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Two-Hit Wonder

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"Well, my first thought is that you can add Jeremih - the moron who brought you "Birthday Sex" - to the growing list of one-hit wonders who technically have a second hit."
Todd in the Shadows, The Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2011note 

For every artist who's a One-Hit Wonder – that is, an artist who is primarily known for one successful song and are never truly heard from again – there is the Two-Hit Wonder. Those are the artists who have one really big single, and another song, often but not always the follow-up, is just as big, perhaps even a bigger smash hit than the first. But like the one-hit wonder, success is fleeting for the two-hit wonder and the artist is unable to keep up the momentum.


As with one-hit wonders, two-hit wonders on the American charts may be a different story in other countries. For that matter, many American artists have only charted once in their homeland but are popular in Europe (or vice versa: European artists that were more popular in the United States). Likewise is the case of artists from other genres – most notably, country – who have had countless hits in their own genre but when it comes to the mainstream Top 40, they've had only a handful of successes.

There are countless examples, so this article will only list a handful of representative samples. Compare No-Hit Wonder (wherein an artist manages long-term success without even so much as one big hit), Hitless Hit Album (where an artist has a hit album with no hit songs) and contrast Breakthrough Hit, where one hit leads to a string of later hits.


To qualify as a Two-Hit Wonder, the second hit must be at least 5 years old or the creator/artist must have retired or disbanded.

Music examples by genre:

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  • Trace Adkins is by no means a two-hit wonder on country radio, but he only had two top 40 hits on the Hot 100: 2006’s “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and 2008’s “You’re Gonna Miss This”.
  • Rhett Akins with "That Ain't My Truck" and "Don't Get Me Started", his only big hits as a singer from 1995 and 1996, respectively. But as a songwriter from about 2006 onward, he's had plenty more — including a few for his son, Thomas Rhett.
  • Liz Anderson, with "The Game of Triangles" (featuring Bobby Bare and Norma Jean) and "Mama Spank", from 1966 and 1967; Liz also wrote Merle Haggard's first No. 1 hit, "The Fugitive." Her daughter, Lynn Anderson, fared much better.
  • Atlanta: This nine-man band had Top 10 hits right out of the gate with "Atlanta Burned Again Last Night" and "Sweet Country Music", quite an impressive feat for an independently-signed country band at the time. Although they later got distribution rights from MCA Records, nothing else they put out afterwards made a dent, although "Dixie Dreaming" came the closest, peaking at No. 11 in the summer of 1983.
  • Hoyt Axton had two Top 10 country hits with "When the Morning Comes" and "Boney Fingers", duets with Linda Ronstadt and (an uncredited) Renee Armand, respectively, both from 1974. The closest he came otherwise was a 1979 solo single called "Della and the Dealer," which hit No. 16. Axton was more popular as a songwriter.
  • David Ball had a breakthrough in 1994 with "Thinkin' Problem" after a failed album back in The '80s. He then had a second hit much later in 2001 with "Riding with Private Malone". These are the only two songs by which most people would know him, as they both went to #2 on the country charts and Top 40 on the pop charts; while he did have another Top 10 country hit with "When the Thought of You Catches Up with Me" and a near-miss at #11 with "Look What Followed Me Home", neither is remembered today. It didn't help that Ball was already 41 when "Thinkin' Problem" came out, nor that "Private Malone" was issued through a small independent label.
  • Boy Howdy had only two major hits with "She'd Give Anything" and "They Don't Make 'em Like That Anymore" in 1994. After they broke up, Lead Bassist Jeffrey Steele made a couple solo releases but became better known as a songwriter.
  • Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan, a Florida-based husband-and-wife duo, had back to back hits with "Tennessee Bird Walk" and "Humphrey the Camel" in 1970, both silly, monotone novelty songs about animals. There were a few more top 40 hits, including a cover of The Fortunes' 1965 hit "You've Got Your Troubles" later in 1970, but none are played today.
  • Paul Brandt: While he's had plenty of hits in his native Canada, including six number one country hits and even a chart-topper on the pop side, his first two hits, "My Heart Has a History" and "I Do," are his only songs to have chart success in the U.S.
  • Chad Brock: The former professional wrestler had only two top 10 country hits, "Ordinary Life" and "Yes!", the latter of which went to #1 in 2000. He's never made it past No. 19 otherwise.
  • Jason Michael Carroll: His first two hits, "Alyssa Lies" and "Livin' Our Love Song", were also his only two big ones. He never saw Top 10 again, and abruptly left his label not long after the release of his second album.
  • Kelly Clarkson has a huge catalog of pop hits, but only two at country: her redo of her 2005 hit "Because of You" with Reba McEntire, which hit #2 in 2007, and the chart-topping Jason Aldean duet "Don't You Wanna Stay" in late 2010-early 2011. She has sent a few other songs to country, but none fared as well.
  • Mark Collie: Despite a steady chart presence from 1990 to 1996, Mark only notched two Top 10 hits on the country charts: "Even the Man in the Moon Is Cryin'" and "Born to Love You", both from his 1993 self-titled third album.
  • Bucky Covington: The American Idol finalist notched two Top 10 hits off his debut: "A Different World" and "I'll Walk" ("It's Good to Be Us", released in between, just missed at #11). Underperforming singles and the closure of his label long delayed his second album, and with it, seemingly any chance at further success.
  • While Paul Davis is not a one- or two-hit wonder in the pop field, he had only two country hits, both of which were #1 duets: "You're Still New to Me" with Marie Osmond in 1986, and "I Won't Take Less Than Your Love" with Tanya Tucker and Paul Overstreet (mentioned below) two years later. On the country side, Davis was more successful as a songwriter.
  • Steve Earle, one of the pioneers of Alternative Country in The '80s, was only able to score two big hits at country radio: "Guitar Town" and "Goodbye's All We've Got Left". His best-known song "Copperhead Road" did not enter the country charts but was a top ten smash on the Mainstream Rock chart.
  • Radney Foster: From 1986 to 1990, he was one-half of the duo Foster & Lloyd, which scored five straight Top 20 hits but split over Creative Differences. Foster signed to Arista Nashville in 1992 and had Top 10 hits with his first two releases: "Just Call Me Lonesome" and "Nobody Wins", but had no subsequent success on the charts. However, he remained fairly popular as a songwriter, and Keith Urban Covered Up two tracks off his last Arista album ("Raining on Sunday" and "I'm In", the latter of which was also covered by The Kinleys in between).
  • David Frizzell, the younger brother of legendary singer-songwriter Lefty Frizzell, had several top 10 hits, but only two are remembered: the #1 hits "I'm Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home" and "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma". The latter featured his frequent duet partner Shelly West (a daughter of country singer Dottie West and David's sister-in-law), who qualifies in her own right with both that song and her only solo #1, "Jose Cuervo". Like Frizzell, she had a few more Top 10 hits, but none are remembered.
  • Bobby Goldsboro had two big country hits: the #1 "Honey" in 1968 and #7 "Watching Scotty Grow" in 1970. He had significantly more success on the pop charts.
  • Gus Hardin is known for her only two top-ten hits: "After the Last Goodbye" in 1983 and the Earl Thomas Conley duet "All Tangled Up in Love" three years later.
  • Steve Holy’s had a bunch of songs reach the top 30 of the Hot Country Singles chart — but only two that are truly hits. Those two are his No. 1 hits: the ballad "Good Morning Beautiful" (2002, a five-week No. 1) and the novelty "Brand New Girlfriend" (2006, one week). Both those songs get a good amount of recurrent airplay today; his other songs are completely forgotten. It doesn't help that the five singles in-between didn't appear on an album due to poor chart performance.
  • Julio Iglesias is a very popular pop singer. However, he has had only two entries on the Hot Country Songs charts, both duets with Willie Nelson: "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" in 1985, and "Spanish Eyes" three years later.
  • Popular in Texas since the mid-90s, Jack Ingram scraped the bottom of the charts a few times, but finally achieved a breakthrough in 2006 with the #1 hit "Wherever You Are". After several near-misses and duds, he returned to the Top 10 in 2009 with "Barefoot and Crazy", but once again failed to follow through after that. (His second-best showing is "Love You" at #12; it probably didn't help matters that "Wherever You Are" and "Love You" were studio tracks tacked onto an otherwise-live album.)
  • Buddy Jewell, the first winner of Nashville Star had two big hits with his first two singles "Help Pour Out the Rain (Lacey's Song)" (which briefly held the record for the highest-debuting single by a new artist on the Hot Country Songs chart) and "Sweet Southern Comfort", but nothing of note afterward.
  • Carolyn Dawn Johnson. The Canadian singer had only two hits in the U.S.: "Complicated" and "I Don't Want You to Go". The former was also a minor AC crossover. Her momentum quickly disappeared in the U.S., but she has remained popular in her homeland.
  • Michael Johnson had several pop hits in the late 70s-early 80s, but after his shift to country, he only made an impression with two #1 hits: "Give Me Wings" and "The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder". He had a few other minor country hits, but most have been forgotten.
  • Tom Jones is a superstar on pop radio and especially in his native U.K., but had two big country hits with "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow" and "Touch Me (I'll Be Your Fool Once More)".
  • Kid Rock has many hits in various other genres, but only two in country. He had a hit in late 2002-early 2003 with the Sheryl Crow duet "Picture"note , and had a Top 5 hit in 2008 with "All Summer Long". A few other songs of his made the country charts, but none were as successful.
  • Jana Kramer, famous as an actress on One Tree Hill, had two country hits: "Why Ya Wanna" in 2012 and "I got the Boy" in late 2015-early 2016. Both were met with Follow-Up Failure.
  • Joni Lee, the daughter of Conway Twitty, had two hits with her father: the #1 "Touch the Hand" and its B-side, the #4 "Don't Cry Joni". She later released a few singles of her own, but none of them went anywhere.
  • Love and Theft. Their debut album produced a Top 10 hit with its lead single, "Runaway". They managed to overcome the departure of one member and the closure of their label (Lyric Street) and scored their only #1 hit in 2011 with "Angel Eyes" on RCA Records. Executive Meddling killed their momentum afterward, and they exited the label.
  • Wayne Massey, an actor-singer (One Life to Live), recorded two albums for Mercury Records, but none of his solo releases went anywhere. However, he paired up with his more famous wife, 1980s hit-maker Charly McClain (best known for "Who's Cheatin' Who", which was Covered Up by Alan Jackson), and they had two hits together: "With Just One Look in Your Eyes" and "You Are My Music, You Are My Song", both from 1985.
  • After Lady Antebellum's booty call anthem disguised as a love song "Need You Now" reached #2 on the Hot 100 (and topped the AC and Hot AC charts) in 2010, they managed a #7 debut with their 2011 song "Just a Kiss". While another big AC crossover, it didn't have nearly as much staying power. All success before and after was limited to the country charts, where "Need You Now" and "Just a Kiss" rank among their total of nine #1 hits.
  • Lila McCann had two Top 10 hits with "I Wanna Fall in Love" in 1998 and "With You" a year later. Despite this, her debut single "Down Came a Blackbird" came to be far better known than either, despite only getting to #28.
  • Midland had two #3 hits off their debut album with "Drinkin' Problem" in 2017 and "Burn Out" one year later. Their second album came and went with little noise. However, bassist Cameron Duddy has had a fruitful career as a music video director, primarily for Bruno Mars.
  • Melba Montgomery only had two major hits in her career: "We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds", her duet with George Jones in 1963, and her own chart-topping hit "No Charge" a decade later. She is obviously not to be confused with much more well-known R&B singer Melba Moore.
  • Jerrod Niemann has had two #1 country hits with "Lover, Lover" (a cover of Sonia Dada's 1992 hit "You Don't Treat Me No Good") in 2010 and "Drink to That All Night" four years later (which were also his only two top 40 hits on the Hot 100). Although he also had a #4 country hit with "What Do You Want" right after the former, it has been forgotten in comparison.
  • Paul Overstreet is known as a singer almost entirely for two songs: the aforementioned guest vocal with Paul Davis on Tanya Tucker's "I Won't Take Less Than Your Love", and "Daddy's Come Around" in 1990. But like Davis, he was more successful as a songwriter; he also previously had a #1 hit as one-third of the trio S-K-O (Schuyler, Knoblock, and Overstreet) Overstreet's son Nash and Chord also have some claims to fame: the former was a member of the pop group Hot Chelle Rae, and the latter a cast member of Glee.
  • Parmalee hit #1 with their second single "Carolina" (which actually fell off the charts in the 30s, but was put back on after a sudden surge in radio airplay), and had a top 5 hit with followup with "Close Your Eyes". While "Already Callin' You Mine" also hit Top 10, it was quickly forgotten and its sales lagged behind even some of their album cuts. Their second album was quietly released in 2017, but its singles faltered in the low 30s.
  • Michael Peterson is known almost entirely for his first two singles: "Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie", which hit #3, and "From Here to Eternity", which became his only #1. While "Too Good to Be True" also notched the Top 10, it was not as remembered as the other two.
  • Mary Kay Place, an actress/singer known for playing Loretta Haggers on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. She recorded an album in 1976 which was actually credited in-character as Haggers, and spawned the #3 hit "Baby Boy". Later in 1977, she recorded under her real name as a duet partner on Willie Nelson's "Something to Brag About", which went to #9.
  • Cassadee Pope, formerly the frontwoman of the pop-punk band Hey Monday, won season 3 of The Voice and channeled that into the late 2013-early 2014 hit "Wasting All These Tears", which hit #10 on the country charts and entered top 40 on the Hot 100. While none of her other solo efforts went anywhere, she re-surfaced in early 2016 as a duet partner on Chris Young's #1 hit "Think of You".
  • On their own, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are a No-Hit Wonder. But independently of the band, Grace Potter has had two hits, both duets with Kenny Chesney: "You and Tequila" in 2011, and "Wild Child" four years later. (Strangely, she also sang on "El Cerrito Place" in between, but was not credited.)
  • Mike Reid. The former defensive lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals switched to a musical career in the early 1980s, writing a large number of hits for Ronnie Milsap among other country artists. One of those songs, the #2 hit "Old Folks" in 1988, also had Reid singing duet vocals. Over two years later, Reid had a #1 hit of his own with "Walk on Faith", but none of his other solo releases made much noise. Despite this, he had a few more songwriting hits throughout the 1990s and also composed a few musicals.
  • John Rich is very well known as one-half of Big & Rich; he was also Lonestar's bassist on their first two albums and sang lead on their 1996 hit "Heartbroke Everyday". On his own, he's only had two major country hits: "Shuttin' Detroit Down" in 2009, and "Shut Up About Politics" (featuring the hosts of The Five) a decade later.
  • John Wesley Ryles had a big Top 10 hit with his 1968 debut single "Kay", and another Top 5 hit in 1977 with "Once in a Lifetime Thing". Although he charted as late as 1988, none of his other singles made much of an impact, and he has since become known primarily as a session vocalist.
  • Granger Smith had been recording independently since the late 1990s, but his first two chart entries upon signing to Broken Bow Records — the #1 "Backroad Song" from 2015 and followup "If the Boot Fits" a year later — remain his only major chart entries to date.
  • Jo-El Sonnier, a Cajun accordionist, has been recording semi-regularly since the early 1970s. He never had a strong chart presence, with only two top 10 hits of note: "No More One More Time" and "Tear Stained Letter", the latter a cover of Richard Thompson.
  • Thompson Square had two #1 hits with "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" in 2011 and "If I Didn't Have You" two years later. While they've had two other Top 10 hits, neither one is as remembered.
  • Mary Lou Turner had no hits on her own, but two popular duets with Bill Anderson in 1976, the chart-topping "Sometimes" and #7 "That's What Made Me Love You".
  • The Wreckers, a one-off pairing of pop singers Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp. They had two big hits: "Leave the Pieces" and "My, Oh My". The duo broke up after their only full album, and both resumed their solo careers. Branch herself was far more successful prior to the duo's foundation, with several hits on the pop charts such as "Everywhere" (2001) and "Are You Happy Now?" (2003).
  • Tammy Wynette: When the mainstream Hot 100 charts are considered, she's placed two top 20 hits and never had anything else come close to the top 40: Her iconic "Stand By Your Man" in 1968, and with The KLF "Justified and Ancient" in 1991. Of course, on the country chart, she had dozens of hits.

