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  • The following artists are considered ultimate one-hit wonders, in which only one of their songs as a lead artist ever charted on the Hot 100, and that song was a #1 hit: The Elegants ("Little Star"), M ("Pop Muzik"), The Singing Nun ("Dominique"), USA for Africa ("We Are the World"; a charity supergroup that never recorded another song, although none but two of the band members were one-hit wonders), The Heights ("How Do You Talk to an Angel?"), The Hollywood Argyles ("Alley Oop"), Zager & Evans ("In the Year 2525"), Jan Hammer ("Miami Vice Theme"), Magic! ("Rude"), Sheriff ("When I'm With You")note , Omi ("Cheerleader"), Daniel Powter ("Bad Day", which was also the top song of 2006), Crazy Town ("Butterfly"), and Baauer ("Harlem Shake").
  • 11:30, a Montreal dance-pop duo featuring a pair of twin sisters, had a #10 hit in 2000 with "Olé Olé".
  • 3 of a Kind, a rather poorly regarded UK Garage act whose song "Babycakes" hit number 1 on the 15th of August 2004 and was deposed by "These Words" by Natasha Bedingfield on the 21st. A followup was recorded but never released.
  • A*Teens' "Bouncing Off the Ceiling (Upside Down)" was their only original song to make the US Hot 100 (their only other charting song was a cover of ABBA's "Dancing Queen"), and just barely, at #93. They had much greater success in their native Sweden and a few other European countries.
  • ABBA was certainly not a one-hit wonder, but both of their female singers had one Top 40 hit a piece after the group split:
    • Anni-Frid Lyngstad (credited as Frida), managed a #13 hit in 1982 with the Phil Collins-produced "I Know There's Something Going On". It remains her only solo entry on the Hot 100.
    • The next year, her former bandmate Agnetha Fältskog reached #29 with "Can't Shake Loose" (which was written by Russ Ballard, who also wrote "I Know There's Something Going On"). Fältskog did better than Frida in that she managed one more Hot 100 entry. However, the Peter Cetera-duet "I Wasn't the One (Who Said Goodbye)" only made it to #93. She was more successful in Europe, and particularly her native Sweden, where she had a long and successful solo career before, during and after her time in ABBA.
  • Paula Abdul is by no means a one hit wonder, but her 1990 single "Opposites Attract" credited The Wild Pair, creators of animated musician MC Skat Kat. Although a Skat Kat album was later released, it produced no major singles.
  • As Tommy James' popularity as an artist was starting to slip, he turned to production work. In 1970, James formed a group called Alive N Kickin'. The group hit #7 in 1970 with "Tighter, Tighter". After follow-up singles went nowhere and complications with the Roulette record label arose, the group quietly split up afterwards.
  • This has happened to most British girl groups (if they even managed to release anything in the US). Case in point: All Saints with "Never Ever", a top 5 hit in 1997, and Sugababes with "Hole in the Head" in 2004 (which didn't even crack the top 40, but did top the dance charts). Although Sugababes were well loved by American critics, they never really caught on Stateside otherwise.
  • Tasmin Archer was one-and-done in the US with "Sleeping Satellite", but was more successful in the UK.
  • "Sugar, Sugar" was a massive hit in the UK in 1969; it spent eight weeks at number one and a further 23 weeks in the Top 40, going on to be the biggest selling single of that year. The Archies never troubled the British charts again. In the US, however, they had a few other Top 40 entries (including the #10 hit "Jingle Jangle"), but even there "Sugar, Sugar" is pretty much the only thing they're remembered for.
    • Ron Dante, the studio singer who sang lead on "Sugar Sugar" and a couple other Archies hits, can be seen as the American equivalent of Tony Burrows (who is listed below). At the same time "Sugar Sugar" was climbing the charts in 1969, his lead vocals could also be heard on "Tracy", a #4 hit for the studio band The Cuff Links (the group had one more hit in the U.K with "When Julie Comes Around"). In 1965, he was the singer on the #19 hit "Leader of the Laundromat", a parody of "Leader of the Pack" credited to The Detergents. Dante tried several times to have a hit under his own name, and all of them failed. However, he had one of the more bizarre examples of He Also Did to his credit: he was the publisher of The Paris Review from 1978 to 1985 (at the invitation of his then-neighbor George Plimpton).
  • Songwriter Felix Arndt only released a few compositions during his lifetime before dying in the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic at age 29. Most of his compositions have quickly faded from popular memory except one: 1915's "Nola". This song, the first example of the "novelty piano" genre which took off in the 1920s, became a popular standard covered by many musicians, most notably Vincent Lopez's orchestra (who adopted it as its theme tune, first recording it in 1922) and Les Paul (who had a top 10 hit with the song in 1950).
  • B4-4 had a huge hit single in the summer of 2000 with "Get Down", a thinly-veiled ode to oral sex. The single peaked at #4 on the Canadian pop charts, but their next single, "Go Go", didn't even crack the top 20. They released one more album in 2003 and had a brief wave of success in Europe before calling it quits.
  • Irish girl group B*Witched was one of the most successful girl groups of the late 1990s in the UK and their native Ireland, with all 4 singles off their debut album going top 10 in Ireland and making it to #1 in the UK. However, only their innuendo-laden debut single "C'est la Vie" managed to successfully cross the pond, making it to #9 and going gold in the US.
  • Bama was a session group from Alabama composed of Ken Bell, Terry Skinner, and J. L. Wallace. Although their lone hit, "Touch Me When We're Dancing", was not a major success (it only got to #86 in 1979), it was later huge in separate versions by Carpenters (1981) and Alabama (1986). Bell, Skinner, and Wallace wrote Air Supply's 1982 hit "Even the Nights Are Better", and later went on to become somewhat successful songwriters in Country Music.
  • Eileen Barton was a singer whose career began at age 2½ in 1927 and spanned several decades of nightclub, Broadway, radio, TV and movie appearances. She made several recordings from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, but of these only 1950's "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Bake a Cake", a #1 hit, is still remembered. Some of her other singles charted, but most of these were covers of songs better associated with other artists (such as "Cry" by Johnnie Ray or "Pretend" by Nat King Cole).
  • Bo Bice, who placed second in the fourth season of American Idol, had a #2 hit with "Inside Your Heaven", released right after season winner Carrie Underwood's version of the same. Bice's version quickly fell from the charts, and he never had any sort of success again. He did have a minor radio hit about a year later with "The Real Thing", but it didn't go top 40 on the Hot 100.
  • Rebecca Black's "Friday" was a massive viral sensation in 2011 (which didn't actually chart high on the Hot 100) , mostly due to all of the negative publicity the song received. That one song irreparably damaged her career before it even got started. The follow-up, hit "My Moment" gained a lot of hype at first similar to the hype that "Gentleman" would get two years later. The song was completely forgotten in about two weeks, and follow-ups garnered almost no attention. Today, she is remembered for one song, and one song only: "Friday."
  • Disney Channel star Corbin Bleu had a #14 hit with his song "Push It to the Limit" from the original movie Jump In!. He charted a few more times with the cast of High School Musical, but none of those songs entered the Top 40. Eventually, Disney dropped him, and so did the audience; his 2009 album Speed of Light didn't even chart on the Billboard 200. After that, he retired from music altogether.
  • James Blunt is very popular in his native U.K. Across the pond, his only major success came from the 2006 ballad "You're Beautiful". Atlantic Records actually denied "Weird Al" Yankovic permission to release his parody of "You're Beautiful" (entitled "You're Pitiful") for fear of this trope (although Blunt himself approved). He became one in the U.S anyway.
  • Danny Bonaduce of the The Partridge Family put out a solo album in 1973 that produced one song that got airplay on radio (AOR radio at that), "Dreamland".
  • The Boomtang Boys, whose sole hit "Squeeze Toy" (a thinly-veiled self-pleasure metaphor) was the only one to crack the Top 10 Canadian singles chart. The song "Movin' On" topped the Canadian Singles Chart in 2002, but by then, record sales had greatly fallen and the chart was barely credible.
  • Bosson's only success was "We Live." This Swedish singer had some more hits back in Sweden, including the big European hit "One in a Million," but never did anything in the US after "We Live".
  • Bratt Pack only had one Top 10 hit with "Carousel" in Canada, which was regarded by many as the unofficial anthem of 2000 due to its ubiquitous airings on MuchMusic. Their follow-up single, "Señorita", barely cracked the Canadian charts, and they broke up soon after.
  • Breathe Carolina managed a crossover hit with "Blackout" in 2011. Nothing else they've ever done has touched any chart, although they remain popular in the indie scene.
  • Brother Beyond were popular in their native Britain, but in America only had a hit with "The Girl I Used to Know", which was one of the last songs they ever released and didn't even do well in their homeland.
  • Pop singer Polly Brown was a member of two one-hit wonder groups before becoming one on her own: Pickettywitch, who had a top 10 hit in 1970 with "That Same Old Feeling", and Sweet Dreams known for their take on ABBA's "Honey Honey" — and infamously performing in blackface. Afterwards, she had a disco hit with "Up In a Puff of Smoke"; she lived up to the song's name and was never heard from again.
  • Try to name anything Buckner & Garcia did besides Pac-Man Fever without resorting to Google.
  • Singer Tony Burrows had more than one hit, thanks to singing lead with a multitude of studio-only groups that each had just one top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. His biggest hits were "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" (Edison Lighthouse, 1970), "My Baby Loves Lovin'" (White Plains, 1970), "Gimmie Dat Ding" (The Pipkins, 1970) and "Beach Baby" (First Class, 1974). (He sang lead vocals on another song, "United We Stand" by the Brotherhood of Man in 1970; the act had another top 40 hit in the U.S. six years later with their Eurovision Song Contest winning song "Save Your Kisses For Me", but that was without Burrows. In fact, there were no common personnel between the two incarnations at all). That means that Burrows was a one hit wonder four (or five) times! In fact, all of the 1970 hits charted within three months of each other!
    • Burrows had better luck in his native UK, but not by much. He was part of yet another one-hit wonder group, The Flower Pot Men, who sang the 1967 hit "Let's Go to San Francisco". Earlier, he was part of its predecessor group, a two-hit wonder group called the Ivy League, although he joined a while after they stopped charting. Of the groups behind his American hits, only White Plains had continuous success in Great Britainnote , scoring another top 10 with "Julie Do Ya Love Me", and their #13 song "When You Are A King" later became a beloved classic...in Israel, where it was covered into Hebrew by national legend Shlomo Artzi.
  • The only hit single for actor/singer Edd Byrnes was "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb" (referencing Byrnes' character on 77 Sunset Strip), which hit #4 in 1959 and was the first hit single for Warner (Bros.) Records. It was a duet with actress Connie Stevens, who already qualifies in her own right with the #3 "Sixteen Reasons" a year later. Byrnes had several low-level acting roles afterward, along with a few game show appearances (he hosted the Wheel of Fortune pilots, infamously while drunk), while Stevens is best known for playing Cricket Blake on Hawaiian Eye.
