Okay, let’s get one thing out of the way first – the artists we’re mentioning here are more than their hit songs. Most of them have highly accomplished music careers. But the reason we’ve included them in this ‘one hit wonder’ list, is because all of them have that one song that most people immediately recognize and associate with the band.
Obviously, for hardcore fans of an artist or a band, there’s no such thing as a one-hit wonder, but we’re making this list from a generic Indian perspective. So if we’ve called your favourite artist a ‘one-hit wonder’, please don’t take it the wrong way.
1. Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens
The Tokens parted ways, with singer Jay Siegel forming his own band Jay Siegel’s Tokens.
2. In the summertime – Mungo Jerry
‘In the Summertime’ came out in 1970, and by the 80’s, Mungo Jerry were somewhat inactive in the scene; until 1995, when Shaggy covered the song.
3. Oh Carol – Neil Sedaka
Okay, Neil Sedaka is quite a known artist in his genre, but for most listeners worldwide he’ll remain the ‘Oh Carol’ guy.
4. Come on Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners
Vocalist Kevin Rowland started a not-so-successful solo career in the mid eighties and he spent the major part of the 90s going through financial and drug-related problems.
5. I just died in your arms tonight – Cutting Crew
The band broke up in 1993 while founding-member Kevin MacMichael died of lung cancer at the age of 51 in 2002.
6. Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
The band parted with their record label Hollywood Records last year due to creative conflicts. Their latest album American Nights was released by Megaforce Records while lead singer Tom Higgeson and drummer Dave Tirio also started working on a side project called That Lying Bitch to get closer to their punk rock roots.
7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something
After breaking up sometime in 2001, the band regrouped in 2014 and signed with indie-label Kirtland Records.
8. Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry
Although Eagle Eye Cherry has been active on the music scene in America and Europe, his more recent work has fairly gone under the radar.
9. Tubthumping – Chumbawamba
After a three-decade long career in music, the band members parted ways in 2012.
10. 500 Miles – The Proclaimers
Frontmen Craig and Charlie Reid are identical twins. And the band is still active and touring worldwide.
11. Eiffel 65 – Blue Da Ba Dee
The members of the Italian group left the group in 2005, after which they never managed to re-unite or release another album due to issues with their recording label.
12. Tarzan and Jane – Toy Box
After the Danish band broke up, Amir El-Falaki worked as a dance teacher, music video choreographer and cheerleading coach to FC Copenhagen.
13. What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes
Lead singer Linda Perry quit the band in 1994, after which she founded two record labels while composing and producing hit songs for other artists like Christina Aguilera, Pink, Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani.
14. You Only Get What You Give – New Radicals
The band lasted from 1997 to 1999.
15. What is love – Haddaway
After a decent run as a Eurodance hitmaker, Haddaway now lives in Kitzbühel, Austria.
16. Outta my head – Fastball
The band is now working on its 6th album.
17. Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
After celebrating its 15-year anniversary, the band is now recording its 6th studio album using a new drummer.
18. Cotton Eye Joe – Rednex
Since 1994, the band has undergone 12 line-up changes.
19. Mona – Craig McLachlan
McLachlan’s also an actor, having worked in soap operas Neighbours and Home and Away and BBC One spy drama Bugs .
20. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate disbanded in 1986, but received some recognition when this hit was used in the 1997 comedy The Full Monty .
21. Power of Love – Jennifer Rush
Jennifer Rush achieved more fame and recognition in Europe than in her native USA. In 2006, she moved to London with her daughter.
22. My Sharona – The Knack
In 2006, during a performance in Las Vegas, singer Doug Fieger became disoriented, developing a dull headache, and grasping for the words to the songs that he had written and performed for years. Diagnosed with two brain tumors, Fieger underwent surgery and radiosurgery and returned to performing. However, he still continued to battle brain and lung cancer until his death on February 14, 2010.
