Main One Hit Wonder Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

04:44:43 PM Aug 3rd 2015
edited by BigBertha
I found an interesting article about the criteria for a one-hit wonder:

  • 1. If the artist had more than one top-10 hit, they are disqualified.
  • 2. If the artist managed a second top 40 hit (as the lead artist) within six months of their first hit, they are disqualified.
  • 3. If the artist had three top-10 or platinum albums, they are disqualified.

Otherwise, in my opinion, the artist's Signature Song must overshadow the rest of their discography, even if some of those songs were top 10/40 hits.
05:33:59 PM Aug 3rd 2015
edited by NightSpectre
But there are two kinds of one-hit wonders, as stated on the page: "Billboard" and "Cultural". Vanilla Ice for example, isn't a one-hit wonder for "Ice Ice Baby" by Billboard's standard, as his #4 follow-up "Play That Funky Music" disqualified him. However, to the general public, he is a textbook example of such an artist.
05:19:36 AM Jul 19th 2015
edited by Spinosegnosaurus77
Never mind.
01:11:39 AM May 26th 2015
How is Carly Rae Jepsen a one hit wonder when she had three top 40 hits and 2 of those hits made the top 10?
07:55:44 AM May 28th 2015
edited by Larkmarn
There are two issues at play here:

Firstly, it depends on whether we're counting "Good Time" as hers or not. Given it's a collaboration with Owl City (and anecdotally, generally considered more Owl City's song. Less anecdotally, it was written by Owl City), this is not self-evident.

Secondly, if we deem it not her song, there's whether we're going with the "Billboard" definition or the "Cultural" definition. As the definition points out "usually, a "one-hit wonder" is defined by cultural impact rather than chart placements." "Call Me Maybe" was comically huge and had massive memetic mutation. Her getting a song to #39 and me already forgetting its name is enough that she's a "cultural" OHW. The definition makes no attempt to clarify whether we're going by the Billboard or Cultural definition.

So yeah, it's not cut-and-dry.
05:00:36 PM Jun 7th 2015
A #8 hit follow-up doesn't always get someone past the one-hit wonder status. I mean Vanilla Ice's #4 and Sisqo's #1 aren't enough to have them looked at differently.

There are plenty of cultural OH Ws that are not Billboard OH Ws, i.e. Psy, Tommy Tutone, Kelis and vice versa, i.e. Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Incubus. And then some are both, like Toni Basil, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Gotye. Both CRJ and Owl City fall in the former category.
04:48:16 AM Apr 12th 2015
Among other things, this page suffers from a complete failure to provide a consistent definition of "hit". Becky G's "Shower", which reached #16 on the Hot 100, is considered a hit, but Avicii's "Hey Brother", which reached the exact same position on the exact same chart, is not considered a second hit for him. Why?
03:38:17 AM Feb 20th 2014
edited by
Riana1 added a note that acts should only be listed if they have more than one album and removed several examples accordingly. Problem is, the examples she removed do have more than one album (Carly Rae Jepsen and Hot Chelle Rae have two each, while Owl City has four).
04:35:43 AM Feb 20th 2014
To be frank, I have to ask why the note is there.
07:14:58 AM Feb 25th 2014
Well, actually, I agree with the idea — it's unfair to label a musician a flash in the pan if they haven't had a chance to release another album yet.

But Riana1, you're NOT supposed to go changing the definition of a trope like that without discussion first — people have been suspended for doing what you did.
01:02:58 PM Aug 7th 2013
I removed Jimmy Buffett. He's actually had three Top 10 hits at country ("It's 5:00 Somewhere" with Alan Jackson, a cover of "Hey Good Lookin'", and "Knee Deep" with the Zac Brown Band). "Margaritaville" only got to #13 country, and #8 pop, and he's had multiple Top 40 hits at pop.
09:02:08 PM Aug 11th 2013
Wrong. For the purposes of being a One-Hit Wonder, the only charts that count are the Hot 100 Charts. "Its 5 O'clock Somewhere" is an Alan Jackson song, not a Jimmy Buffett song. "Hey, Good Lookin!" topped the charts at #63, and "Knee Deep" topped the charts at #18.

11:09:29 PM Aug 11th 2013
Because The Hot 100 is the only chart in the world, and a duet between Artist A and Artist B is by NO STRETCH of the imagination an Artist B song. Yeah, the song with Jimmy Buffett's NAME on it alongside Alan Jackson's is totally not a Jimmy Buffett song. No sir.

And even if we do count only Top 40 Hot 100 hits by himself, then Buffett still doesn't qualify on his own. Looking at his discography, I count four other songs that hit the 30s. And I'm sure even most casual fans could identify at least Cheeseburger in Paradise.
04:33:08 PM Aug 12th 2013
Twentington is correct. Please don't come on this wiki picking fights; they don't end well.
02:44:00 PM Nov 5th 2011
to be honest, just about everything here is in YMMV territory. I've just challenged a fact where somebody has asserted Lou Reed only ever had one single hit. I said that he has had at least three, with "Perfect Day" topping the British charts twice .... then I realised.

A one-hit wonder in Britain may not necessarily have been so in the USA, and vice-versa. It may well have been the case that Lou Reed only troubled the singles chart once - in the USA - even if he had three times that amount of singles chart success in Britain.

So with tropers posting from both sides of the Atlantic, aren't we going to be tripping over each other and mutually thinking "what the hell is he/she on about, they haven't done their research, that band had more than just one hit."

Does this whole trope need a little thinking about, or for every entry to have a bracketed (UK), (USA) or (other) after it?

One here for the Trope Repair Shop?
06:57:49 PM Oct 7th 2011
Do we really need to split this up into this many genres, when most only have a single example?
10:34:13 AM Jan 19th 2011
There's got to be a way to write this page without it constantly coming across as "Americans don't like anything more complicated than a single".
Collapse/Expand Topics