  • Canadian Idol winners have been prone to this:
    • Season 1 winner Ryan Malcolm, for example, sent his first hit, "Something More," to the top of the charts. His follow up "Star of All the Planets," never made it past #79. He hasn't done that badly with his group Low Level Flight, however. Runner-up Gary Beals also had only one hit with "Summer Nights".
    • Season 5's Brian Melo also had only one major hit, "All I Ever Wanted," which fell short of the top 10. Notably, Melo won the season where Carly Rae Jepsen came in third and went on to have a much more successful international career than him.
    • Season 6's Theo Tams only had one big hit to his name: "Sing". He never made it past 63 afterwards, but become popular on the AC charts.
  • While Jim Capaldi wasn't a one-hit wonder in his native UK, reaching that country's Top 40 several times both with his most famous band Traffic and as a solo artist, he only reached the US Top 40 once—in 1983 as a solo act with "That's Love" (#28).
  • Teen pop singer Andrea Carroll had only one national chart hit with "It Hurts to Be Sixteen" at #45 in 1963. An earlier song of hers, "Please Don't Talk to the Lifeguard", was a big hit in Cleveland but failed to chart elsewhere and was Covered Up by Diane Ray (see below). All of her other releases failed to chart.
  • The Cascades, the only group to be named after a dishwasher detergent, hit #3 with "Rhythm of the Rain" in 1963. The follow-up, "The Last Leaf", only reached #60, and beside a few other low-charters, that was it. Although they remain popular in the Philippines, elsewhere they're only remembered for "Rhythm of the Rain".
  • The Casinos, a doo-wop group, had a big hit with "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" in 1967, well after the end of the doo-wop era. After only one more low-charting single, they disbanded. The song was later covered by Eddy Arnold, Glen Campbell (as part of a medley with Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds' "Don't Pull Your Love"), and Neal McCoy.
  • Bruce Channel is known entirely for his 1961 chart-topper "Hey! Baby", which has been widely covered. He more quietly made a comfortable living as a Country Music songwriter in The '70s and The '80s. In the UK, Bruce Channel had two hits, the other being "Keep On!", a Wayne Carson Thompson song (also recorded by The Box Tops). Even there, "Hey! Baby" has somewhat eclipsed it.
  • Charlene is known exclusively for "I've Never Been to Me". It first notched the Hot 100 at #97 in 1977, but a 1982 rerelease spurred by heavy airplay on WRBQ-FM lifted the song to #3. It also topped the charts in Canada, Australia, and the UK. Her only other hit after that got to #46.
  • Canadian singer Jane Child hit #2 on the Billboard chart with "Don't Wanna Fall in Love" in 1990. It was her only hit in the United States and in her home country.
  • Chopsticks Brothers, a Chinese comedy duo, had a huge viral hit in 2014 with their "Little Apple" (Xiao Ping Guo). The song doubled as Breakaway Pop Hit, being made to promote one of their films, and tripled as Dance Sensation, thanks to the wacky music video depicting a square dance that soon spread like wildfire in China and elsewhere. They even won the International Song Award at the American Music Awards that year. Kpop group T Ara covered it and it was soon called "the next Gangnam Style". However, their few subsequent efforts failed to get any recognition outside China and were quickly forgotten.
  • Rodney Crowell had his sole pop hit in 1980 with "Ashes by Now" (later Covered Up by Lee Ann Womack), but never saw the Hot 100 at all after that. As a country act later in the decade, he was anything but a one-hit wonder, scoring five #1 hits on the country charts (making his 1989 album Diamonds & Dirt the first country album to have five chart-toppers on it), and having many more hits as both a singer and songwriter. However, he was also a one-hit wonder on the AC charts in 1992 with the crossover "What Kind of Love".
  • A J-Pop example: four girls group DALI is pretty much only known for "Moonlight Densetsu", the first opening of the original Sailor Moon. They later became a duo named MANISH who never gained much popularity before disbanding in 2002. Still, "Moonlight Densetsu" was a huge success in Japan and became iconic of anime in The '90s.
  • Del Amitri were more popular in their native Scotland, but in the US, they made an impact solely with "Roll to Me", which hit #10 in 1995. A couple other songs made the Top 40 but were quickly forgotten.
  • Mark Dinning had a #1 hit with the Teenage Death Song "Teen Angel" in 1959, but never saw past #68 otherwise.
  • Distinct Nature, ironically, fell apart after a decade of working together because of the success of their only hit single, "Human", based on The Human League song of the same name. Their next two singles bombed, and the group was released by their label, Hi-Bias Records, immediately thereafter.
  • Duffy scored a #27 American hit, and made it to #1 in her native UK, with the soulful "Mercy" in 2008. However, her career was soon eclipsed by another newcomer that year, Adele, who performed the same style of music and had much more critical acclaim behind her. Duffy never had another American hit after "Mercy". While she made it to #3 soon after in the UK with the ballad "Warwick Avenue", it was also her last major hit there, where she's largely remembered as a Two-Hit Wonder. Her second album was a flop in 2010, and she hasn't released another since.
  • In 2013, Norwegian duo Envy had a massive European hit with "Am I Wrong", which managed to cross the pond when the duo rebranded as Nico & Vinz in 2014. They've also achieved a second Top 10 hit in their native Norway with "In Your Arms", but as it didn't hit the top 40 in America, it's safe to say that North America will remember them only for "Am I Wrong".
  • Evan and Jaron, consisting of twin brothers Evan and Jaron Lowenstein, with their 2000 pop hit "Crazy for This Girl". Jaron became a one-hit wonder in his own right in 2010 with "Pray for You" (credited to Jaron and the Long Road to Love), which was a Top 15 country and Top 40 pop hit. Jaron even calls himself a "one-hit wonder twice" on his own Twitter page.
  • Exile, in their original incarnation as a pop group fronted by Jimmy Stokley, had a massive #1 in 1978 with "Kiss You All Over". While a later single hit #40 ("You Thrill Me"), it was quickly forgotten. But several years and membership changes later, they successfully Re Tooled as a country music band fronted by Les Taylor and J. P. Pennington, an incarnation which got them ten #1 hits on the country charts. Two of their early pop releases, "Take Me Down" and "The Closer You Get", were later Covered Up by Alabama, and "Heart and Soul" by Huey Lewis and the News.
  • EYC had their only hit with "This Thing Called Love." The group had a few more hits in the UK.
  • John Farnham is one of Australia's most popular pop artists, and in fact has the highest-selling album in Australian history. But worldwide, he only seems to be known for "You're the Voice". He's technically a No-Hit Wonder in the US, as "You're the Voice" didn't even crack the top 40 there.
  • Five's "When the Lights Go Out" became a top 10 hit back in 1998. The song got a huge boost in America from the band's promotion on the Disney Channel, complete with a concert special and their video appearing between programs. The channel moved on to other groups in about two months, and Five were never able to court older audiences that watched MTV like the Backstreet Boys did. Back home in the UK, Five racked up a string of consecutive Top 10 hits, but they were never as popular as Take That or Westlife, and they eventually faded into obscurity after they broke up.
  • Doo-wop group The Five Satins is best known for "In the Still of the Nite" note , a classic of the genre which is often thought to be one of the origins of the "doo-wop" term (the back vocals go "doo-wop, doo-wah" during the instrumental bridge). The group had a few other hits, but none as enduring as "Nite", which was covered several times, appeared in several movies and is notable as the only song to chart three times (with the exact same recording) in the Billboard Hot 100 (#24 in 1956, #81 in 1960 and #99 in 1961). The song was also Sampled Up in Ronnie Milsap's 1985 hit "Lost in the Fifties Tonight (In the Still of the Night)", and Boyz II Men had a successful cover of "In the Still of the Nite" in 1992.
  • David Foster had only one song reach the Top 40, the instrumental "Love Theme from St. Elmo's Fire" in 1985 at #15. Foster did enjoy more success on the adult contemporary charts, and in his native Canada, but he has made his greatest mark as a songwriter, arranger, and especially producer, with a total of 16 Grammys in those roles.
  • Nicki French had a #2 hit in 1995 with a cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart". She never charted again; within a few years, most radio stations went back to playing the Bonnie Tyler original.
  • Friend & Lover had exactly one hit with the #10 "Reach Out of the Darkness". The duo consisted of Creator Couple Jim and Cathy Post. Jim later had some success as a solo artist, and gained notoriety for the silly cover art of his solo album I Love My Life.
  • Becky G had a top 20 hit with "Shower" in 2014 and never came close to having another hit again in the US. However, her 2017 song "Mayores" was a top-10 hit in Spanish-speaking countries.
  • Garth Brooks is by no means a one-hit wonder in the Country Music genre, where he was phenomenally successful for the entirety of The '90s and onward. But in 1999, he released the experimental In the Life of Chris Gaines album, and recording as the eponymous alter ego Chris Gaines, he got to #5 on the pop charts with lead single "Lost in You". While two other Chris Gaines singles charted (including "It Don't Matter to the Sun", a minor country airplay hit), the project was aborted due to lack of interest. Even more amazingly, in a stunning case of Chart Displacement, "Lost in You" was the only time Garth ever saw the Top 40 of the Hot 100, in or out of character.
  • Natalie Gauci won the 2007 season of Australian Idol. Her debut single "Here I Am" hit #2 on the charts, but nothing else ever charted for her.
  • Australian singer Grace is known exclusively for her remake of Lesley Gore's 1963 hit "You Don't Own Me" (now a collaboration with rapper G-Eazy), which was popularized through a teaser trailer for Suicide Squad. Her older brother, Conrad Sewell, has had a significantly more successful career.
  • A Great Big World had an enormous hit single in 2013/2014 with "Say Something," a duet with Christina Aguilera. None of their other songs have come close to the Top 40.
  • The only hit for R. B. Greaves was his 1969 Latin-influenced "Take a Letter Maria" (see also Anthony Armstrong Jones on the "Country" subpage). He had another minor hit with a take on the widely-covered "Always Something There to Remind Me", but it failed to leave a lasting impression compared to Naked Eyes' version of the song.
  • Haddaway produced several hit songs, but is now known as "that guy who made What Is Love" due to its Rickroll-esque memetic status. He had two more minor hits in the States with "Life" and "Rock My Heart", but neither reached the top 40, and few people remember those songs now worldwide, let alone in the USA.
  • Richard Harris, a legendary, Oscar-nominated Irish actor best known for playing King Arthur in Camelot and Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter movies, also had a singing career on the side. His only mainstream hit as a musician was 1968's "MacArthur Park", which peaked at #2 in the US and #4 in the UK. The song was later Covered Up by non-one hit wonder Donna Summer, who took it to the top of the Hot 100.
  • Hedgehoppers Anonymous, a band mostly consisting of RAF members, hit #5 in the U.K. with "It's Good News Week" in 1965; it was also a minor hit in America (reaching #48).
