In a world full of one hit wonders and new musicians popping on to the scene almost every day, it’s hard to become someone as successful as say, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, or even Justin Timberlake. These one hit wonders might not have what it takes to make it to the big time, but they certainly have what it takes to make a hit song that everyone knows and loves. A lot of songs that we’ve come to know and love over the years have been one hit wonders, which leaves us to wonder where they’ve been or what they’ve been up to these days.
Many people would be surprised to hear that a lot of these one hit wonders don’t actually quit making music once their 15 minutes of fame are up. In fact, many have gone on to put out album after album and single after single — but unfortunately nothing can measure up to the success of that song that made them famous in the first place. Some have given up, fading back into regular life and stepping out of the spotlight, while others still dabble in the music world, writing and recording music for other artists.
Regardless of what they’re up to nowadays, they’ve still created some of the best and some of the most memorable songs that we still listen to these days (whether we like to admit to it or not). These are 15 one hit wonders of our childhood, and what they’re up to today.
15. Lou Bega — “Mambo No. 5”
Growing up in the early 2000s, you couldn’t go very long without hearing Lou Bega singing about Monica, Erica, Rita, Tina, and a few other girls. The catchy tune was unlike anything on the radio at the time, making it an instant hit. Not many people know that “Mambo No. 5” wasn’t originally performed by Bega. The song was originally written and recorded by Dámaso Pérez Prado in 1949. Bega put his own twist on it, adding his own lyrics and sampling the song. It became an instant hit.
After the release of his monster hit, he tried to ride the wave of success, and released his debut album, that charted fairly well. His second single, “I Got a Girl,” ended up in the top ten but every song afterward continued to fall further and further down the charts, and he was never able to gain the success he had again. He continued to release music over the years, and even plays shows every now and again. One thing’s for sure, we’ll always know him as the “Mambo No. 5” guy.
14. Gotye feat. Kimbra — “Somebody That I Used To Know”
When Gotye released “Somebody That I Used To Know” in 2011, the singer-songwriter had no idea just how well the song would do. It seemed as if no matter what radio station you turned on, the song was playing — people loved it. The track reached number one in the United States and the UK, as well as a number of other countries. The song remained on the charts for well over a year, and Gotye even had the opportunity to perform the single on huge TV shows such as American Idol, The Voice, and Saturday Night Live. The song was even performed on Glee, and that’s how you know you’ve made it as an artist. “Somebody That I Used To Know” even went on to win Record of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
After the success of “Somebody That I Used To Know,” Gotye released a few singles including, “I Feel Better,” and “Save Me.” Neither charting nearly as high as the number one single. He hasn’t released music since.
These days Gotye is still performing, and working on new music. Most recently he’s started his own record label, Spirit Level. We only hope Gotye will make a big comeback soon. Until then, he’s just somebody that we used to know. (hehe)
13. Metro Station — “Shake It”
The Cyrus family is full of musically talented musicians, and that also goes for Miley’s brother, Trace. After meeting Miley’s co-star, Mitchel Musso’s brother Mason, the two hit it off instantly and Metro Station was born. The track was the third single off of the band’s debut self-titled album, and launched itself into the US top ten. The song was everywhere you turned — the radio, on TV — you couldn’t escape it. It was the song that made Metro Station famous.
Unfortunately, not much came out of the band’s huge success with the single. The band faced struggles between Cyrus and Musso, and as a result Cyrus left the band for a period of time in 2013, only to return in 2014. The band has released several EPs, and only two full-length records.
Most recently, the band released a brand new EP in September, and even embarked on a ten year anniversary tour for their debut album. Unfortunately the band hasn’t seen the success that they had during the “Shake It” era, and the ten year anniversary tour actually turned into a farewell tour. The band announced that this would be their last tour, and Metro Station had a good run. “Shake It” will always live in our hearts, and at DJ-run wedding receptions.