  • Chic: This disco group, led by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, is best remembered today for their two #1 singles: "Good Times" (which was infamously sampled in One-Hit Wonder The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight") and the legendary "Le Freak".
  • Gloria Gaynor: In 1974, she had a #9 hit with her cover of "Never Can Say Goodbye", then five years later she hit #1 with "I Will Survive", which is held up as a feminist icon. After that, disco died out, preventing any further success. She's had more success in the UK, though.
  • Silver Convention: This West Germany-based euro-disco trio had two top 5 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: the No. 1 smash from 1975 "Fly Robin Fly" and the No. 2 hit from 1976 "Get Up and Boogie (That's Right)." That's right, they had no more hits after that in the United States.
  • A Taste of Honey: During the height of the disco craze, this dual-female-fronted R&B band's song "Boogie Oogie Oogie" became a number-one hit in 1978, in which the ladies laid down the groove both vocally and on guitar and bass. In 1981, they returned to the top 5 with a Westernized ballad version of Kyu Sakamoto's peppy No. 1 hit from 1963, 'Sukiyaki' — which lyrically has nothing to do with the hot beef preparation of title in either English or the original Japanese.

  • While a very big name in the world of EDM, Swedish DJ Avicii only got two songs into the American Top 40. "Wake Me Up!", which holds the record for the biggest EDM hit in history (a feat only rivaled by Major Lazer's "Lean On" two years later), topped many charts and placed at #4 on the Hot 100. Later, his follow-up "Hey Brother" wasn't quite as big as its predecessor, but it was enough to hit #16. All singles since then have failed to enter the Hot 100 (largely due to radio executives screwing him over to give the former song near-unprecedented recurrent airplay) and he is remembered by mainstream audiences as a one-hit wonder for "Wake Me Up!" (and if he is considered a two-hit wonder, "Levels" is usually cited as the second hit), but he was a huge name in the electronic scene.
  • Disclosure is massively popular in their native UK but stateside they are perhaps best known for two songs; the Sam Smith-backed pop crossover "Latch" and the Lorde-backed alternative crossover "Magnets". Since the former was technically their only Top 40 hit, they are often dismissed as a One-Hit Wonder.
  • The KLF's only notable hits in the United States were "3 A.M. Eternal" and "Justified & Ancient".
  • Major Lazer seems to be headed in this direction. In 2015, they had a massive worldwide hit with "Lean On", which topped the charts in countless countries while peaking at #4 Stateside. Their next big hit, 2016's "Cold Water", debuted in the top 2 in most countries, likely because it featured Justin Bieber. Since "Water" will be more associated with Bieber than with Major Lazer, "Lean On" will likely remain their signature.
  • Electronic-crunkcore band 3OH!3 had precisely two hits, "Don't Trust Me" which peaked at #7 in 2009, and "My First Kiss" (featuring Kesha, who is not a two-hit wonder) which hit #9 a year later. After that, they faded into obscurity with the other crunkcore bands. They also saw the Top 10 once again as a feature on Kesha's #7 hit "Blah Blah Blah". However, it wasn't their hit — and since neither song with Ke$ha is well-remembered today, they are usually considered a one-hit wonder for "Don't Trust Me".
  • Robin Schulz is a big name in the European EDM scene, but only two songs — both of them remixes — impacted US mainstream radio — Mr. Probz' "Waves" and Lilly Wood & The Prick's "Prayer in C".
  • Sam Martin is an unusual example, where the two hits weren't his own songs. He contributed vocals to David Guetta's hit songs "Lovers on the Sun" and "Dangerous", but other than that, he has made no impact as an artist. That said, he has had some success as a songwriter.
  • Scatman John is mostly remembered for his two surprise dance/pop/jazz hits Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop) and Scatman's World that became a worldwide phenomenon in 1995. However, while he was a two-hit wonder in both Europe and the USA, his following album was a moderate success in Japan, complete with no less than five bonus tracks.
  • French comedian Lagaf' in his early sketches argued that it was easy to make house music since the repetitive rhythm distracted the listeners from the banality of the lyrics. And he went on to prove just that: he released an intentionally poor and parodistic song named "Bo le Lavabo (WC Kiss)" which nevertheless topped the French singles chart in 1990. The year after he released another novelty song, "La Zoubida" (whose melody was based on a folk song), which became an even bigger success and stayed at the top of the charts for almost three months. After that, though, Lagaf' abandoned the world of comedy music to become a game show host and presenter.
  • Dutch DJ Martin Garrix is huge, but his only Top 40 hits stateside are the 2013 "Animals" and the 2016 "In the Name of Love".
  • American house singer Crystal Waters had two big hits in the 1990s: "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" and "100% Pure Love". A third single peaked at #40, which was quickly forgotten. She's had better luck on the Dance Club Songs chart, with twelve #1 hits as late as 2018.

