Last week, we visited the RIAA’s searchable database of music sales certifications to pull the most embarrassing best-selling albums of all time.
Today, we revisit the database to pull the most embarrassing best-selling standalone singles of all time.
Two quick notes:
You’ll notice the list is front-loaded with one-hit wonder rap songs from the early ’90s.
We have nothing against the genre per se.
It just so happened these particular songs sold incredibly well, and we think you’ll agree you will ask what business they had doing thus.
Secondly, the top-three all earned their spots through digital sales. We’re convinced that if they’d come out pre-Internet they would not have sold nearly as well.
And now, prepare to be ashamed.
11) “Baby Got Back” by Sir-Mix-A-Lot
2x platinum. Oh. My God. Becky. This is definitely embarrassing, but it will also crack you up no matter how many times you listen to it.
10) “I Wanna Sex You Up” by colour Me Badd
2x platinum. Oh it’s badd alright.
9) “Wild Thing” by Tone Loc (1988)
2x platinum. A patently awful song lacking a single original bone in its body. Can anyone who was sentient in 1988 explain why this was so popular?
8) “Rump Shaker” by Wreckx N Effect (1992)
2x platinum. No way!? YES WAY.
7) “O.P.P.” by Naughty By Nature (1991)
2x platinum. A legitimately great hook wasted by some of the dumbest lyrics ever put in a rap song.
6) “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)” by Bryan Adams (1991)
3x platinum. One hopes the border agents who first ever let Bryan Adams in from Canada were eventually fired.
5) “Whoomp! (There It Is)” by Tag Team (1993)
4x platinum. 4x platinum?!?! YGTBKM. But for real the video is also completely insane.
4) “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” by Los Del Rio (1995)
4x platinum. We’ve previously described this song as the most embarrassing photo on America’s Facebook page. You might also call it the “Gangnam Style” of its day: an admittedly catchy hook with a ridiculous dance.
And now we enter the digital phase of the proceedings…
3) “Hey Soul Sister” by Train (2009)
6x platinum. Maudlin garbage. Train should have never left 1998.
2) “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz (2008)
6x platinum. Did Train and Mraz cover each other? Someone’s ripping someone off here.
1) “Baby” by Justin Bieber feat. Ludacris
12x platinum. Well, congratulations America, this is literally the best-selling single of all time (surpassing “Candle In The Wind” by Elton John, which has sold 11 million copies). And you wonder why the rest of the world thinks we’ve lost it…
If you’re a true masochist, here is the full playlist:
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