  • The Heights was television drama on Fox focusing on a fledgling rock band of the same name and occasionally featuring performances of their tunes. The show hit number 1 in 1992 with their theme song "How Do You Talk to an Angel?" - a rare at-the-time example of a song from a TV show that was actually performed (vocally and some of the instruments!) by its cast instead of session musicians. One week after the song fell from the top spot, Fox cancelled the show after just 12 episodes had aired. Lead singer Jamie Walters (who played Alex O'Brien on the show) managed to be a one-hit wonder twice over, when his song "Hold On" peaked at #16 in 1994. Neither artist ever bothered the Billboard Hot 100 again, and nowadays, "How Do You Talk to an Angel?" is much better remembered than The Heights' show.
  • Former The X Factor contestant Ella Henderson is known for "Ghost" and nothing else. Her followup "Glow" completely bombed outside the U.K. and her songs that followed flopped everywhere.
  • Taylor Hicks, season 5 winner of American Idol, had a #1 hit with his coronation single "Do I Make You Proud", which was never even put on an album. He recorded two albums, and had a couple minor AC hits, but has not been actively recording since 2009.
  • American socialite Paris Hilton had a #18 hit in 2006 with "Stars Are Blind". Other than that, nothing.
  • Hoku, the daughter of noted Hawaiian entertainer Don Ho, hit #27 in 2000 with "Another Dumb Blonde" from the movie Snow Day. Keep in mind that she's also well-known for the independently-released song "Perfect Day," which appeared in the movie Legally Blonde and was memorably used in JCPenney and Beaches Resorts commercial campaigns. However, it didn't chart on the Hot 100.
  • Clint Holmes had a #2 hit with "Playground in My Mind", featuring Record Producer Paul Vance's son Philip. Holmes later served as announcer on Joan Rivers' late-night show for FOX, hosted an unsold Game Show pilot called Winfall, and headlined a show at Harrah's Las Vegas for many years.
  • Hot Gossip, an established British dance troupe, scored a #6 pop hit in the UK in 1978 with their Star Wars cash-in "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper". The song would probably be remembered as a throwaway novelty disco tune if it wasn't for the fact that it became the Star-Making Role for their 18-year old lead dancer and vocalist Sarah Brightman. After becoming the creative and romantic partner of Andrew Lloyd Webber a few years later, Brightman would go on to become one of the most important names in musical theater for the next 25 years, and had plenty of other pop hits to boot. Hot Gossip and "Trooper", meanwhile, have been reduced to footnotes in her biography.
  • Hot Chelle Rae actually had two hits on the Hot 100: "Tonight Tonight" and "I Like It Like That", featuring New Boyz, but only the former seems to be remembered by anyone. They, like Metro Station, have nepotism in their genes: lead singer Ryan Follesé and his brother Jamie are sons of Nashville songwriter Keith Follesé, while guitarist Nash Overstreet is a brother of Glee cast member Chord Overstreet and son of country and Christian singer Paul Overstreet (see also the entry for Schuyler, Knoblock, and Overstreet on the Country subpage). Fourth member Ian Keaggy, a son of Christian guitarist Phil Keaggy, quit in 2013. The group went on hiatus soon afterward, and Ryan attempted a solo Country Music career which was blunted by his label closing.
  • Don Howard had a surprise hit in 1953 with his rudimentary recording of "Oh Happy Day", a song he heard from a girlfriend of his (the actual originator of the song, Nancy Binns Reed, had to sue Howard to get a songwriting credit). The song, which reached #3 on Cashbox and #4 on Billboard, was one of the first whose popularity was driven by teenagers and not the music industry. Howard's fame was very short-lived, with his only other known release immediately falling into obscurity and his hit song being Covered Up in more polished versions by other artists such as The Four Knights and Lawrence Welk (featuring Larry Hooper, for whom the song became a trademark).
  • It's not often that composers score pop hits, but James Newton Howard got a #12 hit with "The Hanging Tree" off The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack — albeit, it is universally associated with Jennifer Lawrence, the featured vocalist of the song. It actually charted higher than the movie's Theme Song "Yellow Flicker Beat". Since Howard was barely a footnote to the greater public (and composers rarely ever get hits) and Lawrence isn't a singer, it's doubtful either of them will return to the charts.
  • Identically Different, whose album charted at the top of the Canadian charts with the single "Busted". They disappeared from the face of the earth soon after.
  • Natalie Imbruglia is quite successful back in Australia, but internationally, the only song she is known for is her Ednaswap cover "Torn". She had another minor hit in the U.S. with "Wishing I Was There", and several top 10 hits in Europe, but they're all forgotten today outside her homeland. Ednaswap themselves are also remembered only for being the band who did the original "Torn".
  • Jalisse is an Italian duo and married couple who seemingly came out of nowhere and, thanks to some rules later removed, managed to win the Sanremo Music Festival (Italy's equivalent to the Eurovision Song Contest) in 1997 with their ballad Fiumi di parole, with a small independent label among well-established singers. They're still active but nothing they did afterwards had any kind of success. In Italy they're being mocked to this day and brought up as the example of One Hit Wonder; ironically this makes them much more well-known than other actually forgotten artists.
  • Jessie James peaked at #40 exactly with the dance-pop song "Wanted" in 2009. She never saw the Hot 100 again, but under her married name of Jessie James Decker, she has had a few minor entries on the Country Music charts.
  • The Jonas Brothers are not a one-hit wonder, but their top 5 hit "Burning Up" features a rap by their bodyguard Big Rob. Rob appears on some of their other songs, but none of those charted.
    • DNCE, a band fronted by Joe Jonas, had a massive hit in 2016 with "Cake by the Ocean." They have yet to score a second top 40 hit, although follow-up single "Toothbrush" barely missed the mark, peaking at #44. With the band now on an indefinite hiatus since the Jonas Brothers reunited in 2019, it remains unknown whether they can score another hit.
  • The Kalin Twins had a hit in 1958 with "When", which hit #5 on the Hot 100, #13 on the country charts, and #1 on the UK charts (making them the first set of twins ever to have a UK #1 hit), but were never heard from again.
  • Although Karmin have a dedicated following on social media, their only pop hit was 2012's "Brokenhearted". "Hello" topped the club charts a few months later, but it's mostly forgotten today.
  • Katrina And The Waves had three Top 40 hits in the mid to late 1980s, but "Walking On Sunshine", which topped out at #9 in 1985, is the only one most people remember today. In the UK, however, they're also remembered for "Love Shine a Light", the Eurovision winner of 1997.
  • , who topped the charts in the UK, Germany and Italy with his "Strange World" (1996), the Junior Vasquez remix of which was also a US dance club hit, never had another successful song. He's most remembered for the video where he strips in a toilet.
  • Anna Kendrick had a #6 hit in 2013 with "Cups" from the Pitch Perfect soundtrack. To date, she has yet to release another single.
  • Texan singer-songwriter Cheyenne Kimball won America's Most Talented Kid at the age of 12 in 2003 and then in 2006, got her own show on MTV. That summer, "Hanging On" the show's theme song and lead single off her first album was a near hit, peaking at #53. Nothing else she ever released touched any chart and the show was cancelled after one season when her career failed to take off as hoped. She was later a member of country music group Gloriana (see the Country subpage for more on them).
  • Nick Lachey, the Breakup Breakout of 98 Degrees and former husband of Jessica Simpson, wrote about his breakup, resulting in the single "What's Left of Me". It reached the top 10 but he never had another hit and has all but abandoned music in favor of hosting game shows.
  • Nicolette Larson was a rare double-one hit wonder in two different genres. Her debut single "Lotta Love" was a #9 pop and #1 AC hit in 1978, but nothing else made much noise. Eight years later, she had her only hit on the Hot Country Songs chart with "That's How You Know When Love's Right", featuring duet vocals from country musician Steve Wariner.
  • Zara Larsson is a huge pop superstar worldwide...except in the United States, where her only song that really caught on was "Never Forget You", with her follow-ups all fizzling out near the bottom of the Hot 100. The same could be said for MNEK, her collaborator on "Never Forget You", who never had another hit anywhere else in the world, outside of being the featured vocalist on Gorgon City's 2014 UK hit "Ready For Your Love".
  • The Lemon Pipers' "Green Tambourine," a song about a street musician who plays for money. It not only became the Pipers' only number-one hit, not only was it the first number-one hit for the Buddah Records label, but it was the first bubblegum chart topper in history! Follow-ups "Rice is Nice" and "Jelly Jungle" flopped, and less than a year later, they broke up. Bill Barlett would become a one-hit wonder twice, as he was the guitarist for Ram Jam ("Black Betty"). Interestingly enough, the song that "Green Tambourine" replaced at the top of the charts, "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)" by John Fred and his Playboy Band, is another example of a one-hit wonder. The song, which was inspired by a misheard lyric in The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," was about girls who wore large sunglasses on the beach. Ironically, it replaced the Beatles' "Hello, Goodbye" on top of the charts.
  • LFO (not to be confused with the British electronic group of the same name}) had two Top 10 hits in 1999 with "Summer Girls" and "Girl on TV", but only the former is remembered today. An attempted comeback a decade later was cut short by the 2010 death of frontman Rich Cronin.
  • Cher Lloyd, the fourth-placer in the 2010 series of The X Factor, is quite popular at home, but her one and only successful trip across the pond was with '"Want U Back" (which ironically, removed a guest verse from Astro from the American X Factor.) Her follow-ups were very poorly received in the U.S. and barely made the Hot 100. While she reemerged in 2014 in a hit collaboration with Demi Lovato on "Really Don't Care", it wasn't her hit and thus doesn't disqualify her one-hit wonder status.
  • Swedish singer Loreen won the 2012 Eurovision contest with "Euphoria", which became one of the most successful winning singles of all time. Her follow up "My Heart is Refusing Me" did little outside her native Sweden, only managing to go top 40 in the Netherlands and Switzerland and maxing out at #41 in Spain and Germany. After that, she dropped completely off the map.
  • "Run With Us" by Lisa Lougheed, the theme from The Raccoons. Good luck finding the album (Evergreen Nights), as it has never been reprinted or legally released on CD.
  • Lukas Graham, a Danish pop-folk band fronted by the eponymous Lukas Graham Forchhammer, are fairly popular in Scandinavia, but elsewhere they are known exclusively for the 2016 smash hit "7 Years". While their follow-up "Mama Said" was a minor follow-up hit, it didn't come close to "7 Years"' success overall and was quickly forgotten.
  • The teenage Norwegian pop duo M2M made it to #21 on the Hot 100 with their catchy bubblegum pop song "Don't Say You Love Me". The song's chart success was helped in part because it appeared on the Pokémon: The First Movie soundtrack. Although critics lauded the duo for writing their own songs and playing their own instruments in an era where teen pop acts usually did neither, the acclaim did not translate into more pop hits. Follow-up "Mirror Mirror" got some pop radio airplay and was certified Gold by the RIAA like its predecessor, but topped out at #62 on the Hot 100 and that was the last appearance on that chart.
