The 20 Strangest One-Hit Wonders


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There are a lot of definitions for the term one-hit wonder, but the one that has seemed to have stuck has been an artist who has had just one Top 40 hit.

Since Billboard began publishing the Hot 100 in 1958, there have been hundreds of artists that fit this definition, ranging from acts that have been forgotten by history to legendary acts that have been inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

This article isn’t your traditional list of one-hit wonders. It’s not entirely comprised of famous bands that only managed one hit (there are a ton of those articles) or one hit wonders that were secretly influential (there’s a ton of those too). This is one hit wonders whose appearance on the Top 40 was intriguing, strange or both. Some have an interesting back story as to how they got to the chart, others are indeed the only big hits for major acts, but aren’t exactly the songs you’d think their one hit would be.

I’m also pretty sure this is one of the longest articles that The Young Folks has ever run so I’ve made it a slideshow to make it easier to read and not an imposing wall of text. Prepare yourself for 5000(!) words worth of chart geekery.

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Ryan Gibbs is the music editor for The Young Folks. He is based in Newport, Rhode Island.