The most popular one-hit wonder every year since 1955

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesA-ha is known for ‘Take on Me’ and not much else.

Achieving one-hit wonder status can cement a musician’s place in music history – it only takes one smash hit to be remembered as a legend.

We used Billboard’s Hot 100 year-end charts to deduce what the most popular one-hit wonder was every year since 1955, when the list first came out. Some were the top song of the entire year, like 2012’s Gotye smash “Somebody That I Used to Know,” while others came in further down the list, like “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, which was the 37th biggest song in 1988.

Take a stroll down memory lane with these 64 one-hit wonders.


1955: “The Yellow Rose of Texas” by Mitch Miller

CBS via Getty ImagesMitch Miller in 1945.

Miller didn’t achieve much chart success besides this song, but it did hit No. 1 in the summer of 1955.

Listen to “The Yellow Rose of Texas” here.


1956: “The Wayward Wind” by Gogi Grant

John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty ImagesGogi Grant.

Grant had just one other song make it into the Hot 100: “Strange Are the Ways of Love,” which only peaked at No. 80.

Listen to “The Wayward Wind” here.


1957: “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” by Billy Williams

Ira Gay Sealy/The Denver Post via Getty ImagesBilly Williams in 1953.

This cover was Williams’ highest-charting song. His next biggest song, “Nola,” reached No. 39.

Listen to “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” here.


1958: “Witch Doctor” by Ross Bagdasarian Sr.

CBS via Getty ImagesRoss Bagdasarian Sr. in 1961.

Ross Bagdasarian Sr., also known as David Seville, a stage name, is best-known as the creator of “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” He had a song hit No.1 with them, but “Witch Doctor” is the only song that charted that was under his birth name.

Listen to “Witch Doctor” here.


1959: “Sleep Walk” by Santo & Johnny

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesSanto & Johnny.

“Sleep Walk” was a No. 1 song for Santo & Johnny, and their only top 20 hit.

Listen to “Sleep Walk” here.


1960: “Running Bear” by Johnny Preston

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesJohnny Preston.

Preston actually had another top 10 hit, but it has fallen into obscurity over the decades. He is now mostly known for “Running Bear,” which tells the doomed love story of two Native Americans in warring tribes.

Listen to “Running Bear” here.


1961: “My True Story” by The Jive Five

Gilles Petard/Redferns via Getty ImagesThe Jive Five in 1965.

The Jive Five had four songs total chart on the Hot 100, but only “My True Story” made it to the top 10. It peaked at No. 3 in 1961.

Listen to “My True Story” here.


1962: “Stranger on the Shore” by Acker Bilk

Harry Hammond/V&A Images/Getty ImagesAcker Bilk in 1960.

Acker Bilk was a popular clarinet player, but this didn’t translate into chart success. His next-highest song after his No. 1 hit “Stranger on the Shore” peaked at No. 59.

Listen to “Stranger on the Shore” here.


1963: “Rhythm of the Rain” by The Cascades

John Loengard/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesA couple dancing in 1963.

“Rhythm of the Rain” hit No. 3 on the charts – after that, The Cascades only peaked at No. 60.

Listen to “Rhythm of the Rain” here.


1964: “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine” by Gale Garnett

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesGale Garnett.

Garnett followed up her lone top five hit with “Lovin’ Place,” which only reached No. 54, and was her last song to chart.

Listen to “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine” here.


1965: “You Were on My Mind” by We Five

We Five broke up two years after releasing “You Were on My Mind,” but got back together a year later. However, this was their only song to reach the top five.

Listen to “You Were on My Mind” here.


1966: “Cool Jerk” by The Capitols

George Crouter/The Denver Post via Getty ImagesPeople doing the jerk in the ’60s.

“Cool Jerk” was just one of many songs based on the ’60s popular dance, the jerk. This was The Capitols’ only top 10 hit.

Listen to “Cool Jerk” here.


1967: “Little Bit O’ Soul” by The Music Explosion

GAB Archive/Redferns via Getty ImagesThe Music Explosion.

The Music Explosion had just two songs make it to the Hot 100 – “Soul” reached No. 2, while the other only made it to No. 63.

Listen to “Little Bit O’ Soul” here.


1968: “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)” by John Fred & His Playboy Band

“Judy” made it to the top of the charts in 1968. The title is a play on The Beatles classic, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” – Fred misheard the lyrics.