    Hip Hop 
  • Another Bad Creation, a New Jack Swing group composed of five children, had two hits in 1991 with "Iesha" and "Playground" before fading into obscurity.
  • Australian-born rapper Iggy Azalea had two major hits in 2014, the chart-topping "Fancy" with Charli XCX and "Black Widow" with Rita Ora. Her only other Top 40 hits included Ariana Grande's Problem, which wasn't her hit, "Beg for It" with MØ, which didn't go top 20, and triple offenders, Britney Spears' "Pretty Girls", Jennifer Lopez's "Booty" and T.I.'s "No Mediocre". Not even a year after her two big hits, she became so hated and so Deader Than Disco, it's highly unlikely she'll ever get a third big hit. She attempted to make a comeback with "Team", but it only peaked at #42 and fell off the charts rather quickly.
  • White southern rapper Bubba Sparxxx scored a #15 hit in 2001 with "Ugly". He dropped off the Hot 100 after that, but still remained visible in the world of hip-hop. Then, in 2006 following the crunk invasion, he came back in a big way with his #7 hit "Ms. New Booty". Once its time in the limelight was up, he faded away for good.
  • Kanye West protégé Desiigner topped the Hot 100 in 2016 with "Panda", which went 5x platinum and generated plenty of memes. While the followup "Tiimmy Turner" didn't come close to this success, it still went top 40 and generated enough interest to go platinum. As his other singles were all DOA, it's unlikely he'll have a third hit anytime soon.
  • Diddy-Dirty Money: The collaboration between rapper Sean "Puff Daddy/P.Diddy/Diddy" Combs (who on his own isn't a one or two-hit wonder) and singers Dawn Richard (of Danity Kane fame, see below) and Kaleena Harper produced only two Top 40 hits before disbanding. The first was 2010's "Hello Good Morning" (featuring T.I.), which peaked at #27, while its 2011 follow-up "Coming Home" (featuring Skylar Grey) hit #11. The latter was the bigger hit but didn't do as well on R&B and urban stations as the former (and it tends to be associated more with its featured vocalist — despite the fact that she was far less famous than he was going into the song).
  • Far East Movement had a surprise megahit in 2010 with their club anthem "Like a G6", which topped the charts and sold over 10 million digital downloads worldwide. Their follow-up "Rocketeer", which featured vocals from Ryan Tedder, reached the top 10 but has mostly been forgotten about today. Afterwards, they faded back into obscurity, with only one near-Top 20 hit with "Live My Life" solely due to a Justin Bieber feature. All their other singles bombed and their follow-up album barely scratched the Billboard 200. Today they're commonly regarded as a one-hit wonder for "Like a G6".
  • Fort Minor, the side-project of Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, is primarily known for two songs — The soft pop crossover "Where'd You Go?" and the popular sports anthem "Remember the Name". While the former was technically their only hit, the latter is far better remembered. After that, the project went on an indefinite hiatus with no material being made for nearly a decade. However, Fort Minor has returned, so it's possible they might be able to produce another hit in the future.
  • Compton-born rapper The Game had two massive crossover hits in the mid-00s, both of which featured eventual Evil Former Friend 50 Cent — "How We Do" and "Hate It or Love It". He also had two other minor hits with "Dreams" and "My Life", but neither are well-remembered today.
  • New York rapper of The LOX fame Jadakiss scored two back-to-back hits solo in 2004: "Why?" featuring Anthony Hamilton and "U Make Me Wanna" featuring Mariah Carey. After that, he faded back into relative obscurity with only a cult following at best (not helped by his numerous charges for possessing marijuana).
  • Jim Jones had only two hits with 2007's "We Fly High" and 2009's "Pop Champagne". His followups weren't particularly successful on urban radio, let alone the Top 40.
  • Junior M.A.F.I.A., an 8 member hip-hop group associated with The Notorious B.I.G. scored a pair of hits in the '90s before breaking up; their #5 "Player's Anthem" and their #17 "Get Money". Afterwards, member Lil' Kim went solo and had much more success.
  • Juvenile was massive in the late '90s and early '00s, but only appeared in the Top 40 twice. 1999's "Back That Azz Up" hit #19 while 2004's "Slow Motion" topped the Billboard Hot 100. In an interesting case, despite their vast difference in peaks, the latter has not eclipsed the former in the same way that other songs with similar peaks do, and the former could be more well known today.
  • Alternative Hip Hop artist Kid Cudi has a large fanbase, but only appeared in the Top 40 exactly twice. His first was his signature #3 "Day 'n' Nite", and then his #22 "Erase Me" featuring Kanye West.
  • Before Lil Mama was out of her teen years, she scored two #10 hits: "Lip Gloss" and "Shawty Got Loose" during 2007-8. She has not charted since, and the latter song is completely forgotten today, likely because it featured T-Pain and Chris Brown, neither of whom are particularly popular anymore. As such, she is now considered a one-hit wonder for "Lip Gloss".
  • Despite LMFAO having two minor hits in 2009 and scraping the top 40 on a David Guetta track in 2010, this EDM-pop-rap duo are primarily known for two back-to-back, highly memetic #1 songs with "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know It". Both of them were chart-toppers, and are among the best-selling digital singles of all time (the former is notable for being the best-selling song of all time in Australia). This was before they went on an indefinite hiatus in 2012 due to Creative Differences, and faded back into obscurity. How far they have fallen? Well, Redfoo's solo album sold 144 copies in Australia. That's not a typo.
  • Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch: Mark Wahlberg, before his successful acting career, had a number-one hit with "Good Vibrations" and then hit the top 10 with the Lou Reed-sampling "Wildside." Marky Mark is more often considered a one-hit wonder than a two-hit wonder.
  • New York rapper Maino had two hits: "Hi Hater" and "All the Above". While the latter was the larger hit of the two, it's more commonly attributed to featured guest artist T Pain, who "sings" the chorus.
  • Mystikal broke through in a big way with his subtle ode the shaking butts with "Shake Ya Ass", which hit #13. He then followed that success with "Danger (Been So Long)" which fell one space shorter at #14. His next single "Bounchin' Back" managed to scrape the Top 40 at #37, but was quickly forgotten. After that, he never saw the Hot 100 as the lead again, mainly due to him getting arrested for crimes involving sexual battery and extortion.
  • O.T Genasis had a memetic hit in 2015 with “Coco”. While he was initially dismissed as a one-hit wonder due to the song being seen as a novelty, he had another hit a year later with “Cut It”. No more hits followed.
  • PSY is already very successful in South Korea, but this rapper is technically a two-hit wonder worldwide with "Gangnam Style" and "Gentleman" (or three-hit, if you add the minor hit "Hangover"), but he is instead remembered as a one-hit wonder for the formermost song.
  • The Quad City DJs are a two-hit wonder that could arguably be called a one-hit wonder in both directions, depending on the viewpoint. In terms of chart success, their big hit was 1996's "C'Mon N' Ride It (The Train)", which peaked at #3. The next year, they had a considerably smaller hit at #37 that nevertheless is sometimes remembered better than their bigger hit due to Memetic Mutation: the title song from the film Space Jam.
  • Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy has two big hits to his name. The first was his debut #1 hit "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" in 2007, which brought snap music into the mainstream. People hoped — no, prayed — that he would become a one-hit wonder. Then a year later, he released "Kiss Me Thru the Phone", which hit #3. He had three other minor hits, "Soulja Girl" (which is completely forgotten), "Pretty Boy Swag" (which later became a meme on Tik Tok), and "Turn My Swag On", to his name. After that, he was hit with a massive backlash that prevented him from ever seeing the Top 40 again. These days, "Phone" is only remembered by Tell Em's fanbase.
  • Before Tone Lōc became a D-list actor, the former Anthony Smith had a pair of massive rap hits in 1989: The Van Halen-sampling "Wild Thing" and the sound-alike follow up "Funky Cold Medina" which was based off of a sample of Free's "All Right Now." Its parent album Lōc-ed After Dark even topped the Billboard 200! Despite the success, the follow-up album, Cool Hand Lōc never even made it onto the chart. Since "Funky Cold Medina" is mostly forgotten today, he's usually considered a one-hit wonder for "Wild Thing".
  • After "Ice Ice Baby" became the first rap single to top the Hot 100, Vanilla Ice sent a remake of "Play That Funky Music" into the Top 5. Despite the success, "Play That Funky Music" is almost completely forgotten today (Ice's version was blacklisted by most radio stations after he lost a lawsuit against Wild Cherry's lead singer, so the original gets all the airplay these days), and "Ice Ice Baby" is usually one of the first songs people associate with the tag "one-hit wonder."
  • Wale isn't a two-hit wonder on the urban format, but his only top 40 hits on the Hot 100 were 2012's "Lotus Flower Bomb" and 2013's "Bad".
  • Warren G had two Top 40 crossover hits: "Regulate", a duet with Nate Dogg, went to #2, while the solo follow-up "This D.J." reached #9.
  • Young Money, a group composed of the artists signed with Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment label (including rap superstars Drake and Nicki Minaj), is known only for 2009's "Every Girl" and 2010's "Bedrock".

  • Jazz trombonist Pee Wee Hunt had only two notable hits — versions of ragtime classics "12th Street Rag" and "Oh".