  • Johnny Maestro never had a hit by himself, but he was part of two one-hit wonder groups with significantly more success: The Crests ("Sixteen Candles") and the Brooklyn Bridge ("The Worst that Could Happen"). The Crests had a few minor top 40 follow-ups afterwards, but none are remembered today.
  • Benny Mardones became a one-hit wonder twice with the same song. His hit single "Into the Night" first charted in 1980, peaking at number 11 for two weeks. At the end of the decade, an Arizona disc jockey added Mardones' hit to his "Where Are They Now?" segment, which reignited interest in the song. The 1989 re-recording peaked at #20, and the song still gets chronic airplay to this day.
  • Lee Marvin is a legendary Oscar-winning character actor, but is not a natural singer. That didn't stop him, however, from recording the song "Wand'rin' Star" for the musical Paint Your Wagon. He insisted on recording the song himself, in his naturally rough-sounding voice, because he wagered it would be more believable for him to sing it than mime to a playback singer. His request payed off well for him: The movie was a dud, but "Wand'rin' Star" was a huge hit in the UK, going all the way to #1 there in 1970. Despite the success, Marvin never recorded another song.
  • McMaster and James' self-titled album had one single, "Thank You", which received several awards and cracked the Canadian Top 10 singles chart, but the bankruptcy of BMG in 2001 and fading exposure led to the duo parting ways.
  • Robin McNamara is known for his 1970 almost-top 10 hit "Lay a Little Lovin' on Me" and absolutely nothing else.
  • Meja is known only for "All 'Bout The Money", although "I'm Missin' You" gets some airplay in the Philippines, and she was featured in Ricky Martin's "Private Emotion".
  • Nepotism remains a way to get a hit in the music business. This is what happened to Metro Station, the band featuring Miley Cyrus's half brother Trace Cyrus. (While there was another celebrity connection — Mason Musso is the brother of Miley's Hannah Montana co-star Mitchel — it was clear that Cyrus was the main reason they became popular) They had a #10 hit with 2008's "Shake It", but their followup single "Seventeen Forever" only peaked at #42 before they disbanded.
  • Mika is known in the U.S. for "Grace Kelly" (which technically wasn't a hit, peaking at #57) and nothing else. He fared much better in The U.K. but even there, "Grace Kelly" remains his signature song.
  • American pop-rap duo MKTO is very popular in Australia and New Zealand. Their success back home, however, ended the moment it started with their #14 hit "Classic".
  • Afro-Irish singer Samantha Mumba climbed to #4 on the US pop charts in 2000 with "Gotta Tell You", after which she never again graced Billboard's Top 10 or Top 40; her next single, "Baby Come On Over", fell short at #49 and was quickly forgotten.
  • Olly Murs is a megastar back in his native UK but his U.S. success began and ended with "Troublemaker", which featured rap superstar Flo Rida. Its predecessor "Heart Skips a Beat" managed a minor blip on the U.S. radar (albeit with Rizzle Kicks' verses replaced with new ones from Chiddy Bang), but was far less popular than "Troublemaker".
  • David Naughton might just be considered a one-hit wonder in two different genres. He sang the theme song to his short-lived TV series "Makin' It", which reached #5 in 1979. The song was a Breakaway Pop Hit, entering the top 40 in May 1979, two months after the show was cancelled after just nine episodes. Then he starred in An American Werewolf in London in 1981, which still remains his best known role.
  • New Kids on the Block were certainly no one-hit wonders, but in 1999, two of its members scored their only significant hits as solo artists, which both went to #10 on the Hot 100: Jordan Knight with "Give It to You", and Joey McIntyre with "Stay the Same". McIntrye's follow up "I Love You Came Too Late" was popular on MTV, but that did not translate to chart success and only made it to #54.
  • Mickey Newbury had only one hit as a singer: "An American Trilogy", his 1972 medley of "Dixie", "Battle Hymn of the Republic", and "All My Trials". It was later covered by Elvis Presley. Newbury was somewhat better known as a songwriter, most famously for Kenny Rogers and the First Edition's "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)".
  • John Newman has quite a few hits back home in the UK, but to date his only visit to the American charts was with his solo debut song "Love Me Again" (largely known in the US as the theme song for Edge of Tomorrow). Unfortunately, he got quickly outperformed by the very similar Sam Smith. While Smith soared to the top of the charts, Newman quickly became an afterthought. He had another hit later in 2014 via his vocal performance on Calvin Harris's "Blame," but it did little to get him back on track, and as it wasn't his hit does not really disqualify him from being a one-hit wonder.
  • Danny O'Keefe scored with "Good-Time Charlie's Got the Blues," told from the perspective of a downbeat, lonely young man who is left to face life alone in his native hometown (which is dying) as older residents pass away and his friends and everyone he cares about move away to pursue their dreams in California. There was no reason for despair here: This was a top 10 hit on both the pop and adult contemporary charts in the fall of 1972, and was even a minor country hit. It was also covered famously by Elvis Presley. However "Good-Time Charlie..." was O'Keefe's one and only entry on any of the singles charts, although he continued to be a popular songwriter and recorded several more albums that were critically acclaimed.
  • The O'Kaysions had a hit in 1968 with the blue-eyed soul song "Girl Watcher" but were never heard from again. The song is better known for being reworked into "I'm a Wheel Watcher", a longtime jingle for Wheel of Fortune.
  • O-Zone had one very, very successful song: "Dragostea Din Tei" (aka the numa-numa song). The band would dissolve soon after this song topped the lists. However, they were quite popular in Romania.note  In a few countries, they did have a second hit, "Despre Tine". However, they will always be remembered for that song that a fat guy lip synced to. The leader of the group went on creating Crazy Loop (Mm-Ma-Ma) which managed to get successful in Romania. It is now known for its use in the In the Groove and ReRave games.
  • Rita Ora is a pop superstar back in the UK. Her American success, however, was limited to being featured on Iggy Azalea's massive hit "Black Widow". Outside of that, she's really only known there for being a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to Rihanna ("How We Do (Party)" and "I Will Never Let You Down" both charted on the Hot 100, but neither made the Top 40 and are largely forgotten there).
  • Robert Ellis Orrall and Carlene Carter had the hit duet "I Couldn't Say No" in 1983 but neither artist saw the Hot 100 again. Orrall became a one-hit wonder again in the country music format with "Boom! It Was Over" a decade later, but became more successful as a songwriter and producer. Meanwhile, Carter (a daughter of June Carter and Carl Smith and by extension, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash) was more successful in the country format, having three #3 hits between 1990 and 1993.
  • Calgary-based rock band Out Of Your Mouth had a Canadian top 40 hit with their cover of Madonna's "Music." They never came close to those heights again. Frontman Jason Darr formed the group Neurosonic, who had a minor rock radio hit in 2008 with "So Many People."
  • Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has dabbled in singing on several occasions, but her only major chart success was a duet with Huey Lewis on a cover of Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'" from the soundtrack of the 2000 film Duets. The movie was a bomb, but the song turned into a surprise hit, reaching #1 on the adult contemporary chart despite never crossing over to the Hot 100. Paltrow also has two Top 40 hits on the country music charts from her film Country Strong, and several Hot 100 entries as a featured vocalist on several cover songs done by the Glee cast, but "Cruisin'" remains the only one that left any semblance of impact.
  • Anthony Perkins (of Psycho fame) had a top 40 hit in 1958 with "Moon-Light Swim". He went right back to acting afterwards, landing his career-defining role less than a year later. The song, meanwhile, was Covered Up by Elvis Presley.
  • Billie Piper has had a successful acting career and numerous hit songs in her native England, but "She Wants You" was her only appearance on US charts, at #23 on the Billboard Bubbling Under chart and #9 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.
  • Pitbull is not a one-hit wonder by any stretch of the imagination, but many of his collaborators have been:
    • His first #1 hit, "Give Me Everything," is the only chart entry for Miami-based singer/model Nayer (although her 2011 song "Suave (Kiss Me)", another Pitbull collaboration, reached the Top 40 in Canada). For nearly four years, "Give Me Everything" was the sole top 40 entry for the popular Dutch DJ Afrojack (who also peaked at #41 with his own single, "Take Over Control"), but would eventually return to the upper reaches of the charts via a guest spot on David Guetta's "Hey Mama".
    • His 2013 song "Don't Stop The Party" featured a credited production from a little-known producer named TJR, who hasn't done anything else notable.
    • American-British-Canadian Girl Group G.R.L. was hyped as being The New '10s version of The Pussycat Dolls. Unfortunately for them, their only hit is as a feature on "Wild Wild Love" off The Smurfs 2 soundtrack (though they had a minor international hit of their own with "Ugly Heart"). This was out of their control, due to member Simone Battle committing suicide a couple months later, severely damaging their image until they ultimately broke up without ever releasing an album.
    • John Ryan is best known for writing songs for One Direction, but an appearance on "Fireball" was his only hit as an artist.
  • Buster Poindexter reached #54 on the Hot 100 in 1987 with a cover of Arrow's 1983 calypso tune "Hot Hot Hot". While it didn't make the Top 40, the Poindexter version of "Hot Hot Hot" was a huge radio and club hit, and was featured in dozens of movies over the next 30 years. Poindexter was actually the goofy lounge singer persona of David Johansen, lead singer of legendary 1970s glam rock band New York Dolls, who were No Hit Wonders. In fact, "Hot Hot Hot" was Johansen's only chart hit in his long career, in or out of the Buster Poindexter persona.
  • The girl group The Poni-Tails had a #7 hit with "Born Too Late" in 1958. The follow-up hits, "Seven Minutes in Heaven" and "I'll Be Seeing You", only reached #85 and #87 respectively and are pretty much forgotten today.
  • Canadian reality series Popstars produced several pop groups, who immediately crashed and burned after their debut singles due to mismanagement from their production company and waning public interest. Sugar Jones, an all-female pop group formed at the end of the first season, had one #1 single, "Days Like That", and a second single ("How Much Longer") that never charted. Season 2's Velvet Empire died a quick death after their #1 single "Frontin' On Me", as their album sales tanked and the group disbanded.
  • Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Powter had a global hit in 2006 with his song "Bad Day". It was also his only hit in pretty much every country where it charted; In the US, where the song went to #1 and was the top song on the Billboard year-end chart in 2005, he never made the Hot 100 again. In his native Canada, he had one more top 10 hit before falling off the face of the earth. A comeback attempt in 2013 was also unsuccessful.
  • Most of the time, movie composers do not get hits, but it happened to A. R. Rahman when his hit song from Slumdog Millionaire "Jai Ho" was remixed by The Pussycat Dolls into the song "Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)."