Listen to “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)” here.


1969: “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies

GAB Archive/Redferns via Getty ImagesThe Archies.

The Archies earns the distinction of being the only animated band on this list. The Archie Comics characters notched another top 10 hit, “Jingle Jangle,” but it simply does not have the staying power of “Sugar, Sugar.”

Listen to “Sugar, Sugar” here.


1970: “O-o-h Child” by Five Stairsteps

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesFive Stairsteps.

Five Stairsteps had 17 songs chart on the Hot 100, but “O-o-h Child” will always be their signature song, and was introduced to a new generation by its inclusion in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” soundtrack.

Listen to “O-o-h Child” here.


1971: “Mr. Big Stuff” by Jean Knight

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesJean Knight in 1970.

“Mr. Big Stuff” almost reached the summit of the Hot 100, but fell just short at No. 2. Knight’s follow-up peaked at No. 50.

Listen to “Mr. Big Stuff” here.


1972: “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass

Gems/Redferns via Getty ImagesLooking Glass in 1972.

Another one-hit wonder brought back from obscurity by “Guardians of the Galaxy,”“Brandy” is a significant departure from Looking Glass’ normal sound.

The No. 1 song peaked in August 1972, but Looking Glass failed to chart another song in the top 25.

Listen to “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” here.


1973: “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” by Vicki Lawrence

CBS Photo Archive/Courtesy of Getty ImagesVicki Lawrence in 1973.

Lawrence is best known for her time as an actress on “The Carol Burnett Show,” but she showed off her vocal chops with “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” her only song to crack the top 50.

Listen to “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” here.


1974: “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesTerry Jacks.

Jacks had only three songs in the Hot 100, but his other two songs only reached spots 68 and 97 respectively, while “Seasons” made it all the way to the top.

Listen to “Seasons in the Sun” here.


1975: “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas

Michael Putland/Getty ImagesCarl Douglas in 1974.

Douglas’ only other song to chart was “Dance the Kung Fu” in 1975, which reached 48, while the original earned the No. 1 spot.

Listen to “Kung Fu Fighting” here.


1976: “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesWild Cherry.

“Play That Funky Music” has endured through the years – it’s impossible to read the song’s title without singing the rest of the lyrics. Wild Cherry had other songs chart, but the highest follow-up only made it to No. 43.

Listen to “Play That Funky Music” here.


1977: “Angel in Your Arms” by Hot

GAB Archive/Redferns via Getty ImagesHot, from left to right: Cathy Carson, Juanita Curiel and Gwen Owens.

Hot’s chart success was limited to 1977 and 1978, during which they had three songs chart. However, “Angel in Your Arms,” reached No. 6, while the other two only made it to 65 and 71.

Listen to “Angel in Your Arms” here.


1978: “Emotion” by Samantha Sang

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesSamantha Sang.

Sang frequently collaborated with the Bee Gees, and one of them actually wrote this song. “Emotion” is the only song of hers to crack the top 50.

Listen to “Emotion” here.


1979: “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesAnita Ward.

“Ring My Bell” reached No. 2 on the Hot 100. Ward’s only other song to chart, “Don’t Drop My Love” peaked at No. 87.

Listen to “Ring My Bell” here.


1980: “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesLipps Inc.

Yes, this song existed before its iconic inclusion in “Shrek 2.” Lipps Inc’s other song to chart, “Rock It,” peaked at only No. 64.

Listen to “Funkytown” here.


1981: “Believe It or Not (Theme from ‘The Greatest American Hero’)” by Joey Scarbury

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty ImagesJoey Scarbury in 2006.

The theme song to “The Great American Hero” made it all the way to the second-highest spot on the Hot 100 in ’81.

Listen to “Believe It or Not” here.


1982: “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell

Fin Costello/Redferns via Getty ImagesSoft Cell.

“Tainted Love” is Soft Cell’s only song to ever make it onto the Hot 100.

Listen to “Tainted Love” here.


1983: “Maniac” by Michael Sembello

ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty ImagesMichael Sembello.

“Maniac” is one of two of Sembello’s songs to make it onto the Hot 100. “Maniac” reached No. 1, while the other made it to just No. 34.

Listen to “Maniac” here.


1984: “Missing You” by John Waite

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesJohn Waite.

