The worst-selling singles of 14 iconic musicians

APCher.
  • All 14 of these musicians are prolific in their own genres – they have broken records, won awards, and even made it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • However, every song in their discography can’t be a hit.
  • Beyoncé recorded “Spirit” for “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack album but it peaked at No. 98 on the Billboard Hot 100, while Madonna’s 2014 single, “Living for Love” peaked at 108.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Not every song can be a No. 1 hit – it’s impossible. That’s why these 14 musicians, who are each legendary in their own right, have made this list. They have all released what Gen Z would call “flops.”

Insider isn’t making a quality judgment on these songs: For whatever reason, they just didn’t climb the charts the way their other hits did. To create this list, we chose some qualifications: The musician in question has to be the lead artist, promotional singles do not qualify, and these are based solely on the Billboard Hot 100 and Bubbling Under chart.

Keep scrolling to see which singles from these 14 musicians didn’t climb the charts.


Bruce Springsteen’s song “The Wrestler” peaked at No. 120 in 2008.

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Bruce Springsteen.

The rock star, who has surprisingly never had a No. 1 hit, wrote the song for the 2008 movie of the same name, and then included it on his 2009 album, “Working On a Dream,” as a bonus track. It peaked at 20 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, giving it its peak of 120 overall.

Listen to “The Wrestler” here.


Taylor Swift’s holiday single “Christmas Tree Farm” is her lowest-charting single, peaking at No. 59 in late 2019.

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Taylor Swift.

The “Lover” singer has five No. 1 songs under her belt, but they can’t all be winners. Christmas songs rarely do well on the Hot 100, and “Christmas Tree Farm” was no different.

Listen to “Christmas Tree Farm” here.


Kanye West’s “New God Flow” off the 2012 collaborative album “Cruel Summer,” peaked at No. 89.

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Kanye West.

The song, which features Pusha T, is on GOOD Music’s album “Cruel Summer” and was the third single. It came after smash hit “Mercy” and was immediately followed by hit “Clique.”

Listen to “New God Flow” here.


Nirvana’s lowest-charting single is one of their most famous: “Lithium” from their album “Nevermind.” It peaked at No. 64.

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Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.

In the band’s short career, they only charted four songs on the Hot 100 – which, when you think about the cultural impact Nirvana and Kurt Cobain have had, is remarkable. Lithium peaked at No. 64 on the Hot 100, though it fared better on the US Alternative chart.

Listen to “Lithium” here.


Beyoncé recorded “Spirit” for “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack album. The song peaked at No. 98 in 2019.

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Beyoncé.

To be fair, she was busy curating the entire album, voicing Nala, raising three kids, sending out Ivy Park boxes, and generally running the world at the same time. Even though it didn’t light up the charts, it did earn Grammy and Golden Globe nominations – no small feat.

Listen to “Spirit” here.


“Thinking of You (I Drive Myself Crazy)” off *NSYNC’s self-titled album peaked at No. 67 in 1999.

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*NSYNC.

Though *NSYNC’s career was relatively short, it was prolific, with two No. 1 albums (and one No. 2 album). Their lowest-charting single is a perfectly respectable 67, which hit its peak two years after the album was released.

Listen to “Thinking of You (I Drive Myself Crazy)” here.


Drake’s single “Worst Behaviour” from “Nothing Was the Same” peaked at No. 89 in 2013.

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Drake.

The rapper recently notched his seventh No. 1 song with “Toosie Slide,” but six and a half years ago his single “Worst Behaviour” almost failed to make it into the Hot 100.

Listen to “Worst Behaviour” here.


Madonna’s lowest-charting single is “Living for Love” from her 2015 album, “Rebel Heart.” It peaked at No. 108.

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Madonna.

“Living for Love” peaked at No. 8 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, giving it its placement at 108. It was the debut single off her 13th album, “Rebel Heart.” Over her decades-long career, Madonna’s earned 12 Hot 100 No. 1 hits.

Listen to “Living for Love” here.


Pink’s latest single, “Love Me Anyway,” featuring Chris Stapleton peaked at No. 96 in 2019.

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Pink.

“Love Me Anyway,” off Pink’s eighth album “Hurts 2B Human,” is a rare foray into country music for Pink, and she picked a successful musician to collaborate with. “Love Me Anyway” did well on the Adult Contemporary chart, but failed to make much of an impact on the Hot 100.

Listen to “Love Me Anyway” here.


Mariah Carey has a tie: Both “Up Out My Face” and “Oh Santa!” peaked at No. 100 in 2010.

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Mariah Carey.

Mariah Carey is one of the most iconic musicians of all time – just last year, she became the first musician to earn No. 1 songs in four different decades. But they can’t all be chart-toppers. Her collaboration with Nicki Minaj, “Up Out My Face,” and a single from her second Christmas album, “Oh Santa!” both peaked at 100.

Listen to “Up Out My Face” here and “Oh Santa!” here.


“Give Me Love” was the final single from Ed Sheeran’s debut album “+.” It was also the lowest-charting, peaking at No. 117.

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Ed Sheeran.

Ed Sheeran’s debut album was a monster hit – remember “The A-Team” and “Lego House?” – but this deeper cut was the final single off his first album, and it’s a long one. “Give Me Love” (the album version) comes in at almost 9 minutes long. It peaked at No. 17 on the Bubbling Under chart.

Listen to “Give Me Love” here.


Nicki Minaj’s debut single, “Massive Attack,” peaked at No. 122 in 2010.

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Nicki Minaj.

The rapper’s first single, featuring Sean Garrett, peaked at No. 22 on the Bubbling Under chart. It was an underwhelming debut from Minaj, who had generated hype from verses on songs like “Roger That” and “BedRock.”

Listen to “Massive Attack” here.


Ariana Grande’s cover of “Last Christmas” from her holiday album “Christmas Kisses” peaked at No. 96 in 2013.

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Ariana Grande.

Originally a WHAM! song, “Last Christmas” just made it into the Hot 100 when it was released seven years ago – though Grande shows great affection for the Christmas songs in her canon, and added them to the set list of her tour last year.

Listen to “Last Christmas” here.


“Behind The Door” from Cher’s 1967 album, “With Love, Chér,” peaked at No. 97.

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Cher.

This song, off her fourth album, barely squeaked into the Hot 100. Overall, Cher’s had four No. 1 hits, giving her the largest gap between No. 1 songs.

Listen to “Behind The Door” here.

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