List of One-hit Wonders in the United States
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List of One-hit Wonders in the United States

A one-hit wonder is a musical artist who is successful with one hit song, but without a comparable subsequent hit.[1] The term may also be applied to an artist who is remembered for only one hit despite other successes.[2][3] This list contains artists known primarily for one hit song in the United States, who are described as one-hit wonders by the media.

Criteria

Music reviewers and journalists sometimes describe a musical artist as a one-hit wonder, based on their professional assessment of chart success, sales figures and fame.

For the purpose of his book The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders, music journalist Wayne Jancik defines a one-hit wonder as "an act that has won a position on Billboards national, pop, Top 40 just once." In his definition of an "act", Jancik distinguishes between a solo performer and any group he or she may have performed in (thus, for example, Roger Daltrey's "Without Your Love" is counted despite Daltrey's numerous hits as frontman for the Who), and a number of musicians appear multiple times, either with multiple bands or as a member of a band and as a solo artist. (Eponymous bands are generally not separated; thus Charlie Daniels is not counted as a one-hit wonder for "Uneasy Rider" and the hits of the Charlie Daniels Band are credited to him.)

Fred Bronson, a journalist and former writer for Billboard magazine, in his book Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits, uses the criterion that an artist is ineligible to be categorized as a "one-hit wonder" if they have a second song listed on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]

In both cases, the Billboard Hot 100 was used as an objective standard for one-hit wonder status, since Billboard magazine published the books.

Disc jockey and music writer Brent Mann points out how some artists have been called a "one-hit wonder" despite having other charting singles. As an example, English-born singer Albert Hammond enjoyed success with "It Never Rains in Southern California" (1972) rising to number 5 in the US, but his follow-up single, "I'm a Train" was dismissed by Mann as "totally forgotten" even though it charted at number 31 in 1974.[2]Consequence of Sound editor Matt Melis lists Beck ("Loser") and the Grateful Dead ("Touch of Grey") as "technically" being one-hit wonders despite their large bodies of work.[3]Entertainment Weekly mentions prolific artist Frank Zappa as a one-hit wonder because his only Top 40 hit was "Valley Girl" in 1982.[5]

Multiple appearances

British musician Tony Burrows sang the lead vocal on five one-hit wonders: Edison Lighthouse's "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" (February 1970); White Plains' "My Baby Loves Lovin'" (March 1970); the Pipkins' "Gimme Dat Ding" (April 1970); "Beach Baby" (July 1974) by the First Class; and "United We Stand" (1970) by the first incarnation of the Brotherhood of Man.[6][7]

Murray Head and Yvonne Elliman each sing in two US hits, first as members of the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, followed years later by singles under their own names. Playing the part of Judas, Head was heard singing on the title song "Superstar", which rose to number 14 in 1971. In 1984, Head broke into the Top 40 once more as himself, with "One Night in Bangkok".[8] In the same manner, Elliman, playing Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, sang on the hit song "I Don't Know How to Love Him", which rose to number 13 in 1971. In 1977 she took the Bee Gees composition "If I Can't Have You" to number 1 under her own name.[9]

British singer Limahl sang lead vocal on two US one-hit wonder songs; the first, "Too Shy" in 1983, came during his tenure as the frontman for the group Kajagoogoo. The next year, he had another hit single as a solo artist with "The NeverEnding Story", the title track to the film The NeverEnding Story.[10] The latter song charted at number 17 in May 1985.