  • 10cc: Just like the Mindbenders, Stewart's second group also had only two major American hits with 1975's "I'm Not In Love" and 1977's "The Things We Do for Love." Meanwhile, in the UK they had nine Top 10 hits, with three of them reaching #1.
  • Norwegian new wave group a-ha had two top 40 hits in 1985: the #1 smash "Take On Me" led way to the #20 hit "The Sun Always Shines on TV". Since "Sun" is (in the U.S.) mostly forgotten today, a-ha is often considered a one-hit wonder for the former song. Of course, back in Europe (and especially their native Norway), they were absolutely massive.
  • All Saints: The British girl group, who served as an R&B alternative to the Spice Girls in their homeland and had five number ones there, only had two US Top 40 singles with "I Know Where It's At" and "Never Ever". On the other hand, they fared better in Canada, where half of the group are from.
  • Alphaville: They are known for two songs in the U.S., "Big in Japan" and "Forever Young", with the latter generally being the better known of the two, especially after Jay-Z sampled it.
  • Animotion: They stormed the charts in 1985 with "Obsession" before completely fading away...until they had a comeback in 1989 thanks to their #10 hit "Room to Move". That song, however, featured a completely different lineup from the one on their first hit, except for the guitarist (and he wasn't even a founding member to begin with).
  • The Applejacks (not to be confused with the British group) were a group of American studio musicians led by Philadelphia-based musician Dave Appell. Their only hits were "Mexican Hat Rock" a modernized version of the popular Mexican hat folk dance, which hit #16 on the charts in 1958, and "Rocka-Conga", which hit #38 later that year. Dave Appell went on to become an important employee for Cameo-Parkway Records, as a session musician, background vocalist, engineer, arranger, producer, and songwriter on several of their big hits by such artists as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Dee Dee Sharp, The Dovells and the Orlons.
  • In 2006 and 2008, British singer Natasha Bedingfield had two hits in the U.S. with "Unwritten" and "Pocketful of Sunshine" respectively, which both peaked at #5. Two more songs, "These Words" and "Love Like This", made the Top 20, but are forgotten today. Afterwards, she completely fell out of the public's eye outside a 2011 guest appearance on Rascal Flatts' "Easy" (#3 country, #43 pop). She is more successful back home, however.
  • The Beautiful South, while massively successful in their native UK, only ever made it twice on the singles charts across the pond; "We Are Each Other" and "You Keep It All In" both cracked the top 20 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. After this, nothing else.
  • Bob the Builder: the children's character voiced by Neil Morrissey had a UK Christmas number one in 2000 with an extended version of his theme song "Can We Fix It?", which was the biggest selling single of the year. The next year, he had another number one hit with a rewritten version of "Mambo No. 5" by Lou Bega. In 2008, a third song "Big Fish Little Fish" was released, but only peaked at 81.
  • Irene Cara had three top 10 hits, "Fame", the #1 "Flashdance (What a Feeling)", and "Breakdance", but only the former two are remembered today.
  • Vanessa Carlton: In 2002 and 2003, this singer and pianist had two top-40 hits. "A Thousand Miles" was a #5 hit, and "Ordinary Day" was a #30 hit. Because "Ordinary" was quickly forgotten because of its low peak, she's still commonly regarded as a one-hit wonder for the former.
  • Tracy Chapman: One of adult-alternative's biggest female pioneers also saw mainstream success with two songs. First, "Fast Car" became a surprise hit in the summer of 1988 and earned her a Grammy for Best New Artist. Eight years later, in 1996, "Give Me One Reason" became an even bigger hit than "Fast Car" was. That was the last time she ever had pop radio success.
  • Neneh Cherry: Swedish pop-rap musician Cherry had two major 1989 hits in the U.S., "Buffalo Stance" and "Kisses on the Wind," the latter of which became a minor hit for Lumidee in 2007. She's had significantly more success in other countries.
  • NYC dance-rock group Cobra Starship had a minor hit with the Snakes on a Plane theme; in fact, the band was initially formed as a one-off side-project specifically to record that song. Frontman Gabe Saporta eventually turned it into a full-time band; two bona fide hits came a few years later in the form of 2009's "Good Girls Go Bad" and 2011's "You Make Me Feel", both hitting #7 on the Hot 100. That's where the success stopped. The guest singers on the songs (Leighton Meester and Sabi, respectively) are both one-hit wonders, although the former is notable as an actress.
  • Paula Cole burst onto the scene in 1997 with "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?" which hit No. 8 and earned her a Grammy for Best New Artist. The follow up "I Don't Want To Wait" just missed the top 10, but outperformed the former by spending 56 weeks in the Hot 100 and being ranked the 10th biggest single of 1998, undoubtedly receiving a boost thanks to its status as the theme song to Dawson's Creek.
  • The career of Terence Trent D'Arby started off promisingly enough. His debut album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby, went to #4 on Billboard in 1988 and produced two top 10 hits: the #1 "Wishing Well", and the #4 followup "Sign Your Name". "Dance Little Sister" went to #30 but would be the last time he would ever see the upper reaches of Billboard. For all his bluster of being an even bigger musical genius than Prince or Michael Jackson, he would not have another major hit album or single stateside, as his follow-up disc, Neither Fish Nor Flesh, charted at an abysmal #61 and produced no hits, and it was all but downhill from there.
  • Danity Kane: This girl group won season 2 of Making the Band, with two top 10 hits: "Show Stopper" and "Damaged". They never visited the top 40 again and broke up in 2009 before reuniting in 2018.
  • Daya had two hits in 2016 with “Hide Away” and “Sit Still Look Pretty”. While she’s also known as the vocalist for The Chainsmokers’ hit “Don’t Let Me Down”, it technically wasn’t her hit and can’t disqualify her two-hit wonder status.
  • Kiki Dee's legacy begins and ends with two songs: "I've Got the Music In Me" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (a duet with Elton John).
  • Dido was absolutely massive all over the world in the early-'00s, but the British singer technically only had two Top 40 hits in America. The first was her #3 "Thank You" (famously sampled in Eminem's "Stan", which actually didn't make the Top 40 yet is better remembered than "Thank You" today), and then her #18 "White Flag" in 2003.
  • Dream was Danity Kane's predecessor on Bad Boy Records. Their debut single "He Loves U Not" managed to chart at #2. Follow-up single "This is Me" only charted at #39 and waning interest after that led to their breakup.
  • Robbie Dupree: His 1980 top 10 hit "Steal Away" and its top 20 follow-up "Hot Rod Hearts" are the only songs fans remember today.
    • Dupree would make a brief comeback in 1987 when he recorded the song "Girls in Cars" for the WWF's music album, "Piledriver II: The Wrestling Album," and an instrumental version was used as the entrance theme for the tag team Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel), but the song failed to chart on the Hot 100.
  • Irish singer-songwriter Enya is only known in America for "Orinoco Flow" and "Only Time," although she fared much better in the UK and her native Ireland. A third song, "Caribbean Blue", was a hit on - of all things - alternative rock radio, but it didn't make the Top 40. It is far less well known than "May It Be", the closing song for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • Five For Fighting (which is one guy, by the way) had two major top 40 hits: the #14 "Superman (It's Not Easy)", which saw massive airplay following the The 9/11 attacks, and the #28 "100 Years" (which didn't do much on pop but performed well enough on AC radio to be remembered). His third top 40 hit is the #40 "The Riddle", which isn't as well-remembered as the former two.
  • fun. had "We Are Young" (featuring Janelle Monáe) and "Some Nights" in 2012. The former was a #1 hit and the latter went to #3. "Carry On" followed at #20, but it has been quickly forgotten unlike its predecessors, and the band has not charted since and has entered an indefinite hiatus.
  • David Geddes: Two songs – both about death – were this Michigan soft rock singer's lone top 20 pop hits, both in 1975. The first was "Run, Joey, Run" (a story about a young girl trying to warn her boyfriend that her father plans to kill him, only for the father to accidentally fatally shoot his daughter), with the second being "Last Game of the Season (The Blind Man in the Bleachers)" (where a junior varsity high school football player's father, who is blind, dies; the news motivates the player to his biggest game ever and results in a come-from-behind win for his team). He would later have a minor hit under his own name, David Idema, called "House on Holly Road," but that one is not nearly as well known as his first two hits.
  • General Public, a new-wave supergroup formed from the ashes of the English Beat, had two major hits in America, 1985's "Tenderness" and 1994's "I'll Take You There." Of course, they are considered a one-hit wonder for the former as it was their original song while the latter was another example of cover that quickly faded back into the shadow of its original version.
  • Canada's Glass Tiger had two Billboard top-ten hits, "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)" and "Someday," from their debut album. Despite continued success in their home country, the band never again charted higher than #31 in the United States.
  • Andrew Gold is another unusual scenario. He had a #7 with "Lonely Boy" in 1977 and a #25 with "Thank You For Being A Friend" a year later. While "Lonely Boy" is still a '70s classic, it is "Thank You For Being A Friend" that is the better remembered of the two today as it is the theme to The Golden Girls.
  • Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds: A soft-rock trio from the early- to mid-1970s, who hit No. 4 on the Hot 100 in July 1971 with "Don't Pull Your Love." After several years of failing to hit the top 40, they released the single "Fallin' in Love" in June 1975 (ironically, Reynolds had left by that time), and two months later had their only No. 1 hit. While they had another top 25 hit after that, only those first two songs are remembered today.
  • Albert Hammond: Although he had more success in his native United Kingdom, in the U.S. he is best known for his 1972 top-5 pop hit "It Never Rains in Southern California." He had only one other top 40 hit as a performer – 1974's "I'm a Train," peaking at No. 31. However, he did have a No. 1 hit as a songwriter, co-writing with Carol Bayer Sager "When I Need You," which became a huge hit for Leo Sayer in 1977.
  • Corey Hart: Canadian pop singer Hart only had two top 10 hits in the U.S.: Firstly, he hit No. 7 with the new-wave classic "Sunglasses at Night." One year later, he's No. 3 with his ballad "Never Surrender." Ironically, the former song is far better remembered than the latter despite having a lower peak position. Averted back home in Canada, where he had three #1 hits (including "Surrender").
  • Sophie B. Hawkins: This American pop-rock singer had two top 10 hits: 1992's "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover" and 1995's "As I Lay Me Down." Nothing else ever hit the top 40 for her.
  • Dan Hill: This Canadian soft-rock singer had a massive hit in 1977 with "Sometimes When We Touch," before making a surprise comeback nearly 10 years later with "Can't We Try," a duet with Vonda Sheppard. Hill has had better luck on the AC charts ("Never Thought (That I could Love)") and as a songwriter.
  • Rupert Holmes: After "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" topped the charts in 1979 and 1980, he followed it up with a second top 10 hit, "Him". A third song off the same album ("Answering Machine") hit the lower reaches of the Top 40, but no more hits followed, and he is now considered a one-hit wonder for "Escape"... at least in the pop music world. Holmes went on to greater success writing Broadway plays and musicals, most notably Drood, and also is remembered as the creator of the AMC TV series Remember WENN.
  • Janis Ian: In 1967, this folk-styled singer-songwriter recorded a hit called "Society's Child," and had a No. 14 hit with it. Nothing more seemed to come up for the New York City native, and she was even featured in a 1973 American Top 40 special on one-hit wonders. Ian would be one of the only artists featured in that special to have a follow-up hit, as it turned out ... and it came in 1975 with her memorable song about a shunned teenager who could only watch (she wasn't even so much as thrown a bone) as all her popular classmates got all the attention and accolades. "At Seventeen" would reach the top 10 of the Hot 100 and be a No. 1 adult contemporary hit, and even landed her the first episode of Saturday Night Live. Ian had a couple more top 25 AC chart hits but never did reach even the mainstream Hot 100's top 40 again. Today, Ian's name is probably better known as that of Lizzy Caplan's character from Mean Girls than of a singer.
  • Natalie Imbruglia: While still fairly popular in her native Australia and internationally, only two of her songs impacted American audiences. Her debut single "Torn" (a cover from a little-known band called Ednaswap) hit #1 airplay and remained there for a whopping eleven weeks. Her follow-up "Wishing I Was There" wasn't quite as big as her former song, but it still reached #15 airplay.note  After that she faded into complete obscurity in the US and is thought of as a One-Hit Wonder for her first song, and she hasn't toured North America since the early-2000s.
