as being a ’single'. A week before this single’s release, the track Hot Summer was offered on streaming and download services, however.