List of one-hit wonders in the US

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Jancik, Wayne. "Concept Refinement". OneHitWondersTheBook.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Mann 2003, p. 165.
  3. ^ a b c d Melis 2016, p. 1.
  4. ^ Bronson 2003, p. 219-20.
  5. ^ a b c d Greenblatt 2009.
  6. ^ Hilburn, Robert (August 30, 1996). "From Bankable Burrows to One-Hit Wonders". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Retrieved 2017. 
  7. ^ Newman, Melinda (August 28, 1999). "Rhino Gets Nostalgic With DeFrancos and Turtles in First (We Hope Not Last) Retrofest". Billboard. Vol. 111 no. 35. Nielsen Business Media. p. 18. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  8. ^ a b Mann 2003, p. 118.
  9. ^ a b Mann 2003, p. 119.
  10. ^ a b Jancik 1998, p. 434.
  11. ^ a b Jancik 1998, p. 50.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Melis 2016, p. 2.
  13. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 46.
  14. ^ a b c d e Melis 2016, p. 4.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Melis 2016, p. 8.
  16. ^ Mann 2003, p. 92.
  17. ^ Adams, Greg. "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands - Laurie London". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017. 
  18. ^ Mann 2003, p. 21.
  19. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 69.
  20. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 90.
  21. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Larry Hall | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017. 
  22. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 126.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Melis 2016, p. 9.
  24. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 328.
  25. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 129.
  26. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 139.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Melis 2016, p. 11.
  28. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 146.
  29. ^ a b c d e Melis 2016, p. 3.
  30. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 144.
  31. ^ Mann 2003, p. 9.
  32. ^ Unterberger 1998, p. 395.
  33. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 150.
  34. ^ Mann 2003, p. 183.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Musto 2014.
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  38. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 172.
  39. ^ Mann 2003, p. 69.
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  42. ^ a b Babiuk 2001, p. 136.
  43. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 1068.
  44. ^ Mann 2003, p. 75.
  45. ^ Mann 2003, p. 43.
  46. ^ Studwell 2014, p. 148.
  47. ^ Boone, Brian (August 2, 2011). I Love Rock 'n' Roll (Except When I Hate It). Penguin. p. 73. ISBN 9781101517314. 
  48. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 192.
  49. ^ Mann 2003, p. 93.
  50. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 628.
  51. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 211.
  52. ^ Unterberger 1998, p. 57.
  53. ^ a b c d e f g h Malinowski 1985, p. 64.
  54. ^ a b c d e Melis 2016, p. 5.
  55. ^ Bogdanov 2003, p. 349.
  56. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 201.
  57. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 215.
  58. ^ a b c d e f g Melis 2016, p. 6.
  59. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 230.
  60. ^ a b c d e f g h i Melis 2016, p. 10.
  61. ^ a b c d Melis 2016, p. 7.
  62. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 272.
  63. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 259.
  64. ^ Studwell 2014, p. 147.
  65. ^ Koda, Cub. "Spiral Starecase | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017. 
  66. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 278.
  67. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 281.
  68. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 289.
  69. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 273.
  70. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 353.
  71. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 274.
  72. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 142.
  73. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 295.
  74. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 776.
  75. ^ Bronson, Fred (July 30, 2005). "All-Time Hottest Songs of Summer". Billboard. Vol. 111 no. 35. Nielsen Business Media. pp. 34-35. ISSN 0006-2510. 
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  81. ^ Demalon, Tom. "Clint Holmes | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017. 
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  83. ^ Mann 2003, p. 135.
  84. ^ Newman 2005, p. 32.
  85. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 321.
  86. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 332.
  87. ^ Mann 2003, p. 51.
  88. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 255.
  89. ^ a b Mann 2003, p. 148.
  90. ^ Mann 2003, p. 33.
  91. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 5.
  92. ^ Mann 2003, p. 120.
  93. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 356.