  • Diane Ray had her only chart success in 1963 with her cover of fellow one-hit wonder Andrea Carroll's "Please Don't Talk to the Lifeguard", which went to #31 in the Billboard charts. None of the follow-up singles charted and neither did her sole album, The Exciting Years.
  • React's only hit was "Let's Go All The Way." Member Tim Cruz later joined the boy band B3, who had a few hits in Austria and Germany, the biggest being a cover of the Bee Gees' "I.O.I.O."
  • Canadian singer Alyssa Reid had a surprise #2 UK hit with "Alone Again," a remake of Heart's 1987 smash "Alone" before quickly disappearing. Fortunately, she's done better back home.
  • Diane Renay, not to be confused with the above-listed Diane Ray, had a #6 hit in 1964 with "Navy Blue". The direct sequel, "Kiss Me Sailor", charted at #29 but is not as well-remembered as "Navy Blue". Other followups such as "Growin' up Too Fast", "It's in Your Hands" and "Watch Out Sally" were hits in local markets but hovered in the 100s nationally... and that was it for her chart career.
  • Mike Reno had several hits as the lead singer of Loverboy, but his only solo hit was "Almost Paradise... Love theme from Footloose", a duet with Ann Wilson (whose band Heart is not a one-hit wonder either) which hit #7 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. (Ann is not a one-hit wonder, as she had one other Hot 100 entry and another on Mainstream Rock Tracks.)
  • Lawrence Reynolds had only one hit, with "Jesus Is a Soul Man" in 1969. He wrote a few other songs for the country genre but none of them caught on.
  • Rixton's "Me and My Broken Heart", a song loosely based upon Rob Thomas' "Lonely No More", hit #14 in 2014. Immediately afterwards, they got buried by One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer with the rest of the boy band market, and never charted again.
  • Mark Ronson is a very successful producer in his native UK, and is especially well known there for his collaborations with Amy Winehouse and for producing her landmark album Back to Black. However, outside Europe — and particularly in the US — he's only known for being the lead artist of the megahit "Uptown Funk!", his collaboration with Bruno Mars. To the general public, it was, first and foremost, Mars' song, and Ronson was just seen as a mere footnote. None of his follow-up songs charted anywhere, and international sales for his album Uptown Special were abysmal. Because Ronson's brief success was a fluke, being fueled entirely by the star power of its featured artist, it's unlikely he'll ever have another hit as a credited artist outside the UK again. His 2019 comeback "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart", a collaboration with Miley Cyrus, gained some traction, but ultimately fizzled out at #43.
  • Jennifer Rush's only major hit single in most of Europe was "The Power of Love," later famously covered by Céline Dion. In the U.S., her only hit was "Flames of Paradise," an Elton John duet, but even now she's just remembered for "Power".
    • In the UK she had another fairly well-remembered hit, "Ring Of Ice".
  • Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts had only one Top 40 entry with their 1968 hit "Angel of the Morning". The song has been widely covered multiple times since, including an even more successful version by country-pop singer Juice Newton (whose version appeared in Deadpool) and being sampled in Shaggy's 2001 hit "Angel".
  • Kyu Sakamoto was a classic example of singers considered One Hit Wonders in the US despite releasing a number of hits in their homeland. His 1961 song "Ue o Muite Aruko" was released in Anglophone countries under the name "Sukiyaki", which had nothing to do with the lyrics and was chosen because it was a short and easily recognisable Japanese word. Not only is it Sakamoto's only song to hit #1 in the US charts (he did have another song on the charts - "China Nights", which reached #58), but it's also the only Japanese song to do so. He remained a huge star in Japan, releasing hits, doing charity work and appearing in films and TV shows, until he died in the crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123.
    • In 1995, 4 P.M. took "Sukiyaki" (based on A Taste of Honey's #3 version from 1981) to #8 and never charted again.
  • Legendary Tex-Mex singer Selenanote  had just one English hit with "Dreaming of You" in 1995, the same year she was tragically murdered. Her song "I Could Fall In Love" was a radio hit before "Dreaming of You", but wasn't eligible for the Hot 100 due to not being released as a single.
  • She Moves' "Breaking All the Rules" cracked the top 40 in 1997, but a cover of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's "It's Your Love" stalled in the 60s.
  • Silver had a hit in 1976 with "Wham Bam" but were never heard from again. Keyboardist Brent Mydland later joined The Grateful Dead, while drummer Harry Stinson became a session musician in Country Music. Also, lead vocalist John Batdorf (son of Country Music singer Earl Scott, also a one-hit wonder) previously had a few minor hits as Batdorf and Rodney.
  • French singer Soko had a top 10 hit with "We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow" after it was being featured in a viral video featuring random couples kissing. The song plummeted off the Hot 100 the next week due to the viral video vanishing as quickly as it came.
  • SoulDecision had their one and only hit with 1999's "Faded", which reached the top of the Canadian singles chart and became a major American hit the next year. After two other top 20 hits, a lack of support from the Canadian music industry killed their follow-up, Shady Satin Drug, and they disbanded soon afterwards.
    • Former lead singer Trevor Guthrie's solo career had a resurgence in 2013, after he was featured as a guest vocalist on Armin van Buuren's song "This Is What It Feels Like", which cracked the Top 10 on both the Canada and U.S. dance charts. He's since managed a few modest hits in his homeland.
  • Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" was a number-one hit in late 1969, but they never again hit the top 40. Justified, as Steam was never a band to begin with, and was just a name slapped onto a recording by three studio musicians who didn't bother crediting themselves because they viewed it as a throwaway novelty song. After the song was a success, member Paul Leka formed a touring Steam group.
  • Stevie B had a #1 hit in 1990 with "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)". While he had seven other Top 40 hits, none of those other entries made the Top 10 and he's largely remembered for that #1. Curiously, his second best known song, "I Wanna Be the One" barely scraped into the Top 40 and was outpeaked by several songs that have been completely forgotten.
  • Jermaine Stewart - "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off". He had a few other hits in the UK and on the R&B charts, the biggest being 1987's "Say It Again", but the former was his only major success in America.
  • Comedian Jud Strunk had his only hit with the completely serious song "Daisy a Day".
  • Take That was absolutely massive everywhere in the world… except the U.S., where they scored a #7 hit with "Back for Good" and never saw the Hot 100 again. This was mostly because they broke up just as the song was becoming huge in the US. Their label didn't even release a followup single in the market — An interesting choice because they changed the tracklist of the US edition of their album Nobody Else to include singles from previous albums, presumably to further the band's success there by releasing songs that had already proven to be smash hits, but sadly this never happened. Lead vocalist Gary Barlow also had only one hit in the US with a cover of Joe Diffie's "So Help Me Girl", but as with his band, he was far more popular in the UK.
  • Interestingly enough, the other writer on Benny Mardones' "Into the Night", Robert Tepper, would become a one-hit wonder on his own with 1986's "No Easy Way Out" from the Rocky IV soundtrack.
  • Timmy T, a popular LA freestyle artist in the early '90s, hit #1 in 1991 with "One More Try". Its predecessor, "Time After Time", reached #40 and was instantly forgotten. After "One More Try" fell off the charts, Timmy T was never seen or heard from again.
  • The only hit for Texas band Toby Beau was their 1978 hit "My Angel Baby". Coincidentally, their second-highest chart showing was a cover of the aforementioned "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye", but their version only got to #57.
  • The Tokens, a famous vocal group from the 1960s, were very popular at their peak, but today are solely remembered for their lone #1 and top 10 hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
  • A Touch of Class' song "Around the World (La La La La La)" was ridiculously popular when it came out in 2000, was number one on the hit lists for longer than most other European pop songs and is still quite well-recognized. The band had two other songs who did well enough, but only for a short time (they are not generally recognized nowadays) and not at all good compared to Around the World - "My Heart Beats Like a Drum (Dam Dam Dam)" and "I'm in Heaven (When You Kiss Me)". Their other singles had very little popularity which was one of the reasons they split up after only four years.
  • British pop group T'Pau has had several hits back home, but stateside they never charted again after their 1987 #4 hit "Heart and Soul". Funny thing is, "Heart and Soul" isn't even their biggest hit back home, "China In Your Hand" is. That song made it all the way to #1 in the UK, but didn't chart at all in the US.
  • British comedian Tracey Ullman had a cross-Atlantic hit with a cover of Kirsty MacColl's "They Don't Know" in 1984 (MacColl provides backing vocals on the Ullman version and reprises her performance of the song's trademark high note). The song's success in the US was driven by its video, which featured Ullman's friend Paul McCartney in a cameo. Ullman is better known nowadays for her late '80s FOX television sketch comedy series, which itself is solely remembered for a series of animated shorts that aired as part of the program. That cartoon? The Simpsons.
  • The Veronicas are one of the most popular music acts in Australia, but "Untouched" was their only hit in America.
  • Voices in Public had a #1 Canadian hit with "Just My Luck" in 2001 before falling off the radar. Their post-single output was singing "O Canada" at baseball games and releasing a Christmas album in 2004.
  • The Wanted's "Glad You Came" became a massive American hit in 2012, hitting #3 on the charts and igniting the revival of boy bands. Unfortunately, their popularity was almost completely wiped out by the emergence of One Direction. 1D's meteoric rise to superstardom undermined the Wanted's growing career, and they were perceived as a "man band" far too past their prime to be marketable as a boy band, and that audiences would never buy into a male vocal group even if they were promoted as an adult act. For the next year-and-a-half, the Wanted's career would continue its rapid descent into obscurity.
  • Was (Not Was) are mostly known only for "Walk the Dinosaur". They had another top 20 hit afterwards but it's not well remembered today. However, Don Was is somewhat famous as a Record Producer.
  • Jim Weatherly had a #11 pop hit with "The Need to Be" in 1974. He then became a one-hit wonder again in the Country Music genre with its successor, "I'll Still Love You", which hit #9 on the country charts a year later. However, he wrote several hits for Gladys Knight & the Pips (most notably "Midnight Train to Georgia"), along with a few scattered country hits in the late 80s-early 90s.
  • Joan Weber exploded into the scene in late 1954 with the hit song "Let Me Go, Lover!" Unfortunately, her career was cut short by childbirth, and by the time she attempted a comeback, the public had moved on.
  • Westlife were huge in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s, but only had a single chart entry in the United States with their debut single "Swear It Again", a #20 hit in 2000. Backstreet Boys/NSYNC mania was still in full swing and Americans never connected to Westlife's more mature, adult contemporary-oriented take on the boy band sound; Even on the adult contemporary chart itself, "Swear It Again" was their only entry (and peaked lower than on the Hot 100, at #22). They remained huge in the UK right up until they broke up 2011, racking up 12 #1 singles there.
  • Bruce Willis is not a one-hit wonder as an actor, but his only hit single was a cover of the Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself", which was a #5 hit in 1987.
  • Years & Years had a few hits back in their native U.K., but "King" was their only song to make any impact elsewhere — except in the United States, where it was D.O.A.