12. Icona Pop — “I Love It”
“I Love It” by Icona Pop was that song of the summer that everyone (whether you wanted to admit it or not) sang at the top of their lungs while driving with the windows down on a warm summer day. No matter how annoying the song got — especially with those repetitive lyrics — we couldn’t help but love it. The song really put the Swedish duo on the map with their catchy beats and lyrics. The track reached top ten on the charts in a number of countries, and was even featured as the theme song for the Jersey Shore spinoff, Snooki & JWoww.
Although they seem to have disappeared from the music scene since the explosive success of “I Love It,” the duo continues to make music. In fact, they’ve actually just released a new single, “Let You Down” with Peking Duk. Much like many other one hit wonders, nothing can compare to the song that made them famous.
11. DJ Kool — “Let Me Clear My Throat”
A song that always seems to get the party going — no matter how old you are or what year it is — is “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool. The hit song was released in April of 1996 and was recorded live, giving listeners that authentic feeling. Although the single didn’t dominate the charts like some of our one hit wonders, it’s definitely the first song that comes to mind when we think of DJ Kool. He’s released four albums, with Let Me Clear My Throat charting the highest.
Since the wild success of the single, he couldn’t quite get that same reaction with his newer music. In fact, he hasn’t released anything new since the release of his album, Gimmie Dat Beat in 1997. However,”Let Me Clear My Throat” will always be an instant classic, whether you haven’t listened to it for years, or just yesterday.
10. Rixton — “Me and My Broken Heart”
Who remembers the group of cute British boys singing about love and heartbreak? No, we’re not talking about One Direction, we’re talking about those other British guys and their hit song “Me and My Broken Heart,” Rixton. Remember them? The song took radio stations by storm in 2014, making the band a household name. They were signed by Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s infamous manager, and their career looked promising because of him.
They went on to release their debut album, Let The Road in 2015, and went on to open for some big names including Ariana Grande. They rode the success of their single, but sadly no other singles could match “Me and My Broken Heart.”
9. Baha Men — “Who Let The Dogs Out?”
Honestly one of the most iconic one hit wonders, Baha Men had us questioning, “Who Let The Dogs Out?” The song was unlike anything on the radio at the time, which made it a huge hit. It charted in the top 40 in multiple countries, and even went on to win the Grammy for the Best Dance Recording at the 2001 Grammy Awards. The track was really huge with kids, featured on Disney compilation albums, and even in the Rugrats in Paris: The Movie soundtrack and movie. Their album, Who Let The Dogs Out, which featured the title track, was certified three times platinum.
Since the release of the song that made them famous, the band has released three albums, the most recent one, Ride With Me, in 2015. Unfortunately, people aren’t really interested in Baha Men anymore, and really don’t want to hear any other song. The album didn’t even chart. There’s no word on whether or not the Baha Men are making a comeback any time soon. In the meantime, we’re still wondering, who did let the dogs out?
8. Haddaway — “What Is Love”
Making its debut in 1993, Haddaway had quite the hit with “What Is Love.” The song today mostly appears on TV in commercials and other TV shows. But back in 1993, it was one of the biggest hits. The song was number one in a multitude of countries, and reached number 11 in the United States. With the song’s catchy beat and repetitive lyrics, it was one of those songs that was always stuck in your head no matter what.
The song then gained another claim to fame when it was used in a sketch on Saturday Night Live called “Roxbury Guys,” that also turned into a movie called A Night at the Roxbury. The song was featured a lot in the sketch, and the TV show revived the song again.
Today we kind of think of this song in a comical sense, because of SNL and the commercials it has appeared in. As for Haddaway, he lives happily in Austria and hasn’t released any new music since 2011 (which didn’t garner much attention at all). We’re sure he’s more than happy to lend his hit to more commercials, though!
7. Hozier — “Take Me To Church”
Although he looks similar to Gotye, Hozier holds his own as a one hit wonder as well. (Maybe it’s something with the long brown hair? We’re not sure.) Hozier was a struggling musician until his mega-hit, “Take Me To Church” took the radio (and world) by storm in 2013. His debut self-titled album, Hozier, reached number one in his home country of Ireland, and number three in the United States. “Take Me To Church” was the first single off of the album, but unfortunately we can’t really name any of the other singles off of the album, as the first single’s success couldn’t even compare. The song was everywhere — Hozier performed it for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2014, along with Saturday Night Live, and the Billboard Music Awards.
