Some musicians make hits from the very beginning, making waves with their entry into the industry and keeping their fame alive through a series of following hits. These are hard to forget, and a mention of that first song always brings their name to mind. On the other hand there are those musicians who make a hit song, it goes wild all over the place and then… that’s the last anyone hears of the artist.
It’s not because they stop singing. It’s just that none of their other songs become hits, so they’re easily forgotten, while their one hit song gets played for years on end. In this case, a lot of people will enjoy the song but barely remember the name of the artist. These musicians are what we call one-hit wonders.
While making a single hit then disappearing into oblivion sounds like an unfortunate fate, it’s definitely better than the case of artists who toil for years but never produce even one hit. One-hit wonders have been gracing airwaves for decades now, and we’ll look at some of those that we should never forget. These hits had everyone nodding and singing along, perhaps expecting more hits from the artist, but that was the end of it.
1. Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry Be Happy, 1988
In 1988, Bobby McFerrin’s song Don’t Worry Be Happy topped music charts, making its way to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It made history as the first acapella song to reach this spot. While this song is still a favorite to anyone who hears it even decades later, none of McFerrin’s other songs quite made it to be a hit like this one.
2. PSY – Gangnam Style, 2012
Fairly recent, PSY broke into the worldwide music scene with his extremely popular song Gangnam Style. The song was literally everywhere, and its video was particularly popular, garnering over a billion views. The world has yet to hear another hit from this South Korean rapper.
3. Haddaway – What Is Love, 1993
This is another hit song from the previous century whose lyrics are familiar to most people. In 1993, Haddaway, who has a Trinidadian-German origin, released this as his debut single, and it performed excellently. None of his following songs became worldwide hits like this one, and most of the people jamming along to his brilliant debut can’t name the artist behind it.
4. Gotye and Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know, 2011
Here, we have two artists behind a one-hit wonder, who shared their only hit song so far. This is a song that garnered a fair amount of awards including Grammys, and topped the charts for a total of eight weeks in 2011. For Gotye, none of his other songs from the album that contained this hit, Making Mirrors, became as popular as this one. And as for Kimbra she’s yet to bring forth another song that comes close to this one’s success.
5. Blu Cantrell – Hit Em Up, 2001
Blu Cantrell made her musical debut in 2001 with the Hit Em Up debut single. So far, it remains her only song to reach the Billboard Hot 100 top forty, going as far as number two and remaining there for two consecutive weeks.