  • John Paul Young is one of the biggest pop stars in his native Australia and had some minor success in South Africa, but "Love Is in the Air" is the only song of his to make an impact elsewhere.
  • Ann Wilson's other solo Hot 100 hit, "Surrender to Me", was another hit duet from a movie (Tequila Sunrise) featuring a famous rock band's lead singer, Robin Zander of Cheap Trick. Like with Reno, Zander never had another hit without his band.
  • Mans Zelmerlow is popular in his native Sweden, but his only hit in the rest of Europe is "Heroes", his Eurovision-winning song from 2015.

    Pop Rock 
  • The infamous "Who Let the Dogs Out?" by Baha Men. "You All Dat" and "Move It Like This" were moderate hits in some countries, but neither song ever reached the height of their first hit.
  • Actor Drake Bell never really had a successful music career, despite Nickelodeon's best efforts to make him into a star. As such, he's known solely for "Found a Way", due to it being the Theme Song of Drake & Josh, the show he starred in.
  • Swedish band Blue Swede only had one #1 hit: "Hooked on a Feeling", which was a cover of a B.J. Thomas song (and furthermore more closely modeled after a cover by Jonathan King). They only produced three more singles, only one of which even came close to #1, "Never My Love," clocking in at #7. Needless to say, "Hooked on a Feeling" is the only song most people can name by them if they can name any at all. It is, however, far and away the best-known version of the song, especially after its use in Ally McBeal, Reservoir Dogs and Guardians of the Galaxy; inversely, "Never My Love" is still best remembered as by The Association.
  • Stan Bush has had a long career as a musician and songwriter, having worked on several movies and TV series. However, he remains best known for "The Touch", which, while only ever released as a double A-side with "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Dare to Be Stupid", was famously used in The Transformers: The Movie.
  • The Calling had a massive pop-rock smash in 2001 called "Wherever You Will Go." While "Adrienne" and "Our Lives" were also able to chart, neither song lived up to the success of "Wherever." Frontman Alex Band became a one-hit wonder twice, as he appeared on the version of Santana's "Why Don't You And I" played by most radio stations.
  • The Corrs, while highly successful around the world, has only had one American top 40 hit to date with "Breathless".
  • The Doobie Brothers are not one-hit wonders by a far stretch, in which they had sixteen Top 40 hit songs as well as ten Top 20 hit songs during the 1970s and 1980s; however, singer and guitarist of the band Patrick Simmons released two albums in his solo career: "Arcade" in 1983 and "Take Me to the Highway" in 1996, but he only had one Top 40 hit song called "So Wrong" which peaked at #30 on the Billboard Charts in May of 1983, from his 1983 debut album "Arcade". Meanwhile Tom Johnston, another singer and guitarist, scored a turn-of-the-'80s hit with the #34 "Savannah Nights".
  • Echosmith, the Band of Relatives, had a crossover Sleeper Hit with "Cool Kids". Released in 2013, it reached a peak of #13 the next year. Their only other song to make the Top 40 is "Bright", which fizzled out at exactly #40.
  • Joe "Bean" Esposito is chiefly known for "You're The Best" from The Karate Kid. As a member of Brooklyn Dreams, he earlier backed Donna Summer on "Heaven Knows".
  • Siedah Garrett has been very successful as a backing vocalist and songwriter, having a long association with Quincy Jones and even winning a Grammy for writing "Love You I Do" from Dreamgirls. But as a lead artist, she only really made an impact from duetting with Michael Jackson on "I Just Can't Stop Lovin' You"; none of her solo efforts ever did much outside the dance charts.
  • "The One and Only" by Chesney Hawkes, although he's made several attempts at a comeback since. In the UK, he had another top 40 hit shortly after "The One and Only," entitled "I'm A Man, Not A Boy." It peaked at #27.
  • UK Synthpop duo Hurts have only one Top 40 hit in their native country; "Wonderful Life", which peaked at #21. They did score a No. 1 hit with Calvin Harris and Alesso with "Under Control", but it wasn't their hit and doesn't disqualify them as a one hit wonder.
  • Actor and Miami Vice star Don Johnson managed a #5 hit in 1986 out of his short-lived music career with "Heartbeat". His follow-up "Heartache Away" fizzled out at #56, and he never charted again. (He briefly returned with a duet with Barbra Streisand, but it isn't well-remembered today.) Nearly three decades later, just like with Billy Ray Cyrus (see the Country page), Johnson is best known to younger audiences as his daughter's father rather than as an actor or singer.
  • King Harvest reached #13 in 1973 with "Dancing in the Moonlight", but their album flopped hard and they disbanded three years later. In 2000, British rock band Toploader had a hit with a cover of the song. While they had a few more hits, which is far more than King Harvest can say, they too are remembered only for "Dancing".
  • The Jaggerz had a #2 hit in 1970 with "The Rapper". Although none of their other songs caught on, member Donnie Iris was able to use it as a launching pad to a solo career lasting through the '80s.
  • In 1966, the Spanish band Los Bravos hit #4 in Billboard with "Black Is Black". That's all America heard of them, although they had other hits elsewhere.
  • Martika had four Top 40 songs, but her sole #1 hit "Toy Soldiers" is the only song people remember her for.
  • The McCoys, like Blue Swede above, had two top 10 hits, the #1 remake of the Vibrations' "My Girl Sloopy," entitled "Hang On Sloopy", and a #7 cover of the 1950s classic "Fever". But only the former is remembered by anyone, thanks to its connections to Ohio State University, and by extension the entire state of Ohio itself, and also because the latter is remembered more for the versions by Little Willie John or Peggy Lee. They were the first group to record the song "Sorrow", but they decided to use it as a B-side and watched The Merseys and then David Bowie both have massive UK hits with it a few years later.
    • Rick Derringer, frontman for the McCoys, had only one top 40 hit: "Rock n' Roll, Hoochie Koo". However, he has a song just as famous, if not more so, than his hit: "Real American", best known as the longtime theme song of the legendary Hulk Hogan. Derringer was also "Weird Al" Yankovic's Record Producer from his 1983 debut through the UHF soundtrack.
  • Despite her success as an actress, Mandy Moore only had a single top 40 hit with "I Wanna Be With You". (Her first single "Candy" peaked at #41; ironically, it's probably more remembered than "I Wanna Be With You".)
  • When Michael Jackson died, the footage of his rehearsal for his farewell concert was turned into a documentary. That documentary featured a young Australian woman named Orianthi, who was to be his guitarist. The surge of popularity gave her a hit called "According to You", but her following singles failed because the novelty had worn off.
  • OMC had a major worldwide hit in 1997 with "How Bizarre". Aside from a handful of other top 40 hits in their native New Zealand, they never touched the charts again. They fell apart after an argument over royalties, and band leader Pauly Fuemana died of an autoimmune disease in 2010.
  • Paper Lace are known almost exclusively for their 1974 hit "The Night Chicago Died", which hit #1 in the US. They had two hits in their native UK and in Australia with that song and predecessor "Billy Don't Be a Hero", which was better known stateside through its cover version by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods.
  • The Rembrandts had two top 20 hits: the #14 "Just the Way It Is, Baby" and the #17 "I'll Be There For You". Today, the former is largely forgotten while the latter is still an anthem, partially because it was a #1 radio hit (a chart quirk prevented it from charting until long after it peaked in radio play), but mainly because of its status as one of the most recognizable TV themes of all time.
  • Runner Runner scraped the bottom of Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart in 2010 with “So Obvious” before fading into complete obscurity.
  • Ashlee Simpson, the younger sister of Jessica Simpson, had four top 40 hits on the Hot 100, but she is today remembered almost exclusively for her debut single and sole top-10 hit "Pieces of Me". Other than that, she is best known for her disastrous Saturday Night Live lip-sync and hoe-down gaffe and being married to Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz.
  • Norman "Hurricane" Smith had a #3 US hit with "Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?" in 1972 and never made the Top 40 again. In his native UK, he's a Two-Hit Wonder, as that song's #4 peak was preceded by the #2 hit "Don't Let It Die" in 1971. Smith is better known his work behind the scenes than as a pop star: He engineered all of The Beatles' albums up through Rubber Soul and produced Pink Floyd's debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
  • Van Stephenson had a hit in 1984 with "Modern Day Delilah" (not to be confused with Kiss's 2009 song) but no other solo entries of note. He spent most of the late 1980s and early 1990s as a Country Music songwriter, and had several more country music hits as one-third of the band Blackhawk between 1993 and his 2001 death.
  • Sugarloaf had two top 10 hits, "Green-Eyed Lady" and "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You," but only the former is really remembered today.
  • t.A.T.u. are not one-hit wonders in Europe, but "All the Things She Said" was their only hit in America (in the Hot 100, that is; "Not Gonna Get Us" topped the Club charts - where "All the Things She Said" was only #5 - and "All About Us" was #13 there). Lena Katina, one half of Tatu, after their 2011 break-up released a single titled "Never Forget" that went #1 on MTV Russia, in Greece, and whose remixed vesion by Marc Audé topped Billboard's US Hot Dance Club Songs. After that, however, she only had a #31 hit and then nothing.
  • Dutch group Ten Sharp had a big European hit in 1992 with "You." Unfortunately, the group never took off and further success was limited to the Netherlands.
  • Vertical Horizon may have had a sizable hit with "You're a God", but today, they're remembered almost solely for the chart-topping hit "Everything You Want". One of their other singles, "Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)", was Covered Up by Gary Allan.
  • Season 5 American Idol third-placer Elliott Yamin managed a #13 hit in 2007 with "Wait for You". It's also his only song to appear on the Hot 100.
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    Pop Singer-Songwriters 
  • Jann Arden had her only US chart entry in 1994 with "Insensitive". She has been far more successful in her native Canada, where she has multiple Top 10 hits.
  • Lily Allen is (or at least, was) absolutely massive back home in the UK, but her only Top 40 entry in the U.S. is as a feature in T-Pain's "5 O'Clock", where she sings the hook. Although some songs of her own, namely "Smile", "The Fear", and "Fuck You" did chart on the Hot 100, none of them reached the Top 40 (the former only barely missed it at #49). Her debut album even went Gold despite producing no hits.
  • James Arthur, who won The X Factor in 2012, had only one hit of note in the United States with "Say You Won't Let Go". This was actually a comeback single for him back home in Britain, as his personal demons got the best of him about a year after his victory. His follow-up "Naked" did okay in the UK but made no impact across the Atlantic.
  • Merril Bainbridge scored a #4 hit on the Hot 100 with her quirky pop tune "Mouth" in 1995. The song was also a #1 hit in Canada and Bainbridge's native Australia. Follow-up "Under the Water" only reached #91 in the US, and that was her last major chart entry outside of Australia, where she notched a few more chart entries before winding down her music career after her second album.