Of all of Waite’s songs to make it onto the Hot 100, only “Missing You” cracked the top 25 – and it actually rose to the top of the charts.

Listen to “Missing You” here.


1985: “Take on Me” by A-ha

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesA-ha.

A-ha experienced much success in their native country of Norway, but “Take On Me” is their lone American hit.

Listen to “Take On Me” here.


1986: “Party All the Time” by Eddie Murphy

NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesEddie Murphy.

The comedian dabbled in music with “Party All the Time,” which reached No. 2.

Listen to “Party All the Time” here.


1987: “Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesGregory Abbott.

Abbott had one other song chart on the Hot 100, but “Shake You Down” did significantly better, reaching No. 1, while his other song peaked at only 56.

Listen to “Shake You Down” here.


1988: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin

Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesBobby McFerrin.

Contrary to popular belief, this reggae classic was not sung by Bob Marley, but by Bobby McFerrin. The song, which reached No. 1, was McFerrin’s only to chart at all.

Listen to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” here.


1989: “Waiting for a Star to Fall” by Boy Meets Girl

Bernd Muller/Redferns via Getty ImagesShannon Rubicam and George Merrill of Boy Meets Girl in 1989.

“Waiting for a Star to Fall” made it to No. 5. After that, little was heard from Boy Meets Girl.

Listen to “Waiting for a Star to Fall” here.


1990: “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles

Mick Hutson/Redferns via Getty ImagesAlannah Myles.

Myles won a Grammy for “Black Velvet,” which was also her only song to crack the top 25.

Listen to “Black Velvet” here.


1991: “One More Try” by Timmy T

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty ImagesTimmy T in 1991.

Timmy T’s “One More Try” made it to No. 1 – his next-highest song peaked at 40.

Listen to “One More Try” here.


1992: “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot

Suzi Pratt/WireImage via Getty ImagesSir Mix-A-Lot in 2017.

Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby’s Got Back” is one of the most beloved one-hit wonders of all time, and his most successful song by far.

Listen to “Baby Got Back” here.


1993: “Whoomp! (There It Is)” by Tag Team

Martina Raddatz/Redferns via Getty ImagesTag Team.

All three of Tag Team’s songs that made it onto the Hot 100 are some version of “Whoomp!,” including an Addam’s Family version, and a Disney version sung by Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy.

Listen to “Whoomp! (There It Is)” here.


1994: “Baby, I Love Your Way” by Big Mountain

Big Mountain had four songs chart on the Hot 100, but “Baby” is far and away the most enduring, and best-selling, Big Mountain tune.

Listen to “Baby, I Love Your Way” here.


1995: “I Know” by Dionne Farris

Brian Rasic/Getty ImagesDionne Farris in 1995.

“I Know” is Farris’ one and only song to ever chart on the Hot 100, and it peaked at No. 4.

Listen to “I Know” here.


1996: “Macarena” by Los del Río

The original version of the “Macarena” didn’t do too well, but once the duo Bayside Boys remixed it, the song blew up and became Los Del Rio’s signature hit.

Listen to “Macarena” here.


1997: “B—-” by Meredith Brooks

Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesMeredith Brooks in 1997.

This song, commonly mistaken for an Alanis Morissette song, peaked at No. 2, and was Brooks’ lone top 25 hit.

Listen to “B—-” here.


1998: “I Don’t Want to Wait” by Paula Cole

Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesPaula Cole in 1997.

Technically speaking, Paula Cole had a higher-charting hit with “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?,” but “I Don’t Want to Wait” is easily Cole’s signature hit. In 1998, the song was chosen as the theme song for “Dawson’s Creek,” and the two have become inextricably linked.

Listen to “I Don’t Want to Wait” here.


1999: “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer

Kevin Winter/ImageDirect via Getty ImagesSixpence None the Richer.

“Kiss Me” reached No. 2, and was Sixpence None the Richer’s lone mainstream hit – the rest of their success came from the Christian music community.

Listen to “Kiss Me” here.


2000: “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc via Getty ImagesVertical Horizon in January 2001.

“Everything You Want” garnered Vertical Horizon their only No. 1 song – their follow-up peaked at 23.

Listen to “Everything You Want” here.


2001: “What Would You Do?” by City High

Gabe Palacio/Getty ImagesCity High in 2001.

City High released two singles total: one was “What Would You Do?” which reached No. 8, and the other was “Caramel,” which peaked at 18.