  • Information Society: In 1988, this dance quartet from Minneapolis had a smash hit called "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)." They returned to the top 10 one more time with "Walking Away," which was practically the same song as its predecessor. While they did have another top 30 hit in 1990 called "Think," their career was already done.
  • Carly Rae Jepsen, a former contestant on Canadian Idol, was known as a moderately successful musician in Canada when she released the song "Call Me Maybe". One Justin Bieber tweet later and it was topping singles charts worldwide and a massive pop-culture phenomenon. She followed it up with the Owl City duet "Good Time" which, while not as massive as "Call Me Maybe" was another big hit as well. Unfortunately, she remained so closely tied to her megahit that she was ultimately perceived as a novelty act. Thus, the public dumped her in a jiffy. She attempted a Career Resurrection three years later with "I Really Like You", which spent one week in the top 40 at #39. Nowadays, "Like" is much less well known than its follow-up "Run Away with Me", which never made the Hot 100 but received rave reviews from critics and inspired a meme on Vine.
  • Jesus Jones: This British dance-rock group, alongside EMF, seemed to be starting a new trend of music when their hit song "Right Here, Right Now" hit #2. The #4 follow up "Real, Real, Real" gave the band a second hit, and they never again touched the Hot 100. A few more hits back home and on the modern rock airplay charts followed, but they went untouched by US pop radio. Nowadays, only the former is still well-remembered.
  • Jo Jo is best known for two major pop smashes she had in the mid-2000s: "Leave (Get Out)", which hit #12 in 2004, and "Too Little Too Late" which went #3 in 2006. She also had a third top 40 hit with "Baby It’s You", the follow-up to the former, but it’s completely forgotten today and virtually nonexistent as a recurrent radio hit.
  • Tara Kemp: This pop singer from California had a No. 3 hit with "Hold You Tight" and a No. 7 hit with "Piece Of My Heart," but after one follow up barely made it onto the Hot 100, her career was over in a flash.
  • The Left Banke had two hits in 1966: "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina", before vanishing away instantly.
  • LFO, a three-man pop/rap group from Massachusetts, followed the boy band craze by hitting the top 3 with "Summer Girls." They followed up with "Girl on TV" which made it to #10. Despite nearly going top 40 one more time with 2001's "Every Other Time", they failed to have any more success. Since "Girl on TV" is mostly forgotten today, they're usually considered a one-hit wonder for "Summer Girls".
  • Lizzo released "Truth Hurts" in late 2017, but it didn't gain any traction until about a year and a half later. It then slowly climbed up the charts and eventually spent 7 weeks at #1 on the Hot 100. She followed it up with "Good as Hell" which, one Ariana Grande remix later, soared to #3 on the Hot 100. Her only other song to make the Hot 100 is "Juice," which stalled out at #82.
  • Ruth Lowe was a Canadian songwriter best known for writing "I'll Never Smile Again" and co-writing "Put Your Dreams Away (for Another Day)", both made popular by Frank Sinatra. While the latter became Sinatra's theme song, the former had a revival in the rock-and-roll era thanks to The Platters' cover of it in 1961.
  • The McCoys: In 1965, this up-and-coming rock band from Indiana topped the charts with their first entry "Hang On Sloopy." The follow-up "Fever," a cover of the Peggy Lee/Little Willie John classic that sounds almost exactly like "Sloopy", was their only other big hit. If they're known for any other song than "Sloopy" nowadays, its for "Fever"'s B-side "Sorrow", which became a hit for David Bowie in 1973.
  • Don McLean became famous for his massive hit single "American Pie" off his second album American Pie. While "American Pie" is a staple of '70s oldies to this day, he had a second hit single off of that album, "Vincent" ("Starry starry night...").
  • Glenn Medeiros: A Hawaiian singer of Portuguese descent, this teen pop star had a hit in 1987 with "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You," which topped the charts in the UK but only hit No. 12 in the U.S., In 1990, he made a surprise comeback with the Bobby Brown collaboration "She Ain't Worth It," which topped the charts in the U.S. but only hit No. 12 in the UK, a complete 180º from his 1987 placement. A minor hit, "All I'm Missing Is You," with Ray Parker, Jr., cracked the U.S. top 40 later that year, but failed to chart anywhere else.
  • Melanie: Another folk-pop songstress, she had a hit in 1970 with "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)," featuring the Edwin Hawkins singers, and topped the charts on her own in 1971 with "Brand New Key." She hasn't hit the top 30 since, but had four other hits in the Top 40.
  • Men Without Hats: The Canadian band released the massively memetic "Safety Dance" in 1982, which peaked at #3. It seemed like they were a one-hit wonder since none of their follow-ups charted. This is, until they released "Pop Goes the World", which hit #20 five years later. They are still considered to be a One-Hit Wonder for their first hit.
  • Jason Mraz actually has had three Top 40 hits, yet only two of them are remembered today: 2003’s "The Remedy" and 2008’s "I'm Yours". The former was his first hit of all-time that reached #15 on the Hot 100 and afterwards he faded out of public consciousness and became a one-hit wonder. However, that later changed when he made a comeback with the latter song, which became a hit five years later and far outpeaked "The Remedy", and undoubtedly remains his biggest hit of all-time. He had a third hit in 2012 with “I Won’t Give Up”, but it was quickly forgotten.
  • The Mindbenders: Fronted by Wayne Fontana, this Manchester-based pop-rock band topped the charts in 1965 with "Game of Love." Exactly one year later, the Mindbenders, sans Fontana, reached the number-two spot with "A Groovy Kind of Love." Guitarist Eric Stewart would later have success with 10cc.
  • Naked Eyes: This duo's 1983 cover of the beloved Burt Bacharach/Hal David standard "Always Something There to Remind Me" set the blueprint for their smooth brand of weepy synthpop. Unfortunately, the competition for running-mascara hits was pretty stiff in 1983, and after barely missing the Top Ten with the more maudlin original "Promises, Promises", the Brits sulked off into eternity.
  • O-Town: Two massive hits in 2001 graced this boy band formed on the show "Making the Band." Debut single "Liquid Dreams" went straight to the top 10, while follow-up "All or Nothing" became an even bigger hit. Unfortunately, the hype faded by 2002, and after the moderately successful "These Are The Days," the group faded into obscurity.
  • Oliver! became an overnight sensation in the summer of 1969, when his recording of "Good Morning Starshine" reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of that year, sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. a month later. That fall, "Jean", a softer, ballad single bested his previous effort by one, reaching No. 2 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart. It also sold over one million copies, garnering Oliver his second gold disc in as many months. He never enjoyed the same success with any other song, however, retiring from the music industry in the 1980s. He died of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2000. Today, he is remembered mainly for singing the two aforementioned songs.
  • Owl City: Adam Young's electronica project scored two hits in its run. The first was "Fireflies" in 2009, which became an unexpected chart-topping hit. After that, it seemed like he was doomed to the term "one-hit wonder" since none of his songs released afterwards came even close to the Top 40. Then, in 2012, he collaborated with "Call Me Maybe" star Carly Rae Jepsen to make the song "Good Time", which hit #8 on the chart that summer. Much like what happened to the other half of the duet, he is still often regarded as a one-hit wonder for "Fireflies".
  • Phillip Phillips: After winning the eleventh season of American Idol, he became known solely for two hits (neither of which he wrote). The first was "Home", his Idol winner's single, which peaked at #6, and the second was "Gone, Gone, Gone", which peaked at #24. However, both songs dominated AC radio. He even managed to get his debut album to go platinum. After that, however, he faded into obscurity. His second album charted lower and dropped off immediately, and the lead single "Raging Fire" only peaked at #58 (though it did fare better on the aforementioned AC radio), while its second single "Unpack Your Heart" failed to chart anywhere.
  • The Piranhas, a British group associated with the early 80s ska revival, had two hits, "Tom Hark" in 1980 and "Zambezi" two years later. Both were With Lyrics revivals of 1950s instrumentals.
  • Mike Posner is only known for 2010's "Cooler Than Me" and his 2016 comeback hit "I Took A Pill In Ibiza". "Please Don't Go" reached #16 in 2010 and "Bow Chicka Wow Wow" (featuring Lil Wayne) followed up at #30, but since they were nowhere near as massive as their predecessor, they became quickly forgotten by general audiences; even Posner himself acknowledges himself as a One-Hit Wonder in "Ibiza" with the line "pop song people forgot". Note how he uses the term "song" instead of "songs"; he's referring to "Cooler Than Me" and how it faded into obscurity because he knows no one remembers "Please Don't Go" or "Bow Chicka Wow Wow" today.
  • Real McCoy: The German Eurodance group had two #3 hits in 1995, "Another Night" and "Run Away". Although "One More Time" and a cover of the '70s classic "Come And Get Your Love" also hit the Top 40 in the United States, those songs are all but forgotten today.
  • The Rembrandts hit #14 in 1991 with "Just The Way It Is, Baby" before quickly vanishing. Then, their 1995 song "I'll Be There For You" hit #17 (and #1 on radio, only underperforming on the Hot 100 due to a late single release) after it was picked up as the theme song for the popular sitcom Friends. Today, much like the Paula Cole example above, the former is largely forgotten while the latter remains one of the decade's most recognizable songs thanks to the enduring popularity of the series it is attached to.
  • As a songwriter, Joe South was responsible for tunes such as "Hush," "Down In The Boondocks," and "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden." As a performer, he had two #12 singles on the pop charts: "Games People Play" in 1969, and "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" in 1970.
  • Denver-based pop-rock band Sugarloaf had a major hit in 1970 with "Green-Eyed Lady" before completely vanishing off the face of this earth. However, five years later, they made an unexpected comeback with "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You," which proved to be another top 10 hit.
  • Tanita Tikaram is known for two contrasting hits: the upbeat "Good Tradition" and the decidedly downbeat "Twist In My Sobriety". Although in chart terms the former was easily the bigger hit, the latter has been Vindicated by History to the point of equalling or even surpassing it in the public memory.
  • Til Tuesday: The Bostonian band had a big hit with their debut single "Voices Carry" in 1985, reaching #8. The next year, "What About Love" wasn't quite as big, but it was enough to reach #26. When their third album failed to produce any hits, Lead Bassist Aimee Mann went on a critically acclaimed solo career. Today, "What About Love" is all but forgotten.
  • Swedish singer Tove Lo has a large following, but her only Top 40 hits are "Habits (Stay High)" and "Talking Body". She was featured on Alesso's "Heroes" and Nick Jonas's "Close", but neither really count as her hit.
  • Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall is known in America for just two songs: "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" and "Suddenly I See."
  • Suzanne Vega: One of adult-alternative radio's pioneering females had only two songs that crossed over onto pop radio. In 1987, her tune "Luka" became a surprise summer hit, reaching #3 on both the Hot 100 and adult contemporary charts in the U.S., and reaching the top 25 in the UK. Then, in 1990, dance producers DNA made a radio-friendly remix of her a capella "Tom's Diner". They initially released it to clubs, where it caught the attention of her label of A&M Records. A&M initially planned to sue DNA for copyright infringement, but upon finding that Vega liked DNA's take on the song, they decided instead to buy it and release it as a single. It became arguably an even bigger hit than "Luka", especially internationally. While it "only" hit #5 in the Hot 100, it also reached the top 10 of the U.S. alternative and R&B charts; #2 in the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands; and #1 in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Although Vega continued to be a regular presence on modern rock and adult alternative radio for the rest of the 90s, those two songs were her only trips into the US top 40.
  • Vitamin C had only two top 40 hits with 1999's "Smile" and 2000's "Graduation (Friends Forever)". Despite the former being the bigger hit, the latter has completely overshadowed it due to being a standard at graduation ceremonies across the nation.
  • British singer Kim Wilde had plenty of hits in the UK and Germany, but in America, she only had two. Her 1981 debut single "Kids in America" reached #25, while her cover of The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On", released five years later, topped the Billboard Hot 100. Ironically, the former song is the better remembered of the two.
  • Zayn Malik, a former member of boyband One Direction, debuted at #1 on the Hot 100 with his first solo single "Pillowtalk"; in the process, he scored the #1 hit that One Direction never managed to have in the United States. His only other trip to the top 40 was on "I Don't Wanna Live Forever," a collaboration with Taylor Swift for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack that peaked at #2. Because the latter song's success was mostly due to Swift's appearance and its use in that movie, ZAYN is still often regarded as a one-hit wonder for "Pillowtalk."