  • Vanessa Carlton is known for "A Thousand Miles" and nothing else. It had become one of the best known examples of a Guilty Pleasure and Ear Worm, sort of like the early-2000s version of "Call Me Maybe" (and coincidentally, both songs echo a one-hit wonder of the past: "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" and "867-5309/Jenny", respectively). She did manage to scrape a #30 song with "Ordinary Day", but it was quickly forgotten.
  • Charli XCX is a weird variation. She's had four Top 10 hits in the United States, but only one of those hits was as the lead. She had a hit as a feature on Icona Pop's #7 "I Love It" (which she wrote), Iggy Azalea's infamous #1 "Fancy", and (albeit uncredited) vocals on Selena Gomez' "Same Old Love" (which she also wrote). However, her only solo entry in the US was "Boom Clap", off The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack, which was actually the lowest charting of the four only peaking at #8. Her follow-up "Break the Rules" only barely charted at #91, two more follow-ups also went nowhere and her album Sucker bombed. It's agreed that the song's success was only because of the movie it was featured in, and it was noticeably poppier than her normal material, so it's unlikely she'll ever have another hit as the lead again. Her 2017 single "Boys" was critically acclaimed as one of the best songs of that year, but it did not chart on the Hot 100.
  • Eagle-Eye Cherry had a global Top 10 hit in 1998 with "Save Tonight", including a #5 peak in the US. It was his only American chart entry, but follow-up "Falling in Love Again" made the Top 10 in the UK and 2000's "Are You Still Having Fun?" made the top 40 in a couple countries in Europe. After that, he faded into obscurity and even in the countries where he had other others, he's remembered for "Save Tonight" and nothing else.
    • Eagle Eye's half-sister Neneh Cherry had two top 10 hits, "Buffalo Stance" and "Kisses in the Wind", but only the former is well remembered today. She had better luck in Europe, most notably for "7 Seconds", her collaboration with Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, which was a top 5 hit in pretty much every country around the world but America.
  • Singer-songwriter Teddy Geiger had a modest hit with 2006's "For You I Will (Confidence)" before fading into obscurity. She later wrote four top 20 hits for Shawn Mendes, including the #4 "Stitches" and #6 "Treat You Better" and "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back".
  • Imogen Heap has a respectable cult fanbase, but mainstream audiences will have a hard time naming any song by her other than "Hide and Seek", which was famously used in an SNL short and was sampled into Jason Derulo's breakout hit "Whatcha Say".
  • Gary Jules suddenly struck it big in 2003 with his cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World", which had been recorded in 2001 for the Donnie Darko soundtrack. It topped the charts in the UK and Canada and has been used in many other films and TV shows, but he remains almost unknown otherwise. This also applies to his collaborator Michael Andrews. While Andrews found success as a movie composer, most famous for his work with Paul Feig and Judd Apatow, "Mad World" remains his only visit to the pop charts.
  • Donna Lewis scored a huge international hit in 1996 with "I Love You Always Forever", which reached the top 10 in 15 countries, including a #2 peak in the US and a #5 peak in her native UK. The song was an even bigger radio hit, staying at #1 for 13 consecutive weeks on Billboard's pop airplay monitor chart. Her follow-up "Without Love" was a much smaller success, and only made it to #41 in the US and #39 in the UK. After that, her last significant chart entry was the Richard Marx duet "At the Beginning" from the film Anastasia, which only made it to #45 in the US and did not chart in the UK. Although Lewis still records, she's never had a major hit again.
  • Julia Michaels had already written some of the biggest pop hits of The New '10s when she released her own song “Issues” in 2017. It was a massive hit on pop, adult contemporary and even rhythmic radio, reaching #11 on the Hot 100 and being certified triple-platinum. However, her followups “Uh Huh” and “Worst in Me” and EP Nervous System were massive flops. She is also a one-hit wonder on the Country Music format, as Keith Urban tapped her for duet vocals on "Coming Home", which got to #3 on Country Airplay and #50 on the Hot 100 in summer 2018.
  • Shawn Mullins had a big hit in 1999 with "Lullaby", which peaked at #7 on the Hot 100. His follow-up singles and albums failed to chart anywhere.
  • The only pop hit for R&B/hip-hop singer and bass guitarist Meshell Ndegeocello was as a duet partner on John Mellencamp's 1994 cover of Van Morrison's "Wild Night", which went to #3 on the Hot 100 and topped the AC charts. Meshell's only other Hot 100 entry, "If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)", only got to #73. She was also a one-hit wonder on the dance charts in 1996 with a cover of Bill Withers' "Who Is He and What Is He to You". She also has several credits as a guest rapper and bassist, and has contributed to several soundtracks.
  • Joan Osborne's "One of Us" (not "What If God Was One Of Us") was a massive hit in 1996, but follow up "St. Teresa" went nowhere, despite cracking the New Zealand and UK top 40.
  • Jennifer Paige, who had a hit song with "Crush". By 2015, she had to use Kickstarter to fund a new album.
  • Rachel Platten had been in the music industry for over a decade when she released "Fight Song", an empowerment song about not giving up. Thanks to Taylor Swift's promotion of the song and her story going viral, it became a massive crossover hit in the summer of 2015, hitting #6 on the Hot 100. and an anthem for women across the nation, being associated with, for example, fighting against cancer or recovering from sexual assault. Unfortunately, the song got a tepid response outside that demographic due to its status as a generic Cliché Storm (with Todd in the Shadows naming it the second worst song of the year for that very reason, as well as naming Platten herself his worst artist of the year), and between that, the industry and consumers' reluctance to back someone who's already 34, and abominable sales of the Fight Song EP, she looked to fade out of public consciousness as fast as she rose. Nevertheless, her follow-up "Stand By You" also made the top 40 and was more warmly received by many people who disliked "Fight Song", but it unfortunately stalled out at #37, and her Wildfire album, while debuting at #5, fell down the charts in a flash. Not helping matters was "Fight Song"'s use as Hillary Clinton's campaign theme song in 2016, which needless to say annoyed many listeners who tuned into the Democratic National Convention coverage. While Platten may continue to remain relevant on Hot AC radio, where "Stand By You" followed its predecessor to the top of the charts, mainstream audiences will likely only remember her for "Fight Song". This is perfectly played straight in the UK, however; as even though "Fight Song" actually hit #1 there, "Stand By You" and all of her other songs completely failed to chart.
  • Lisa Marie Presley had a lot to live up to when she started her solo musical career, seeing as she was the only child of one of the most famous entertainers of the 20th century. To her credit, she had a very good start, with her debut single "Lights Out" reaching the Top 40 in the UK and Australia, as well as placements on a few Billboard radio charts in her native US. Her debut album To Whom It May Concern was also certified Gold by the RIAA. However, that's where her success stopped. The singles off her next two albums went nowhere, and she has since largely abandoned music for other pursuits.
  • Black Canadian singer Ruth B was one-and-done in 2016 with her Peter Pan-themed "Lost Boy".
  • Singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik is best known for his massive 1997 hit "Barely Breathing". The single made it to #16 on the Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for over a year. While he never had another big hit, he had two remixes, namely "Reasons for Living" (Johnny Vicious Mix) and "On a High" (Gabriel & Dresden Mix), become dance floor hits, and has become a prolific Broadway songwriter, winning several Tonys for his work on the musical version of Spring Awakening in 2007.
  • Fred Stobaugh, a retired truck driver from Peoria, IL, nearly missed the Top 40 in 2013 with the #42 hit "Oh Sweet Lorraine", a self-released elegy to his late wife which became a viral video. The song made the then-95-year-old Stobaugh the oldest artist ever to enter the Hot 100, but he wasn't particularly interested in following it up; He released just one more song before his death in 2016. The label behind the song, Green Shoe Studio, also credited on the song, faded into obscurity as well.
  • Rock legend Brian Wilson had just one solo hit single outside of The Beach Boys... well, technically, anyway. When it was released as a single in March 1966, "Caroline, No" was credited only to Brian Wilson (he's the only vocalist on the track) and it reached #32 on the Hot 100 (it competed against the group's "Sloop John B", which was issued as a single two weeks later, which hurt its chances). Of course, the song is much better known as the closing track of The Beach Boys' masterpiece Pet Sounds, which was released later that year. The recording on Pet Sounds is the same one that was released as a Brian Wilson solo single (except for the train sounds and barking at the end), but it was credited as a Beach Boys song all the same. Wilson didn't release any further solo material until 1987, and never made a Hot 100 again as a solo act.

    Soft Rock/Adult Contemporary 
  • The British band Ace had a #3 US hit and a #20 UK hit with "How Long" in 1975. Although it was their only hit, it was just the start of a very successful career for their frontman Paul Carrack, who scored hits as a solo artist, as the keyboardist for Squeeze and as lead singer for Mike + The Mechanics.
  • If you know a song by the Amazing Rhythm Aces, there's a very good chance that you know their 1975 debut "Third Rate Romance" and no others. It went to #11 country, #14 pop, and topped both the country and pop charts in Canada; while "Amazing Grace Used to Be Her Favorite Song" fared better at country, it's been forgotten today. Sammy Kershaw, who is not a one-hit wonder, covered "Third Rate Romance" in 1994, but the song seems to be associated just as much with him as it is with the Aces. Lead singer Russell Smith had a few solo releases that went nowhere, but had several country hits as a songwriter in The '80s and The '90s; he also sang backing vocals on Kershaw's cover of the song.
  • Billy Vera and the Beaters had a #1 hit in 1987 with "At This Moment". The song was originally released in 1981 and stalled out at #79, but its repeated use on Family Ties revived interest in the single, causing it to get rereleased. Vera had two other hits, "I Can Take Care of Myself", which hit #39 shortly before "At This Moment"'s first run, and "Country Girl - City Man" a duet with Judy Clay (also a one-hit wonder), but they have since been forgotten. Vera later sang the theme songs to Empty Nest and The King of Queens.
  • Karla Bonoff's only hit was "Personally", which went to #19 in 1982. She later wrote "All My Life" for Linda Ronstadt and "Tell Me Why" for Wynonna Judd.
  • Desmond Child has composed over eighty Top 40 hits in his career, but his only top-40 hit as a lead artist was "Love on a Rooftop", which peaked exactly at #40.
  • Marc Cohn is known for his 1991 #13 hit "Walking in Memphis" and pretty much nothing else.
  • Cymarron hit #17 in 1971 with "Rings". Two members of the group later had one-hit wonder success in 1991-92 in the Country Music group The Remingtons (see the Country subpage).
  • Charlie Dore (who is a she, by the way) is best known for her 1980 #14 "Pilot of the Airwaves". On her resume as a songwriter is a top 10 hit for Sheena Easton, a top 10 hit for Melissa Manchester, and a #1 UK hit for Jimmy Nail.
  • Nina Gordon, the guitarist for alt-rockers Veruca Salt, pulled a Genre Shift to adult contemporary after she left the band for a solo career in 1998. Two years later, her song "Tonight and the Rest of My Life" reached #7 on the Adult Top 40 chart. After that, Gordon never had another solo hit, and she eventually returned to Veruca Salt in 2013.