  94. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 562.
  95. ^ Jasen 2013, p. 4.
  96. ^ Mann 2003, p. 207.
  97. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Best of Yvonne Elliman - Yvonne Elliman". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017. 
  98. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 501.
  99. ^ "The Music Career of Dean Friedman - Mental Itch". MentalItch.com. Retrieved 2018. 
  100. ^ a b Mann 2003, p. 109.
  101. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 381.
  102. ^ Mann 2003, p. 87.
  103. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 684.
  104. ^ Dodd 1999, p. 160.
  105. ^ Bogdanov 2003, p. 726.
  106. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 391.
  107. ^ Mann 2003, p. 17.
  108. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 302.
  109. ^ Mann 2003, p. 77.
  110. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Rahsheeda 2013.
  111. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 808.
  112. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 398.
  113. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 1185.
  114. ^ Mann 2003, p. 39.
  115. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 407.
  116. ^ Mann 2003, p. 159.
  117. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 414.
  118. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 411.
  119. ^ Mann 2003, p. 53.
  120. ^ Mann 2003, p. 85.
  121. ^ a b c Mann 2003, p. 1.
  122. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 420.
  123. ^ Mann 2003, p. 89.
  124. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 416.
  125. ^ a b c d e "The Proclaimer's 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)' voted one of nation's favourite one-hit wonders". The Herald. Newsquest. October 26, 2016. Retrieved 2017. 
  126. ^ Griffith, JT. "Greatest Hits: Puttin' on the Ritz - Taco". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017. 
  127. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 97.
  128. ^ Mann 2003, p. 23.
  129. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 609.
  130. ^ Mann 2003, p. 11.
  131. ^ Mann 2003, p. 152.
  132. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 425.
  133. ^ Mann 2003, p. 95.
  134. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 426.
  135. ^ Mann 2003, p. 15.
  136. ^ Marx, Tommy (July 17, 2009). "One Hit Wonder: Baltimora". PopMatters. Retrieved 2017. 
  137. ^ Mann 2003, p. 45.
  138. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 439.
  139. ^ Mann 2003, p. 35.
  140. ^ a b Mann 2003, p. 61.
  141. ^ a b Horton, Matthew (April 19, 2012). "15 Actually-Quite-Amazing One Hit Wonders". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 2017. 
  142. ^ Mann 2003, p. 29.
  143. ^ Mann 2003, p. 106.
  144. ^ Marx, Tommy (August 28, 2009). "One Hit Wonder: Patrick Swayze". PopMatters. Retrieved 2017. 
  145. ^ Mann 2003, p. 49.
  146. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Cantor 2012.
  147. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 464.
  148. ^ Mann 2003, p. 31.
  149. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 467.
  150. ^ a b c d e f g h Graves 2011.
  151. ^ Marx, Tommy (August 7, 2009). "One Hit Wonder: Sinead O'Connor". PopMatters. Retrieved 2017. 
  152. ^ Whitburn 2000, p. 419.
  153. ^ a b c d e f g h Joseph 2016.
  154. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 480.
  155. ^ Mann 2003, p. 102.
  156. ^ Bogdanov 2002, p. 365.
  157. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 493.
  158. ^ Mann 2003, p. 73.
  159. ^ Jancik 1998, p. 489.
  160. ^ Mann 2003, p. 7.
  161. ^ Jasen 2013, p. 15.
  162. ^ Jasen 2013, p. 110.
  163. ^ Owens, Thom. "The Best of Billy Ray Cyrus: Cover to Cover - Billy Ray Cyrus". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017. 
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  165. ^ a b c d e f Morgan 2015.
  166. ^ Mann 2003, p. 153.
  167. ^ Mann 2003, p. 13.
  168. ^ Mann 2003, p. 79.
  169. ^ a b Bronson 2003, p. 219.
  170. ^ Mann 2003, p. 19.
  171. ^ Mann 2003, p. 41.
  172. ^ a b c Mann 2003, p. 38.
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  174. ^ Mann 2003, p. 37.
  175. ^ a b Bogdanov 2002, p. 34.
  176. ^ Mann 2003, p. 3.
  177. ^ Woodstra, Chris. "A Few Small Repairs - Shawn Colvin". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017. 
  178. ^ Mann 2003, p. 25.
  179. ^ Fuse 2015, p. 5.
  180. ^ Morrison 2017, p. 19.
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  202. ^ a b c d e Hayley 2015.
  203. ^ Glatter, Hayley; Wilbur, Hayley (April 18, 2015). "12 One-Hit Wonders We're Still Singing". Seventeen. Retrieved 2018. 
  204. ^ Chen, Tanya (December 5, 2014). "Here's What Some Of Your Favorite 2000s One-Hit Wonders Look Like Now". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 2018. 
  205. ^ Morrison 2017, p. 2.
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  210. ^ Fleischer, Adam (August 21, 2015). "Remember The 'A Bay Bay' Guy? He's Back With A New DJ Mustard And Ty Dolla $ign Song". MTV. Retrieved 2017. 
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Sources

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