23. Because I got High – Afroman
Earlier this year, in February, Afroman was charged with assault after he punched a woman who climbed on the stage with a drink in hand. He is now attending anger management counselling.
24. Never gonna give you up – Rick Astley
After selling 40 million copies, Rick Astley retired in 1993. But in 2007, he became famous again, thanks to becoming an Internet meme known as ‘ rickrolling ‘.
25. You spin me round – Dead or Alive
In 2006, vocalist Pete Burns participated in UK’s Celebrity Big Brother and came in fifth.
26. Steal My Sunshine – Len
This Canadian band never managed to recreate the success of ‘Steal my sunshine’, but they continued making music till 2003, before going on a hiatus.
27. Who let the dogs out – Baha Men
The Baha Men released their last album 2004.
28. Baby I love your way – Big Mountain
From 2005 to 2013, frontman Quino McWhinney taught at the Olympian High School in San Diego.
29. Nothing’s Gonna Change my love for you – Glenn Medeiros
After his music career, Medeiros taught at Maryknoll School in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was also the vice-principal.
30. The Ketchup Song – Las Ketchup
Lucía Muñoz, Lola Muñoz, Pilar Muñoz and Rocío Muñoz are sisters. They still perform in Spain and neighbouring countries.
31. PSY – Gangnam Style
Psy is known for his sense of humor in his concerts, where he imitates female singers such as Park Ji-yoon, Lee Hyori, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.
32. Brighter Than Sunshine – Aqualung
Matt Hales (Aqualung) is also a much sought-after lyricist, having co-written songs for Tiesto, Leona Lewis, Boyzone, Lianne La Havas and Jason Mraz.
33. Boston – Augustana
Augustana has released four albums so far.
34. Lemon Tree – Fool’s Garden
Fool’s Garden are from Germany. They are also known for performing covers of the well known British songs during their live shows.
35. Happy Together – The Turtles
The Turtles disbanded in 1970.
36. Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations
The Foundations were active from 1967 to 1970. They became famous later again when ‘Build me up, Buttercup’ was used in the comedy There’s Something About Mary .
37. I’ll Be there for you – The Rembrandts
The duo split in 1997 before reuniting in 2000. They continue to write music.
38. Butterfly – Crazy Town
Crazy Town has released three albums – one each in 1999, 2002 and 2015.
39. Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx
Richard Marx started his career at age 5, singing in commercial jingles.
40. Macarena – Los Del Río
Because of their considerable success worldwide, their native town of Dos Hermanas has named a new municipal music hall, the Anfiteatro Los Del Río, after them.
41. Somebody that I used to know – Gotye
Based upon the success of ‘Somebody that I used to know’, Gotye was named among the top 50 Australians in art by The Australian newspaper.
42. Rebirth of Slick – Digable Planets
Despite being one of the pioneers of ‘old school hip-hop’ the group disbanded in 1995 citing “creative differences”.
43. ’74-’75 – The Connells
The band almost broke up in 1993, right before ’74-’75 turned out to be a huge hit in Europe.
44. Mysterious Girl – Peter Andre
Believe it or not, Peter Andre has released 11 albums.
45. Informer – Snow
‘Informer’ reached No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100.
46. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
In Adam Sandler’s western parody, The Ridiculous Six , Vanilla Ice is set to play Mark Twain.
47. Something in the Air – Thunderclap Newman
Frontman John “Speedy” Keen used to chauffeur Pete Townshend, who helped set up Thunderclap Newman. Keen passed away in 2002.
48. A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum
Procol Harum was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
49. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm – Crash Test Dummies
Vocalist Brad Roberts, who is known for his brass baritone voice, is now performing under the Crash Test Dummies banner again after a long hiatus.
50. Runaway Train – Soul Asylum
Not really a one-hit wonder to a hardcore fan (but that’s true for almost anyone on this list),
51. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot
Sir Mix-a-Lot released 6 albums in his career – the last one came out in 2003. This list would have been incomplete without him.