  • Amerie: In 2002, she released "Why Don't We Fall in Love?", which hit #23. Three years later, she made "1 Thing" for Hitch soundtrack, and it reached #8. After that, nothing. She is more often thought of as a one-hit wonder rather than a two-hit wonder.
  • Another Bad Creation, a preteen hip-hop group, exploded out the gate with two back-to-back Top 10 hits in the early '90s with the #9 "Iesha" and the #10 "Playground". Those two singles were also their only entries on the Hot 100.
  • Az Yet: An R&B boy band in vein of Boyz II Men, Az Yet scored two back-to-back Top 10 hits in 1997 with "Last Night" and their Cover Version of Chicago's "Hard to Say I'm Sorry", which featured the band's former lead singer Peter Cetera, who in turn would collaborate with them again with his re-recording of "You're the Inspiration" for his duet-focused Greatest Hits Album You're the Inspiration: A Collection, which only peaked at number 77 and it remains their last Hot 100 entry.
  • Blaque: A girl-group similar to TLC, Blaque had a pair of hits in 1999 and 2000, the R. Kelly-penned "808" and the JC Chasez collaboration "Bring It All To Me."
  • Clarence Carter had two major R&B crossover hits on the pop charts, the breakup anthem "Slip Away" and his cover of Chairmen of the Board's "Patches". He is also well known for his raunchy Christmas hit "Back Door Santa".
  • Taio Cruz dominated 2010 with the one-two punch of "Break Your Heart," which shot to the top of the charts in a heartbeat, and "Dynamite," one of the best-selling digital songs of all time. After that, he had a minor hit with "Higher" and then, nothing.
  • Craig David: This British R&B singer had two Top 20 hits in the early 2000s: the #15 "Fill Me In" in 2001, and the #10 "7 Days" in 2002. After "Walking Away" fell short of the Top 40, Americans forgot all about him, though he's had over a dozen top 10 hits in his native UK.
  • Tyrone Davis, a Mississippi-born and Chicago-raised blues/soul singer, had several hits on the R&B charts, but only two major pop crossover hits: 1968's "Can I Change My Mind" and 1970's "Turn Back The Hands of Time".
  • The Foundations: In existence for a very brief time in the late '60s and early '70s, the seven-piece ensemble scored two hit songs in the earlier half of their career: "Baby, Now That I've Found You" (#11, 1967) and "Build Me Up Buttercup" (#3, 1968).
  • Iyaz had two top 40 hits in 2010 with "Replay" and "Solo". He never hit the top 40 again, but "Pretty Girls" just missed the mark a year later.
  • J. Holiday is only known for "Bed" and "Suffocate". The former was a major #5 hit for him, while the latter finished at #18. Afterwards, he never had another song hit the Hot 100 again.
  • Jimmy Jones: The Alabama-born Jones had a massive hit in 1960 with "Handy Man", which hit No. 2 on the Hot 100. He followed up with "Good Timin'" which made it to No. 3. However, after that, his career went nowhere and he faded back into obscurity.
  • Kelis scored a #3 hit with her booty anthem "Milkshake" in 2004, and then in 2006, she landed at #16 with "Bossy" which was supposed to be her comeback song. As it turned out, it was only her second and final song to enter the Billboard charts. Today, "Bossy" is almost completely forgotten while "Milkshake" has become an oft-cited example of a modern one-hit wonder. Kelis did manage to find more success in the UK however, having multiple Top 10 singles on the Official UK Charts.
  • Leona Lewis: The X Factor winner had a lot of hits in her native UK, but she's only had two big hits stateside. The first was her chart-topping mega-hit "Bleeding Love" in 2008, which was one of the best-selling singles of the 00s, and the second was her direct follow-up "Better In Time", which hit #11 the same year. She managed to scrape the lower-end of the Top 40 at #31 with "Happy" two years later, but she's never appeared on the Top 40 ever since. Nowadays, she's only known as "that girl that made Bleeding Love", and for gamers, she's known for making "My Hands", the Final Fantasy XIII ending theme, but that doesn't really count as a "hit". Nowadays, X Factor is probably best known in the U.S. for its discovery of a different act who has had far more success than her.
  • The Manhattans: While they have had considerably more success commercially on the Hot R&B Singles charts, this Jersey City, N.J.-based group has but two major hits on the Hot 100, and both are staples of classic hits/oldies radio: "Kiss and Say Goodbye" (a No. 1 hit from 1976) and "Shining Star," a top 5 hit from the summer of 1980.
  • Curtis Mayfield: Despite being a highly influential R&B singer, he had only two major pop hits, "Freddie's Dead" and "Superfly," both from the film Superfly.. His biggest UK hit however was Move On Up, as sampled by Kanye West for his hit "Touch the Sky".
  • Aaron Neville: In 1966, he scored his first crossover hit with his #2 "Tell It Like It Is". For a long time, he was a one-hit wonder until his cover of The Main Ingredient's "Everybody Plays the Fool" hit #8 25 years later. He also had two hit duets with Linda Ronstadt, The #2 "Don't Know Much" and #11 "All My Life", and while they were credited for reviving his long-dormant career, they are considered Ronstadt's hits rather than his and can't disqualify his two-hit wonder status.
  • Maxine Nightingale is yet another example of an artist whose two hits are greatly spaced apart. Her first hit, the 1976 No. 2 "Right Back Where We Started From" has been used in countless movies, while the slow ballad "Lead Me On" was written by future one-hit wonder David Lasley. Many modern-day audiences, however, see her as a one-hit wonder for the former.
  • Candi Staton: While she's had considerable success as an R&B artist, as a mainstream artist she reached the top 20 just twice in her career: Her 1970 cover of Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" and in 1976 her pop-disco smash "Young Hearts Run Free."
  • Sisqo: Dru Hill's frontman is another interesting case, in that he had two big hits but is usually considered a one-hit wonder, for the song that had the lower chart peak! His signature "Thong Song" hit number 3, while his follow-up "Incomplete" is almost completely forgotten (as is the fact that he was in Dru Hill) despite the fact that it topped the Billboard Hot 100.
  • Soul II Soul: The British vocal group have had numerous hits in their native country, but only two traveled across the pond — their #11 "Keep On Movin'" and their #4 "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)".
  • Edwin Starr had several R&B hits, but only two notable pop crossovers, 1969's "Twenty-Five Miles", and of course, the iconic anti-Vietnam anthem "War". His career fizzled out on both formats afterwards, although he had two disco hits in the UK later in the 1970s.
  • Sylvia: One of two artists who reached the Billboard Hot 100 using this name (Indiana native and country singer Sylvia Kirby was the other), Sylvia Robinson is known primarily for two hits. Her first was in 1957, as part of a duet with rhythm and blues guitarist Mickey Baker with "Love is Strange"; they'd be credited as "Mickey & Sylvia". For 16 years, Robinson was a one-hit wonder, but joined the two-hit club in 1973 with one of disco's earliest hits: "Pillow Talk" (not to be confused with the 2016 #1 by former One Direction member Zayn), a song she had written for Al Green (but he rejected due to its strong sexual overtones and orgasmic beat); the song was a No. 1 R&B chart smash and a No. 3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and did well internationally as well. Robinson later founded Sugar Hill Records, which became a pioneering recording label for hip-hop music, with hits like "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang and The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
  • A Taste Of Honey: A primary disco group, the Los Angeles-based group led by Janice-Marie Johnson recorded one of the era's signature hits "Boogie Oogie Oogie," which topped the Hot 100 in September 1978. In 1981, Johnson insisted to her producer that she deviate from the group's signature dance-pop sound and record the Japanese song "Sukiyaki" as a ballad, just as original artist Kyu Sakamoto had 18 years later. Using English language lyrics, Johnson's move paid off big, and "Sukiyaki" reached No. 3 on the Hot 100 in the summer of '81. Although they did have several songs score fairly big on the R&B charts, no other song of A Taste Of Honey's has reached the Hot 100's Top 40.
  • Robin Thicke only had two songs that reached the Top 20; "Lost Without U" released in 2007 which peaked at #14, and "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I.) released in 2013 which topped the Billboard charts (along with many other charts) and was the best-selling single of that year. Since his latest album was a flop and the former song was virtually unknown outside of R&B audiences, his latter song will likely make him one of the biggest examples of a modern one-hit wonder in the public's eye. He also had a #25 song with "Give It 2 U" (featuring Kendrick Lamar) that was forgotten almost instantly.
  • The Time: They had two top 20 hits: the #20 "Jungle Love" from 1984 and their 1990 reunion single "Jerk-Out", which hit #9. Ironically, the former is today by far the better-remembered of the two despite peaking much lower on the charts.
  • Canadian singer Tory Lanez had only two top 40 hits with “Say It” and “LUV”, both of which came in 2016.