Listen to “What Would You Do?” here.


2002: “Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling

Tony Barson/WireImage via Getty ImagesThe Calling.

This was The Calling’s lone song to chart.

Listen to “Wherever You Will Go” here.


2003: “No Letting Go” by Wayne Wonder

Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty ImagesWayne Wonder in 2003.

This was the only song Wayne Wonder released to make it onto the Hot 100.

Listen to “No Letting Go” here.


2004: “The Reason” by Hoobastank

J. Shearer/WireImage via Getty ImagesHoobastank.

Hoobastank had two songs peak at 44 and 68 respectively before “The Reason,” which was their first and last song to crack the top five.

Listen to “The Reason” here.


2005: “Listen to Your Heart” by DHT featuring Edmée

Mychal Watts/WireImage via Getty ImagesDHT in 2005.

DHT, which stands for Dance House Trance, only had one song to chart on the Hot 100.

Listen to “Listen to Your Heart” here.


2006: “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter

Jo Hale/Getty ImagesDaniel Powter.

Powter joins the one-hit wonder club with “Bad Day,” his one and only song to chart on the Hot 100 – and it was a No. 1.

Listen to “Bad Day” here.


2007: “Party Like a Rockstar” by the Shop Boyz

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage via Getty ImagesShop Boyz.

Shop Boyz have yet to follow up “Rockstar” with a commercially successful song.

Listen to “Party Like a Rockstar” here.


2008: “Sexy Can I” by Ray J featuring Yung Berg

Slaven Vlasic/Getty ImagesRay J.

“Sexy Can I” is Ray J’s signature song, though he almost earned another top 10 hit with “One Wish.”

Listen to “Sexy Can I” here.


2009: “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon

Mick Hutson/Redferns via Getty ImagesKings of Leon.

“Use Somebody” is Kings of Leon’s lone song to crack the top 25: they have failed to chart a song since 2010, meaning it has almost been a decade since their last successful hit.

Listen to “Use Somebody” here.


2010: “Like a G6” by Far East Movement featuring The Cataracs and Dev

Mike Pont/FilmMagic via Getty ImagesFar East Movement.

Far East Movement had a No. 7 song with “Rocketeer,” but we bet that the only Far East Movement hit you can sing off the top of your head is “Like a G6,” an infectious ear worm of a song.

Listen to “Like a G6” here.


2011: “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People

Tiffany Rose/WireImage via Getty ImagesFoster the People.

“Pumped Up Kicks” was Foster the People’s first and only song to achieve mainstream success.

Listen to “Pumped Up Kicks” here.


2012: “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra

Jason Merritt/Getty ImagesGotye and Kimbra in 2013.

Gotye, a Grammy Award-winning artist, has yet to follow up the smash success of “Somebody” seven years later.

Listen to “Somebody That I Used to Know” here.


2013: “Harlem Shake” by Baauer

Kyle Gustafson / For The Washington Post via Getty ImagesBaauer.

As of 2019, “Harlem Shake” is still Baauer’s only song to ever chart.

Listen to “Harlem Shake” by here.


2014: “Rude” by MAGIC!

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Red Light ManagementMAGIC! in 2017.

MAGIC! have yet to replicate the success of reggae-pop infusion “Rude.”

Listen to “Rude” here


2015: “Cheerleader” by Omi

Paul Zimmerman/WireImage via Getty ImagesOmi in 2017.

Omi’s song “Cheerleader” hit No. 1, but he hasn’t had a song chart since then.

Listen to “Cheerleader” here.


2016: “Panda” by Desiigner

Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty Images for HufferDesiigner in 2019.

“Panda” peaked at No. 1. The rapper’s next-best selling single is “MIC Drop,” which peaked at 28 in 2017.

Listen to “Panda” here.


2017: “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man

Mat Hayward/Getty ImagesPortugal. The Man in 2017.

Portugal. The Man has been a group for years, but “Feel It Still” is their one and only song to chart, and landed at the top spot to boot.

Listen to “Feel It Still” here.


2018: “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

Getty/Jeff KravitzMichael Trewartha, Zedd, Maren Morris, and Kyle Trewartha.

“The Middle” cracked the top 10 in several countries, and was even nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. The song is a collaboration between Russian-German record producer Zedd, American country music singer Maren Morris, and American duo Grey, whom we have yet to hear more from.

Listen to “The Middle” here.

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