One-Hit Wonders: the musicians who have achieved worldwide success with just one song 

They climbed the charts, their songs are very famous and recognizable by the first note, but the success lasted only the time of that song.

The term One-Hit Wonder refers to musicians capable of achieving only one hit during their career, and then no longer replicating those results, ending up gathering consensus only in their country of origin or little more.

Here are some of the most famous cases of One-Hit Wonders, also chosen based on the ranking made by the historic VH1 television network.

Artwork, Screenshot Videoclip
One-Hit Wonder: the most famous cases
They climbed the charts, their songs are famous and recognizable from the first note, but the success lasted only the time of that song. The term One-Hit Wonder refers to musicians who are able to make one hit during their career, and then never replicate those achievements again, ending up garnering acclaim only in their home country or little more. Here are some of the most famous cases of One-Hit Wonders, also chosen according to the relative ranking made by the historic TV network VH1.
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Corona - The Rhythm of the Night
The Rhythm of the Night is one of the most famous songs of the eurodance, as well as one of the most representative songs of the nineties. However, it remains the only success of the Brazilian singer, naturalized Italian, Corona.
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New Radicals - You Get What You Give
You Get What You Give is the debut single by New Radicals, an American band formed in 1997 and disbanded in 1999, and then reunited in 2021 for a single performance, on the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of the President of the United States Joe Biden. You Get What You Give has also been included in many film productions.
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4 Non Blondes - What's Up
7 platinum records for this song, the only real international success of 4 Non Blondes, who stopped working together in 1995.
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The Calling - Wherever You Will Go
This song achieved international fame in 2002 and since then has been used in many films, TV series and commercials. The Calling, however, failed to replicate that success, changing many members of the band over the years.
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The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
One of the main reasons why this song became famous is that its music video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, aired to inaugurate MTV broadcasts on August 1, 1981 at 00:01. The fortune of the band , however, lasted very little: founded in 1977, after only 4 years it dissolved.
Soft Cell - Tainted Love
The original version of Tainted Love was by Gloria Jones, but the cover of Soft Cell was much more successful than the original. Although still active, the Soft Cell have not released a song of fame comparable to that of Tainted Love.
Michael Sembello - Maniac
Maniac achieved success after being included in the soundtrack of the film Flashdance: the song topped the Billboard 100 in September 1983 and was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Song category. Since 2000 Michael Sembello has dedicated himself to oriental music and spirituality.
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Opus - Live is Life
Live is Life reached number one in the European charts in the summer of 1985, as well as peaking in Canada and the United States of America. This remains the only hit of the Austrians Opus, who continue to be highly appreciated at home.
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Los del Rio - Macarena
This song achieved worldwide success in the summer of 1996 thanks to the remix of Bayside Boys, which allowed the song to reach the top positions of the charts of over 30 countries, including the United States, becoming over time one of the most used singles in classic group dances. Today, Los del Rio continue to produce music, but they are inextricably linked to the immense notoriety of Macarena.
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Las Ketchup - Aserejé (The Ketchup Song)
The debut single of the Spanish trio, this song was a worldwide success, becoming one of the most listened to songs in the summer of 2002, also thanks to its characteristic ballet. With the album following the debut, however, the Muñoz sisters could not replicate the expected success.
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Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra)
This song managed to get two Grammy Awards in 2013, in the categories Record of the Year and Best Performance by a Duo or Group. Its success was worldwide, but it remains the one and only song famous throughout the world of the singer-songwriter Gotye.
Ram Jam - Black Betty
In 1977 the debut album of Ram Jam climbed the world charts thanks to Black Betty, a remake of the famous song of the twenties. Subsequently, the band released two more songs, with not too satisfactory results, and then finally dissolved in 1996.
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Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry, Be Happy
Especially thanks to the internet, among younger people in recent years the belief has spread that Don't Worry, Be Happy was originally recorded by Bob Marley. In fact, this is a mistake due to the fact that the famous song by Marley Three Little Birds, begins with the words "Don't Worry...". In fact, Don't Worry, Be Happy, capable of winning three Grammy Awards, is by the American jazz musician Bobby McFerrrin, who gained fame thanks to this song. 
Aqua - Barbie Girl
Ironic and famous all over the world: Barbie Girl is the most famous song of the Danish band Aqua, which thanks to this song has been successful practically everywhere and especially in Europe. Subsequently, the group released other songs similar to Barbie Girl, which remains in any case the only hit of the Aqua.
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