15 Best One-Hit Wonders From Yesteryear

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There are countless singers out there vying for successful careers in the ever-competitive music industry. But not all are fortunate enough to last long in their music careers. Then, there were singers who scored only one hit single in the Top 40 music chart. They are, of course, commonly known as “one-hit wonders”. Here are the 15 best one-hit wonders from yesteryear in alphabetical order.

1) Are You Jimmy Ray? – Jimmy Ray (1998)

British pop singer Jimmy Ray hits an immediate breakthrough when he released his self-titled album in 1998. The album boasts a hit single titled “Are You Jimmy Ray?”, a guitar-laden pop song that features a repetitive but catchy lyrics:

Are you Johnny Ray?
Are you Slim Ray?
Are you Paid Ray?
Who wants to know? Who wants to know?

2) Barely Breathing – Duncan Sheik (1996)

Although Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing” earned a BMI Award For Most Played Song of the Year and a Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, his breakout hit remains his only well-known single throughout his music career. And just so you know, “Barely Breathing” was enormously popular back then that it stayed on the U.S. Billboard charts for an astonishing 55 weeks!

3) Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out) – Citizen King (1999)

If you are a fan of 90s alternative rock, it’s hard not to fall in love with Citizen King’s infectiously sunny single, “Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out)”.

4) Bitch – Meredith Brooks (1997)

Never mind the fact that the word “Bitch” got censored in our local airplay, but Meredith Brooks’ alternative rock single from her debut album Blurring the Edges is sure catchy as hell back then. The song even earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

5) Cantalop (Flip Fantasia) – Us3 (1993)

A cool mix of jazz, rap and hip-hop, “Cantalop (Flip Fantasia)” is Us3’s one and only hit single.

6) Counting Blue Cars – Dishwalla (1996)

The radio-friendly alternative rock single, “Counting Blue Cars” by Dishwalla was a hit that lasts 48 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.

7) Crush – Jennifer Paige (1998)

Jennifer Paige’s sweet vocal certainly hits the spot in her only hit single, “Crush”. Blessed with a catchy hook and memorable lyrics such as “See you blowin’ me a kiss/ It doesn’t take a scientist/ To understand what’s goin’ on baby”, “Crush” is nevertheless an unforgettable pop song of the summer in 1998.

8) Flood – Jars Of Clay (1995)

Who could have thought a religious-based rock song of “Flood” by Christian rock band Jars of Clay, ended up becoming such a popular hit single?

9) How Bizarre – OMC (1996)

Released in September 1996, the smooth-as-butter, string-laden pop single “How Bizarre” by OMC sure sounds like it was made for a summer song.

10) Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice (1989)

Long before Eminem stamped his mark as a prominent white rapper in the US, there was Vanilla Ice. His hit single, “Ice Ice Baby” was a popular rap song that cleverly sampled from Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure”.

11) Lovefool – The Cardigans (1997)

Nina Persson’s dreamy vocal in “Lovefool” is one of the reasons the song made it big that year. It was also famously featured in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet a year later.

12) Macarena – Los Del Rio (1996)

Like it or not, Los del Rio’s “Macarena” was a huge hit in the late 1990s. Thanks to the remixed version by Bayside Boys, it even launched a dance craze that lasted till 1997.


13) One Headlight – The Wallflowers (1996)

Led by Bob Dylan’s son, Jakob Dylan, “One Headlight” is the only rock song that The Wallflowers famous for. It even won two Grammy Awards including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.

14) Save Tonight – Eagle-Eye Cherry (1997)

It’s a shame that “Save Tonight” remains the only recognizable single in his career. Frankly, he got a silky voice to make it bigger than this.

15) Torn – Natalie Imbruglia (1997)

Former Neighbours star Natalie Imbruglia made a successful transition from a soap opera actress to a popular singer, thanks to her 1997 debut album in Left of the Middle. Her single, “Torn”, was a big hit that originally sang by Ednaswap.


Which one-hit wonder was your favourite? Share with us in the below comment box!


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Casey Chong
Casey is a freelance writer and a movie enthusiast, where some of his close friends dubbed him as "walking encyclopedia of movies". He also frequently blog movie reviews under "Casey's Movie Mania" (www.caseymoviemania.com)