Ever hear one of those songs on the radio that you had not only completely forgotten about, but would have never remembered the band or singer even existed? And then, before you know it, it immediately brings a smile to your face because you’re completely overcome with nostalgia? It happens to the best of us. It’s easy to forget these once-popular songs, but luckily, very easy to remember them once they’re back on our radar. But then there are the one hit wonders that still manage to get air time, even though they probably shouldn’t.
Over the years, there have been so many one hit wonders that it’s really hard to keep up. In the 90’s and 2000’s alone there have been endless one hit wonders, in every genre from pop to hip hop to rock. For example, remember “Faded” by soulDecision? Neither did we until we did a little digging.
At the time of their release maybe you couldn’t stop listening to the song at home, or in your car, or maybe they were played on repeat at dances or parties you attended. Now, these one hit wonders still get a little air time. We wish they didn’t.
Here are 12 songs from the 90’s and 2000’s that you probably wish you could forget.
12. Blu Cantrell – “Hit ‘Em Up Style”
“Hit ‘Em Up Style” was Blu Cantrell’s debut hit, and sadly, we didn’t hear much from her after that. But, that song alone made her a household name, even if only for a bit of time. She released the song in 2001, and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. It was similarly successful in Europe and Oceania, and people couldn’t help but jam out to the anthem of a woman scorned. In interviews following the release of the song, and it’s immediate popularity, Blu Cantrell, also known as Tiffany Cobb, said she originally didn’t plan on including the song on her debut album, but decided to only because of the bitter feelings she had toward her ex at the time.
11. Macy Gray – “I Try”
There seemingly wasn’t a person that didn’t instantly know the words to Macy Gray’s “I Try” when it hit radio airwaves in the late 90s. It took over the charts in places around the world, peaking at No. 6 in the U.K., No. 5 in the U.S. and went all the way to No. 1 in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. The song even won Macy a 2001 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Due to its mega success, the song was also featured on the fourth Now That’s What I Call Music! compilation. Where is she now? Who knows.
10. Willa Ford – “I Wanna Be Bad”
In the day and age of stars Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson, Willa Ford was determined to come on the scene as her own kind of bad girl. Her popular song, “I Wanna Be Bad” was supplemented with a music video that conveyed just how “edgy” Willa really was (well, for the early 2000s, at least). After the song became a hit for the singer, it went on to be featured in the Amanda Bynes movie What a Girl Wants. It was also featured in a 7UP campaign.
9. Stacie Orrico – “Stuck”
Stacie Orrico’s “Stuck” was aptly named, as the song was virtually stuck in everyone’s brains for a while following its 2003 release. The single climbed the charts to No. 52 in the U.S., and made an even bigger splash in the U.K., where it went all the way to No. 9 on the charts. The song was used in a Disney Channel movie – Stuck in the Suburbs, and became the official theme song of the 2004 Copa America tournament. Strange, I know.
Odd fact: In her video for the song, she is experiencing an on-again, off-again relationship with a boyfriend who is played by her cousin, actor Trevor Wright.
8. Our Lady Peace – “Somewhere Out There”
Listening to this song is bound to bring people back to a different time, when it was played on airwaves religiously. It became the group’s most successful single, and was popular in the U.S. as well as Canada. The music video was memorable, and showed people falling into a crowd at an Our Lady Peace concert. The song went on to be used in an advertisement for the FOX TV network, and was in the ending credits of the movie White Noise. While the band is still making music today, this hit was arguably what they are most remembered for.
7. Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories – “Stay (I Missed You)”
When “Stay (I Missed You)” was released in 1994, it immediately received positive reviews from music critics. And the public loved it as well. It went on to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hit 100 chart. The song made Lisa Loeb the first artist to ever top the U.S. chart before being signed to a record label. It also was successful in the U.K., New Zealand and Australia. Those who vividly remember the music video that went along with the song might find it interesting that it was produced and directed by Ethan Hawke, a close friend of Lisa’s.
6. B*Witched – “C’est la vie”
Music critics weren’t so sure about B*Witched’s hit single, “C’est la vie,” but commercially, the song was more than well received. It went on to top charts all around the world. Additionally, the ladies of B*Witched went on to become the youngest girl group ever to have a number one hit in the U.K. In the U.S., it made its way to No. 9. Beyond its original success, the song went on the be featured in a few movies, including Disney Channel’s Smart House, What Women Want and Life-Size.
5. Freak Nasty – “Da’ Dip”
In 1996, hip-hop artist Freak Nasty released “Da’ Dip.” Although it became his only top 40 hit, the song took a little while to stick. When it was initially released, it didn’t fair as well as hoped, but the following year it began to gain mainstream traction and reached No. 15 on the Billboard’s Hot 100, and No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles. The song also ignited people into a synchronized dance thanks to the lyrics and music video, and for that reason, quickly became a popular go-to at parties and dances.
4. 702 – “Where My Girls At”
702 released “Where My Girls At” in 1999, though it was originally intended to be a single on TLC’s album FanMail. Once TLC had rejected the song, 702 went to work on it, and it immediately became their biggest hit to date. The song, which was produced by Missy Elliott, reached No. 4 on the Billboard’s Hot 100, and No. 1 on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart. And, the song stuck around for quite some time. It remained in the top 20 on the Hot 100 chart for over 30 weeks.
3. Marcy Playground – “Sex and Candy”
In their only major hit, Marcy Playground released “Sex and Candy” in 1997, and it reached No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Critics generally liked the song, and it was praised for accurately representing hard-edged pop songs of the time. At the time, the band held the record for longest time (15 weeks) at No. 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. They even beat Oasis’ 10-week stay in that position for “Wonderwall.” Sadly, they seemed to disappear almost as quickly as they had appeared, and we never heard much from them afterward. But, it’s hard to deny the feeling of nostalgia hearing “Sex and Candy” today.
2. soulDecision – “Faded”
This song by Canadian boy band soulDecision was an MTV Total Request Live favorite when it was first released in late 1999. In their home country, soulDecision’s only big hit reached No. 1, and in the U.S. it peaked at No. 22. The song’s writer described the song as “being intoxicated and letting one’s object of affection know how you feel.” The music and lyrics seemed to speak to many young people, and before soulDecision knew it, they were invited to join Christina Aguilera on the North American leg of her “Genie In A Bottle” tour. The band also went on to open shows for huge players in the music biz, like Jay-Z, NSYNC and Destiny’s Child.
1. 4 Non Blondes – “What’s Up”
Hearing this song today is like taking a trip directly back to the 90s. 4 Non Blondes released “What’s Up” in 1993, and the song immediately took off in countries like Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Norway and more. In the U.S., it was all over the radio stations. It peaked at No. 14 on the charts and went gold. The song’s music video epitomized the feel of the 90s, with the band’s female rockers sporting grungy looks. It’s said MTV’s regular looping of the video played a significant role in the song’s ultimate chart-topping success.