  • Andy Grammer had a minor pop hit (but a massive adult contemporary hit) in 2011 with "Keep Your Head Up", but never truly broke out until "Honey, I'm Good" made it to #9 four years later and became his only Top 40 hit. Unfortunately, the success of the song did not translate to sales for the parent album Magazines or Novels. While Grammer will likely remain a mainstay of Adult Pop radio, he wasn't so lucky on the mainstream charts where his follow up "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)" fizzled almost immediately upon release. It doesn't look like he'll get another mainstream hit anytime soon and will be remembered almost exclusively for "Honey, I'm Good". "Fresh Eyes" peaked at #59 on the US Hot 100, but it's his only hit in New Zealand, reaching #8. It also hit #5 in Australia, but he doesn't count as a one-hit wonder there, since "Back Home" reached #27 back in 2014.
  • Dobie Gray is known almost exclusively for his 1973 classic "Drift Away". Gray had another hit exactly 30 years later, but in a strange Double Subversion, it was a featured credit on Uncle Kracker's cover of the same song.
  • Greg Guidry hit #17 in 1982 with "Goin' Down" but was never heard from again, outside a few songwriting credits. It probably didn't help that his followup was a romantic love duet... with his sister. Guidry had somewhat more success as a songwriter.
  • Albert Hammond has the odd distinction of being a One-Hit Wonder in the US and the UK, but with different songs in each country. In America he's known almost entirely for "It Never Rains in Southern California" from 1972. "I'm a Train" also hit Top 40 in 1974, and "99 Miles from LA" was a #1 hit on the AC charts the same year, but they're both obscure today. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ocean his only chart appearance was 1973's "The Free Electric Band", which hit #19. He was also a prolific songwriter, with many hits to his credit in The '70s and The '80s. His son, Albert Jr., later became known as the guitarist for The Strokes.
  • Jimmy Harnen released "Where Are You Now", under the band name Synch, in 1986. The song only got to #77, but a Buffalo DJ started playing the song again in 1989, which ignited interest and cause it to get rereleased, leading to a new peak of #10. Harnen never hit the charts again, and later went on to be president of Republic Records' Nashville branch.
  • Bertie Higgins is known almost exclusively for his 1981 debut "Key Largo". Higgins later became a film producer.
  • Sammy Johns had only one hit with "Chevy Van" in 1974. As with many other soft-rockers, he had more success as a country songwriter, including "Desperado Love" by Conway Twitty, "America" by Waylon Jennings, and "Common Man" by John Conlee.
  • David Lasley was primarily known as a songwriter, most famously penning Maxine Nightingale's #5 hit "Lead Me On", but his only success as a singer was with "If I Had My Wish Tonight", a take on the famous "Starlight, Star Bright" poem.
  • Dave Loggins, a second cousin of Kenny Loggins, had a big soft-rock hit in 1974 with "Please Come to Boston". He then became a one-hit wonder a second time on the country charts, when he and Anne Murray went to #1 in late 1984 with "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do". While Dave had no other country chart entries as a singer, he had many more throughout The '80s and The '90s as a songwriter, including #1 hits for Reba McEntire, Alabama, Kenny Rogers, Lee Greenwood, Gary Morris, Restless Heart, and Wynonna Judd.
  • Mary MacGregor is known almost entirely for her 1977 hit "Torn Between Two Lovers", a soft rock/country song written by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary. The song was a #1 hit on the AC and Pop charts, a #3 hit on the country charts, a #1 hit in Canada, and #4 in the UK. Although she recorded two more albums afterward, none produced anything of note.
  • Phil Collins is obviously not a one-hit wonder, but Marilyn Martin, his duet partner on the 1985 chart-topper "Separate Lives", qualifies. While she later had a #28 with "Night Moves" (not to be confused with the Bob Seger song), it was quickly forgotten. Martin is married to Record Producer and sound engineer Greg Droman.
  • Peter McCann charted "Do You Wanna Make Love" in 1977 but was never heard from again. However, like many soft rockers in the 70s, he had a somewhat fruitful songwriting career in Country Music in The '80s, penning hits for Earl Thomas Conley and Janie Fricke. He also gave Jennifer Warnes a top 10 pop hit with "Right Time of the Night" around the same time.
  • British singer Dave Mason had a few hits in the UK with the band Traffic (as did Jim Capaldi, in the "Pop" folder), and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of that band, but he had only one big solo hit with "We Just Disagree" in 1977, which went to #12. The song was later Covered Up for the Country Music format by Billy Dean, who is not a one-hit wonder.
  • Edwin McCain is remembered for his 1998 smash hit "I'll Be" and nothing else. His follow-up "I Could Not Ask For More" was Covered Up by Sara Evans and is almost exclusively associated with her.
  • Alan O'Day was best known for his #1 hit "Undercover Angel". He never returned to the top 40 as a singer, but he penned hits for Helen Reddy ("Angie Baby"), Cher ("Train of Thought"), and the Righteous Brothers ("Rock and Roll Heaven").
  • Martin Page scored his only hit single with 1994's "In the House of Stone and Light", which topped the adult contemporary chart and reached #14 on the Hot 100. Followup "Keeper of the Flame" reached #19 and #83 on those two charts, respectively and then he never charted again on either. However, Page had been much more successful as a songwriter before launching his singing career, and co-wrote hits such as Heart's "These Dreams", Starship's "We Built This City" and Go West's "King of Wishful Thinking".
  • Player is known almost exclusively for their 1977 chart-topping debut "Baby Come Back"; though other songs hit the Top 40 (and another top 10 with "This Time I'm In It For Love"), they're all forgotten. Keyboardist J.C. Crowley later became a one-hit wonder in country music with "Paint the Town and Hang the Moon Tonight" in 1988.
  • Jennifer Rush has had a few hits in Europe, but her only Top 40 hit in her native USA was "Flames of Paradise", a duet with Elton John. Her best known song ("The Power of Love") is probably better known in America for the cover versions by Laura Branigan and Céline Dion.
  • Joey Scarbury had a #2 hit in 1981 with "Believe it Or Not", the theme song to The Greatest American Hero. That was the last anyone ever heard of him.
  • Timothy B. Schmit is well-known as having played bass for both Poco and the Eagles, but as a solo artist, he was one and done with 1987's "Boys Night Out".
  • Rex Smith, although largely forgotten today, was a popular teen idol of the late '70s. He had a brief shining moment when "You Take My Breath Away", the theme song to his 1979 made-for-TV movie Sooner or Later, hit #10 on the Billboard charts. His popularity didn't last long, with his only other top 40 hit being a duet cover of "Everlasting Love" with fellow one-hit wonder Rachel Sweet. Sweet later became an actress and television producer, and sang the theme song to Clarissa Explains It All. Although she was more famous in the UK, she didn't have that much pop success there either, but her signing to new wave label Stiff Records earned her street cred that typically wasn't afforded to teenage pop singers in the late 1970s. As a result, she's much better remembered there than in her native US.
  • Starland Vocal Band had a smash #1 in 1976 with "Afternoon Delight", which earned them their sole top 40 hit and the Grammy for Best New Artist.
  • Patrick Swayze and Wendy Fraser had a #3 hit in 1988 with "She's Like the Wind", from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack (which starred Swayze). While Fraser faded into complete obscurity afterwards, Swayze remained a successful actor into the 1990s.
  • Randy VanWarmer was another fleeting soft-rock star who turned to country music songwriting after his time in the spotlight ended. His sole song of note was "Just When I Needed You Most", which hit #4 in 1979.

    Charity Singles 
  • Artists United Against Apartheid was a supergroup organized by Bruce Springsteen sidekick Steven Van Zandt to protest the racist Apartheid regime of South Africa. The group's only single, 1985's "Sun City", featured the performers declaring that they would not perform at Sun City, a segregated resort in Bophuthatswana (reintegrated into South Africa after the end of apartheid) that often featured concerts by top artists. The song was not much of a pop hit, reaching just #38 on the Hot 100, but was a huge critical success, topping that year's Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll. The song was also the only American top 40 entry for several participating artists, even though many were legends:
    • Jazz legend Miles Davis, one of the most iconic musicians of the 20th century, had never previously appeared on a Top 40 pop hit before "Sun City" and would not again afterwards.
    • Joey Ramone, whose band The Ramones were very well known and highly iconic, but were also No Hit Wonders; the highest they got on the Hot 100 was when "Rockaway Beach" made #66 in 1977. Ramone's line in the song, which criticized Ronald Reagan's lack of a proper response against South Africa, was often censored when the song was played on American pop radio.
    • DJ Kool Herc, who invented hip-hop in 1973 and whose impact on popular music arguably rivals both Davis and Ramone, also made his only appearance on the Top 40 with his cameo on "Sun City". The same goes for another early rap pioneer, beat poet and spoken-word artist Gil Scott-Heron. The next time Scott-Heron's voice would appear on a pop hit, it would be after his death, as a sample on Drake's smash "Take Care" in 2012. Two more rap legends, Kurtis Blow and Afrika Bambaataa, also make their one and only pop appearance to date here.
    • Stiv Bators, the frontman for goth-rockers Lords of the New Church and punk band The Dead Boys, is another influential artist who makes his only pop appearance here.
  • USA for Africa, a charity supergroup consisting of dozens of huge stars, scored one of the biggest hit singles in world history with "We Are the World" in 1985. It was the only recording released under that name. Among the artists who never had a big hit otherwise:
    • Dan Aykroyd is of course famous for his acting, and had multiple chart hits as one-half of The Blues Brothers, but never charted independently outside this song.
    • La Toya Jackson - sister of Michael, Janet and so on - tried to launch her own music career several times over the years, but never took off. Her only other Hot 100 appearance aside from "We Are the World" was 1984's "Hearts Don't Lie", a #56 entry.
    • Bob Geldof, the leader of new wave group the Boomtown Rats and creator of Band Aid and Live Aid, was the only European musician invited to sing on "We Are the World". Apart from Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?", his only other Hot 100 appearance was in 1987, with his solo #82 entry "The Whole World Is Calling" (also his only entry on the mainstream rock chart, at #30).
  • Voices That Care was a 1991 Charity Motivation Song intended to boost the morale of soldiers fighting in Operation Desert Storm. However, the song wound up not being released until a month after the First Gulf War ended. While most of the lead vocalists had a few other Top 40 hits in their own right, it was not the case with a few others:
    • Jani Lane had several hits as a member of the glam metal band Warrant, but did not release any more solo material until 2002.
    • Kathy Mattea had several hits on the Hot Country Songs charts, including four #1 hits, but "Voices That Care" was the only time that she ever saw the Hot 100.
    • Warren Wiebe, a friend of the track's producer David Foster and the singer of the demo, had no other hits whatsoever.
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