  • Inner Circle have had a nearly 50-year career (starting out in 1968, just as reggae was coming together as a genre), but they only managed to have a pair of American pop hits, both in 1993: The #8 hit "Bad Boys" (originally released in 1987, but re-issued after its use as the theme song for the reality show COPS) and its #13 follow-up "Sweat (A La La La La Long)". The group are also two-hit wonders in the UK, with "Everything Is Great" (#37 in 1979) and "Sweat" (#3 in 1993)
  • Snow: The Canadian artist's debut single "Informer" topped the US Hot 100 for a whopping seven weeks, despite being in jail at the time of its release and no one could understand what he was saying. His follow-up "Girl I've Been Hurt" reached the #19 position, but after that, he never charted again. Today, he is only remembered for his first hit, and if the latter song is brought up, it's credited for destroying his career.

  • Ithaca, New York-based X Ambassadors broke through in 2015 with "Renegades", which reached #17 on the Hot 100 and topped the Alternative and Hot AC charts. Then, the very next year, "Unsteady" reached #20 and became an equally-major crossover radio hit after a slow climb on the charts. These two songs pretty much sum up the band's legacy. Outside a minor guest spot on the #15-peaking song "Sucker For Pain" from Suicide Squad (2016) (which doesn't really disqualify their status), the band is relatively obscure, even to most casual alternative audiences. Their status seems unfortunately solidified now that their developmentally-troubled follow-up "ORION" failed to reach the top-100, and its singles hardly made any noise on radio.
  • Bad English: The John Waite-fronted supergroup of the late '80s had two top 10 hits with the power ballads "When I See You Smile" and "Price of Love."
    • Waite's first group, The Babys, also had only two successful songs: "Isn't It Time" and "Every Time I Think of You," both of which hit No. 13 on the Hot 100.
  • Canadian band Barenaked Ladies only managed to get two Top 40 hits down south. Their single "One Week" became an unlikely chart-topper, spending (fittingly) one week atop the Hot 100 in 1998. Two years later, they released "Pinch Me", which hit #15. Their success ended afterwards, and are often thought of as a One-Hit Wonder for the former. They have had consistent success back home, however.
  • Bloodhound Gang is known in the US for only two songs, the EDM-parody "The Bad Touch" that hit #21 on Mainstream Top 40 and to a lesser extent their earlier slacker-rock anthem "Fire Water Burn" which was a minor hit on alternative and rock radio (and still recurs on occasion in both formats). They've had more success in various European countries, however.
  • Blue Öyster Cult only managed to hit the top 40 twice, with "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" at #12, and "Burning for You" at #40. Despite being just as well known as their two hits, "Godzilla" did not chart at all.
  • Blues Traveler scored a massive #8 hit with "Run Around" in 1995, and followed it up with a #23 "Hook". Those were also their only entries on the Hot 100, and are often regarded as a one-hit wonder for the former.
  • Blue Swede: This pop-rock cover band only lasted two years from 1973 to 1975, and during that time they had exactly two hits, both in 1974. The first was their chart-topping cover of BJ Thomas' "Hooked on a Feeling", and the second was their cover of The Association's "Never My Love", which went Top 10. Today, the latter is almost completely forgotten (with the Association's original remaining the most enduring version of the song), while the former has remained relevant through its use in pop culture (featured in Reservoir Dogs and prominently in the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy) and has completely eclipsed the original in the public's eye. They are often thought of as a one-hit wonder.
  • Lindsey Buckingham: The lead guitarist and male lead singer for the iconic Anglo-American blues-rock band Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham has attempted a solo career. His only two notable solo efforts, at least from a Hot 100 standpoint, are "Trouble" (1982, his only top 10 hit) and "Go Insane" (a top 25 hit from 1984, although this was a top 5 hit on the Mainstream Rock charts).
    • That said, a third single – "Holiday Road" – is well known, despite its low charting position (No. 82 on the Hot 100); it can be heard during the opening of the classic comedy film National Lampoon's Vacation starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo.
  • Swedish band The Cardigans are a One-Hit Wonder on pop in America, with "Lovefool" being their only success on the mainstream format. That said, they've managed two hits on modern rock — The aforementioned "Lovefool" which hit #9, and "My Favourite Game" from their follow-up album, which reached #16. Afterwards, they never saw an American chart again, though they've managed to remain popular in their native Sweden.
  • Carolina Liar, A Swedish band with an American lead singer and ties to super-producer Max Martin, had two songs that were huge hits in 2008 on two separate radio formats. First, "I'm Not Over" was a #3 hit on the Billboard Alternative chart. Its follow-up, the ballad "Show Me What I'm Looking For" only reached #28 on that chart, but it was a huge hit on the Adult Contemporary chart, making it to #8. It was also their only entry on the Hot 100, reaching #67.
  • The Cheers had two hits in The '50s with "Bazoom (I Need Your Lovin')" and "Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots", which were among the first songs written by songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Group member Bert Convy later became famous as an actor and game show host.
  • Chilliwack are classic-rock icons in Canada but had only two top-40 hits in the United States: "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)" (#22) and "I Believe" (#33).
  • The Clash: You certainly can't say the British rockers lack recognition, seeing as how they're one of the most famous and acclaimed Punk Rock bands of all time and a first-ballot entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, from a single standpoint, they've only managed to get two songs into the American Top 40, which is two more than most punk bands can hope for. Specifically, their two Top 40 hits are "Train in Vain" which peaked at #23 in 1980, and "Rock the Casbah" which hit #8 two years later. Both songs are classics (especially "Casbah"), but neither is among their two signatures. Those would be "London Calling" (which didn't chart) or "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" (which fell short at #45 - and is the band's sole #1 in their home UK).
  • The Cranberries had only two US Top 40 hits with "Linger" and "Free to Decide"/"When You're Gone". They would've averted this with "Dreams" and "Zombie" had airplay-only singles been eligible to chart at the time, though they fared better in the rock charts.
  • Cream only had two crossover hits, "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room." Lead Guitarist Eric Clapton later went on to have a hugely successful solo career.
  • Crowded House: While they were much bigger everywhere else, Crowded House only managed two big hits in the U.S. with the #2 hit "Don't Dream It's Over" and its #7 follow-up "Something So Strong."
  • Cutting Crew: After "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" went #1 US for this British group, they had a second top 10 hit with "I've Been In Love Before." While it did reach #9 on the US charts, unlike its predecessor it wasn't a big hit anywhere else. They did manage to eke out a #38 with "One for the Mockingbird," but that never went top 40 in any other country.
  • The Cyrkle: They didn't last very long, but in 1966 they hit the Top 20 twice with the Paul Simon-penned "Red Rubber Ball" (#2) and the less memorable "Turn Down Day" (#16).
  • The Dandy Warhols are quite popular in the U.K, but to American audiences are only known for "Bohemian Like You" and "We Used To Be Friends." While technically only the former charted the latter is best known from Veronica Mars.
  • Deep Purple: One of the founders of Heavy Metal as a whole, the British band only had two big hits on US pop during their run: "Hush" in 1968 and "Smoke on the Water" in 1973, both of them peaked at #4. Of course, on rock radio, they get tons of airplay for their body of work. They also had a #38 hit in 1968 with "Kentucky Woman", which was forgotten almost instantly.
  • Disturbed has had many hits on rock radio, but to the general public, they're only really known for two songs: 2000's "Down with the Sickness" (which missed the Hot 100), and 2016's "The Sound of Silence" (their highest-charting, and only multi-platinum, song).
  • EMF: The British alternative rock/dance band scored a chart-topping hit 1990 with "Unbelievable", then a #18 the next year with "Lies". Soon afterwards, the grunge invasion struck the public consciousness and changed the definition of "alternative rock", undermining further success. They are more commonly regarded as a one-hit wonder than a two-hit wonder.
  • Europe: In 1987, this Swedish rock band had two top 10 hits: the stadium rocker "The Final Countdown" and the ballad "Carrie." Ironically, although "Carrie" was the bigger hit of the two, it isn't nearly as iconic as "The Final Countdown", which has become a stadium anthem.
  • Extreme: Despite being a hard-rock band, Extreme are better known for their acoustic songs, as evident by their two pop hits. In 1991, "More Than Words," an acoustic ballad, topped the Hot 100, and a folkish tune called "Hole Hearted" took them into the top 5.
  • Fastball had two big hits in the late '90s, the #5 airplay hit "The Way" and the #20 "Out of My Head." Due to a chart technicality preventing songs without a physical single from entering the charts until 1999, only the latter song actually charted. Today, however, "Out of My Head" is nearly forgotten (it only saw a resurgence once it was Sampled Up by the song "Bad Things").
  • Filter, the rock side project of Nine Inch Nails' Richard Patrick, had a few hits on the rock charts in the '90s, but today, only two songs of theirs are well remembered: 1995's highly controversial "Hey Man, Nice Shot" and the 1999/2000 crossover hit "Take a Picture" (which technically was their only Top 40 hit).
  • Finger Eleven: The Canadian rock band released "One Thing" in 2003, which went Top 20. After that, they had all the makings of a One-Hit Wonder, abysmal album sales, no other song that entered the Hot 100, and in general seemed to have faded into obscurity. Then in 2007 they had a surprise hit with "Paralyzer", which charted in the Top 10, topped both rock charts, and went double-platinum. The band had one more rock hit in 2010 with "Living in a Dream", but it's mostly forgotten today.
  • The Five Americans: The two biggest hits of this Oklahoma-based group were "Western Union" (#5, 1967) and a rerelease of "I See The Light" (#21, 1966).
  • Five Man Electrical Band: This Canadian act had two Billboard Top 40 hits in 1971, "Signs" (#3) and "Absolutely Right" (#26).
  • Golden Earring: In 1974, their driving song "Radar Love" became a top 20 hit in the U.S., a rarity for a Dutch band. Like most acts from non-English speaking countries, they were destined to be one-hit wonders. Then, in 1982, the "Bourne Identity" inspired "Twilight Zone" sparked a brief comeback. After that, they were gone for good, though they are still hugely iconic in their native Netherlands.
  • By no stretch of the imagination are Foreigner one or two hit wonders, but frontman Lou Gramm is as a solo artist thanks to "Midnight Blue" and "Just Between You and Me".
  • The Greg Kihn Band had a #15 hit 1981 with "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)", and two years later they hit #2 "Jeopardy", which was big enough for "Weird Al" Yankovic to release a parody titled "I Lost on Jeopardy!". Today, despite the latter being the bigger hit, it's all but forgotten today, while the former is the song that gets all the airplay on classic rock radio.
  • Murray Head: A British actor (yes, that is his name) had exactly two chart hits, both making the top 40 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 1971's "Superstar" (the title song from the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, in which Head appeared as Judas Iscariot, betrayer of Jesus Christ) and his 1985 new wave hit "One Night in Bangkok" (from the rock musical Chess, in which Head played a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Bobby Fischer).
  • Oklahoma rock band Hinder exploded onto the scene in 2006 with their megahit "Lips of an Angel", which went to #3 and was unescapable that year. Their next trip to pop radio, "Better Than Me", peaked at #31. Unfortunately, Hinder quickly went out of taste and "Better Than Me" is almost completely forgotten to mainstream audiences, so "Lips of an Angel" has become a defining one-hit wonder of the 2000s.
  • Icehouse, an Australian rock band, only had two notable hits in North America: "Crazy" and "Electric Blue".
  • Jet had two top 40 hits in the U.S., "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" and "Look What You've Done". Since the latter is largely forgotten today, they are often considered a one-hit wonder for the former. If they are considered a two-hit wonder, "Cold Hard Bitch" (their sole modern and mainstream rock #1) will likely be seen as the second hit.
  • Joe Jackson had a few hits in his career, but the only two that are still remembered today are 1979's "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" and 1982' "Steppin' Out."
  • Judas Priest are a legendary British heavy metal band. Needless to say, they only had two major rock hits in America, "Heading Out to the Highway" and "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" (their only Hot 100 entry).
  • Kansas were massively popular during the 1970s and 1980s and still hugely respected by many classic rock fans. However, to most modern-day casual audiences, their reputation rests almost entirely on two songs: "Dust in the Wind" and "Carry On Wayward Son." Even more ironic is that while "Dust" outpeaked "Carry On" by four chart positions, the latter is unquestionably the more recognizable of the two songs today.
  • Level 42, while considerably more successful in their native UK, are known in America solely for the songs "Something About You" and "Lessons in Love".
  • Love and Rockets: They had a modest hit in 1987 USA with "No New Tale to Tell", then a smash hit with "So Alive" in 1989. They changed to a more electronic sound with their following album, and their fans quickly stopped listening.
  • Madness: Of their three charting songs in the United States, the forgettable "It Must Be Love" hit #33 in 1981 and "Our House" reached #7 in 1982 while "The Sun and the Rain" peaked at #72 early in 1983. Back home in the UK, however, they weren't even close to Two Hit Wonders, scoring countless Top 20 hits.
  • Edwin McCain had two Top 40 hits on Billboard Hot 100 in the late 1990s; "I'll Be", which peaked at #5 and remains his only Top 10 hit, and the Diane Warren-penned "I Could Not Ask for More", which only reached #37, but did better on the Adult Contemporary charts at #3 compared to #6 for "I'll Be".
  • The Motels: Fronted by Martha Davis, the California-based rock band had two No. 9 hits on the Hot 100, 1982's "Only the Lonely" and 1983's "Suddenly Last Summer."
  • Mr. Mister exploded onto the charts in 1985-86 with the back-to-back #1 hits "Broken Wings" and "Kyrie" before completely vanishing into obscurity; while they had another top 10 with the #7 "Is This Love" it is all but forgotten today.
  • My Chemical Romance is one of the most popular rock bands of the 21st century, but they only have two Top 40 hits to their name: the #9 hit "Welcome to the Black Parade" and "Helena", which charted at #33.
  • Neon Trees: In 2010, they scored a surprise hit with "Animal" off of their debut album Habits, which charted at #13 and went 2x platinum. They then released "Everybody Talks" off their sophomore effort, Picture Show which charted even higher at #6 and also went 2x platinum. Those were the only two songs of theirs you were likely to hear on the radio, though "Your Surrender" and "Lessons in Love (All Day, All Night)" saw minor pop radio airplay. Their luck eventually came to an end, as "Sleeping With A Friend", the lead single off their third album Pop Psychology only charted at #51 and failed to reach any certification, while the rest of the singles went completely unnoticed.
  • Nirvana is one of the most influential rock bands of all time and is rarely considered a two-hit wonder. However, they technically count with two songs from Nevermind. They scored a #6 hit with the legendary "Smells Like Teen Spirit", as well as the #32 "Come As You Are".
  • Oleander had two major rock hits in 1999 and 2001 with "Why I'm Here" and "Are You There", respectively. Their success ran out after that, unfortunately, although "Fight" is somewhat well known from its use in WWE '12.
  • Pink Floyd: From an album standpoint, the English-based rock band was one of the top arena rock band acts of the 1970s through the early 1990s, and sold millions of albums. And historically, they are one of the most legendary and influential rock acts of all time. But they were mainly an album rock act. Of the nearly 30 singles they released, just two reached the Billboard Hot 100's top 40, but they are classics: "Money," which peaked at No. 13 in the summer of 1973 (from their landmark album The Dark Side of the Moon); and "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" that spent four weeks at No. 1 in the spring of 1980 (from The Wall).
  • The Power Station: This supergroup, consisting of Robert Palmer, John and Andy Taylor, and Tony Thompson, scored two big hits in 1985, the dance-rock original "Some Like It Hot" and a cover of T. Rex's "Bang A Gong." They didn't have any more hits afterwards, but it did lead to Palmer's Breakup Breakout the following year.
  • Puddle of Mudd was a very successful act on the rock radio charts, but only two songs of theirs, "Blurry" and "She Hates Me", crossed over to pop.
  • Pure Prairie League had several chart hits, but only two have been remembered: their 1973 debut "Amie" (which actually bombed at first release, but took off as a hit two years later) and "Let Me Love You Tonight". The latter featured Vince Gill, who later had a successful Breakup Breakout in Country Music, on lead vocals.
  • The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus had two hits in the 2000s: "Face Down", the protest song against domestic violence that made them famous, and "Your Guardian Angel", a romantic power ballad. They were both on the same album, and are the only two songs that the general public knows them for. "In Fate's Hands" was fairly popular as well, but wasn't a hit.
  • Republica, a dance-rock band from the U.K., had only two major hits in their homeland: "Ready to Go", which reached #13, and "Drop Dead Gorgeous", which made it up to #7. Their next song, "From Rush Hour With Love", barely cracked the top 20 and after that, they vanished from the public view. Internationally, the former was the only song to make it, despite the fact that it peaked six spots lower in Britain (its constant media use certainly helped). As time went on, however, British perception of Republica started to change: not only is "Go" now far better remembered than "Gorgeous" even in their homeland, but the latter song has become almost completely forgotten and is now no less obscure to British than it is to international audiences. Thus, Republica have become remembered in the U.K. the same way they have always been known everywhere else: a one-hit wonder.
  • Michigan band The Romantics are an example of a two-hit wonder in a nearly identical scenario to the aforementioned Fort Minor. They had a minor hit in 1980 with "What I Like About You" before scoring their only bona fide smash in late 1983 with "Talking In Your Sleep" — while "Sleep" got a trope named after it, "What I Like About You" has become, by far, the better remembered of the two. They also had a #37 with "One in a Million" which was forgotten almost instantly.
  • Scorpions scored their first hit in 1984 with "Rock You Like a Hurricane", which reached #25 on the pop charts. In 1990, the German group scored another hit, "Wind of Change," which peaked at #4.
  • Skid Row: They had two top 10 hits, with the ballads "18 and Life" and "I Remember You", and never made the Top 40 again. A uniquely self-imposed example than most; their follow-up album, Slave to the Grind, was a deliberately heavier album, though it still ended up debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200, the first album ever to do so since Billboard adjusted album sale tracking methodologies.
  • Despite critical acclaim and a dedicated cult following, New Jersey garage-rockers The Smithereens only scored two top-40 hits, and just barely at that: "A Girl Like You" and "Too Much Passion" reached #38 and #37, respectively.
  • The Spencer Davis Group: They were the first band Steve Winwood was in. Not only did "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm a Man" make the Top 40, those two songs also made the Top 10.
  • Spin Doctors had two hits with their first two releases: "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and "Two Princes" from 1992-93. "You Let Your Heart Go Too Fast" nearly missed a couple years later at #42.
  • Staind has been one of the biggest metal bands on the market since their debut, but technically only had two top 40 hits on the pop charts, their signature “It’s Been Awhile” and the 2003 lead single “So Far Away”. “Technically” is the key word here, as Billboard's strict rules on recurrency prevented “Right Here” from entering the charts after concluding its rock radio run when it unexpectedly became a pop and Hot AC radio for the group.
  • Steppenwolf: The Canadian band had seven top 40 hits and three top 10s, but their two biggest hits, "Born to Be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride", are all that they're remembered for today. "The Pusher", which didn't chart, is also well-known for its appearance in Easy Rider.
  • Switchfoot had two hits with "Meant to Live" (peaked at #18 on the Hot 100) and "Dare You to Move" (ever-so-slightly bigger, at #17), both from 2003's The Beautiful Letdown. Their biggest hit since is "Stars", which only reached #68.
  • Tesla hit the top 10 with the ballad "Love Song" (no relation to The Cure or Sara Bareilles songs) and a cover of Five Man Electrical Band's "Signs". They were more successful on the Mainstream Rock chart, where they had 20 other hits through 2008 and were one of the few Hair Metal bands whose careers were completely unaffected by the rise of grunge.
  • The Tremeloes had been around since 1958 but didn't have much chart success (despite auditioning for and being chosen by Decca over The Beatles) until they released a cover of Cat Stevens' "Here Comes My Baby" in 1967. Later the same year they released another cover, the Four Seasons' "Silence Is Golden" before they faded back out of the spotlight.
  • The Troggs: In 1966, this relatively unknown garage-rock band topped the U.S. charts on their first try with the now-classic "Wild Thing," Nearly two years later, they would have their only other major hit there with the softer "Love Is All Around." It would later become a hit for Scottish band Wet Wet Wet in 1994, spending 15 weeks on top of the British charts.
  • Twisted Sister are technically a One-Hit Wonder because only "We're Not Gonna Take It" hit the Top 40, but they are also remembered for another song from the same album, "I Wanna Rock" (which got to #68) - while technically there was a third Hot 100 entry, a cover of The Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack" (which actually beat "I Wanna Rock", #53), it's mostly forgotten.
  • Ugly Kid Joe are known for exactly two songs: their glam/grunge fusion song "Everything About You" and their cover of Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle." Both were top 10 hits, and the band never charted again.
  • Vertical Horizon: In 2000, their song "Everything You Want" became an out-of-nowhere chart-topper after spending half a year there, and following that success was the #23 hit "You're a God". They're more commonly regarded as a one-hit wonder for the former.
  • White Lion: A Brooklyn-based hair band fronted by Danish singer Mike Tramp, White Lion had a massive MTV video hit with "Wait", which, after a lengthy push, led the single all the way up to #8 in the spring of 1988, and the album, "Pride" roaring up the album charts. Their subsequent power ballad, "When The Children Cry", did even better, peaking at #3 in early 1989. While their follow up album "Big Game" got a top 20 placing, it didn't produce any top 40 hits.
  • Paramore isn't a one or two-hit wonder at all, but lead singer Hayley Williams has had only two Top 20 hits as a featured artist: B.o.B's "Airplanes" was a #2 hit in 2010, while a guest spot on Zedd's "Stay the Night" peaked at #18 in 2013-14.
  • Edgar Winter has always lived deep in the shadow of his legendary brother Johnny, but he was able to do one thing Johnny couldn't: have a hit single. The instrumental "Frankenstein" went to #1 and follow-up "Free Ride" hit #14 shortly afterwards. That is all he is known for today, even though another song made it into the 30s a year later.
  • Although neither song was technically a hit, Sum 41 is largely remembered for the one-two punch of "Fat Lip" and "In Too Deep". Of the two, "In Too Deep" is the most well-remembered, even though "Fat Lip" was their only Hot 100 entry.

