The Biggest One Hit Wonders Of The ’60s, ’70s, ’80s & Beyond

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Vanilla Ice (Photo by Scott Harrison/Getty Images)

Vanilla Ice (Photo by Scott Harrison/Getty Images)

kearthevents Britt Bickel
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Today (Sept. 25) is National One Hit Wonder Day, celebrating all those chart-topping hits we couldn’t get enough of.

A one hit wonder is categorized as a No.1 breakout hit from an artist who couldn’t follow up with another hit of the same success. Otherwise known as an artist’s “signature songs.”

Whether it was a novelty song, accompanied by a national dance craze, or by an artist who just couldn’t match the same popularity with a follow up hit, we’re saluting some of the most memorable one hit wonders over the years!

Here are just a few of the biggest one hit wonders that charted at No. 1 or No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 throughout the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and beyond:

One Hit Wonders of the ’60s:

  • “Telstar” — The Tornados (1962)
  • “Wipe Out” — The Surfaris (1963)
  • “Ringo” — Lorne Greene (1964)
  • “Eve of Destruction” — Barry McGuire (1965)
  • “Winchester Cathedral” — The New Vaudeville Band (1966)
  • “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” — Napoleon XIV (1966)
  • “Green Tambourine” — The Lemon Pipers (1968)
  • “Grazing in the Grass”–  Hugh Masekela (1968)
  • “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” — Steam (1969)
  • “Spirit In The Sky” — Norman Greenbaum (1969)

One Hit Wonders of the ’70s:

  • “Venus” — Shocking Blue (1970)
  • “Kung Fu Fighting” — Carl Douglas (1974)
  • “Lovin’ You” — Minnie Riperton (1975)
  • “Afternoon Delight” — The Starland Vocal Band (1976)
  • “Disco Duck” — Rick Dees and His Cast Of Idiots (1976)
  • “Play That Funky Music” — Wild Cherry (1976)
  • “It’s Raining Men” — The Weather Girls (1979)
  • “My Sharona” — The Knack (1979)
  • “Pop Muzik” — M (1979)
  • “Video Killed The Radio Star” — The Buggles (1979)

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s:

  • “Funkytown” — Lipps Inc. (1980)
  • “Chariots of Fire — Titles” Vangelis (1982)
  • “Mickey” — Tony Basil (1982)
  • “99 Luftballons” — Nena (1984)
  • “We Are the World” — USA for Africa (1985)
  • “Take On Me” — A-Ha (1985)
  • “Miami Vice Theme” — Jan Hammer (1985)
  • “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” — Bill Medley (1987)
  • “Don’t Worry Be Happy” — Bobby McFerrin (1988)
  • “Come On Eileen” — Dexys Midnight Runners (1981)

Wonder Hits Wonders of the ’90s and beyond:

  • “Ice Ice Baby” — Vanilla Ice (1990)
  • “Nothing Compares 2 U” Sinéad O’Connor (1990)
  • “I’m Too Sexy” Right Said Fred (R*S*F) (1992)
  • “Baby Got Back” Sir Mix-a-Lot (1992)
  • “Macarena” — Los Del Rio (1996)
  • “Butterfly” Crazy Town (2001)

What is your favorite One Hit Wonder? Tell us in the comments!

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