Non-music examples:


    Anime and Manga 

  • Victor Fleming directed two of the most beloved films of all time, Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz - both in the same year, no less. The rest of his filmography is long forgotten, and today he is only brought up as a trivia question to talk about how those two rival films shared a director.
  • William Friedkin is mostly remembered for two films: The French Connection and The Exorcist.
  • Cinematographer Jan De Bont transitioned to directing with the 1994 smash Speed and followed it up with Twister two years later. His subsequent directorial efforts, starting with the ill-conceived Speed 2: Cruise Control, were critical and box-office disasters.
  • Andrew Davis has directed several films before and since, but has never recaptured the critical and box-office success of Under Siege in 1992 and The Fugitive a year later.


    Live-Action TV 

    Western Animation 

  • Storm Impact, a 1990s Macintosh software company, had only two successful products: the skiing game MacSki and the RPG TaskMaker. Executive Meddling and undercapitalization did the company in just after they rushed out an Obvious Beta of The Tomb of the TaskMaker, a sequel game to the first.
  • Milton Bradley is a board game company and a long time rival (now sister company) of Parker Brothers. Like their competitor, they were also visible in the video game scene, but only known there for releasing the Vectrex, a very popular homebrew console, and for publishing Abadox in the US, which is a 2-D shooter that quite often gets mentioned when people talk about the best 2-D shooters on the NES.
  • Dan Harmon basically has two shows with major fanbases: Community and Rick and Morty.
  • Fan fiction writer Neo Winter Knight/Technomaru is known for at least two things: being Emma Iveli's ex-boyfriend, and writing The Grim Edventures of Ed, Edd, N' Eddy and its More Popular Spin-Off, Ed, Edd, Eddy, n Edna.
  • Bethesda Game Studios' resume consists of two popular franchises, The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, and little else. Granted, within each series there are multiple commercially and critically successful games, but they've had comparatively little success venturing outside of those franchises. In fact, the Pinball Spin-Off Bethesda Pinball has three tables, two based on these franchises and one based on DOOM (2016), which they only published.
  • Greg Berlanti has written and produced several TV series, but only Dawson's Creek and the Arrowverse (particularly The Flash) have enjoyed tremendous acclaim and popularity. His works Everwood and Brothers & Sisters are also modest hits, but nowhere near as the two mentioned.
  • Journeyman NASCAR driver Derrike Cope is best known for his surprise victory at the 1990 Daytona 500, but he did get a second win (at Dover, Delaware) later that year.
  • WiZ, a Japanese toy company, is only known internationally for two franchises co-created with Bandai (who later purchased the company), Tamagotchi, and Digimon.


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