Today, Hozier is involved in a number of good causes, and is still performing every now and again. He’s promised that he’s been working on some new music, but we’re still anxiously waiting to hear new material from him. Until then, we’ll have “Take Me To Church” on repeat.
6. Eiffel 65 — “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”
Without a doubt, the second you hear “Blue (Da Ba Dee),” it will most likely be stuck in your head — even reading the title itself gets us singing. Perhaps it is one of the more strange songs to become a hit, it was Eiffel 65’s one and only successful song. The Italian group is pretty much known for this song, and this song only. “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” topped the charts all over Europe and was in the top ten in the United States. (Why? We’re still not sure.)
Nevertheless, the band went on to release a total of three albums, with the last one, self-titled, in 2003. Unfortunately for the band, people love “Blue (Da Ba Dee),” and that only. The band had some talks in 2016 that a new comeback album is on the way, however, we’ve yet to hear anything from the Italian band. Besides, how could you compete with “Blue” anyway? Definitely a classic we won’t ever forget.
5. Right Said Fred — “I’m Too Sexy”
It’s hard to believe that “I’m Too Sexy” by British group Right Said Fred was that huge of a hit. Such a fun and silly song, it definitely took the music world by storm. Topping charts all over the world, this song quickly became everyone’s favorite song to groove to. “I’m Too Sexy” was featured on their debut album, Up, which helped them hit number one in the UK.
Since then, they’ve released several albums, with their most recent release being Stop The World in 2011. None of which compared to the wild ride of success that they had with “I’m Too Sexy.” The band also released a new single in 2017, with the promise of new music in the future. There’s no word on when that might be.
Like many other one hit wonders, their song was given sort of a revival when Taylor Swift released her single “Look What You Made Me Do.” The song sampled the melody of “I’m Too Sexy,” which brought attention back to the song today.
4. La Roux — “Bulletproof”
Made famous by the movie Pitch Perfect, this song was a fan favorite in the movie when Beca (played by Anna Kendrick) sang it acoustically. The dance track absolutely skyrocketed up the music charts all over the world. It hit number one in the UK and it was in the top ten in the United States. The track was constantly played on the radio, no matter what channel you turned on, you would most likely hear the dance track.
After riding the high of success of the single, La Roux seemed to disappear for a while. Although there were other singles like, “I’m Not Your Toy,” absolutely nothing could compare to “Bulletproof.” La Roux tried to make a comeback in 2014 with the release of the album Trouble In Paradise. Two singles were released, “Uptight Downtown,” and “Kiss and Not Tell,” but the charts were nothing to really fuss about.
3. Alex Clare — “Too Close”
We were first introduced to Alex Clare’s “Too Close” when it was played in a Microsoft commercial for Internet Explorer 9. After that, we couldn’t escape it, as anyone is a sucker for a catchy song with an even better beat. The song went on to reach the top ten in a number of countries. “Too Close” comes off of his debut album, The Lateness of the Hour, which helped the album reach the top 20 in the UK.
Since then, he’s released two more albums, with his latest being Tail of Lions in November of 2016. Unfortunately for Clare, the album didn’t even come close to The Lateness of the Hour, as it didn’t even chart.
These days Clare is still touring and promoting his music. Although “Too Close” is everyone’s favorite song of his, we hope that one day he’ll be able to top the success of that single. Until then, he’ll always be known for “Too Close.”
2. Teddy Geiger — “For You I Will (Confidence)”
In the early 2000s, teenage girls seemed to have a love for cute boys with guitars, and Teddy Geiger was one of them. The single “For You I Will (Confidence)” was a huge hit amongst girls, and the love-filled lyrics made them swoon. Unfortunately for them it was basically Geiger’s only hit song, and what he’s most known for.
These days Geiger has been writing and producing music for other artists such as Shawn Mendes and One Direction. Some of the most famous songs Geiger helped write include Mendes’ “Stitches,” “Treat You Better,” “Mercy,” and “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.” Recently, Geiger announced that the singer began transitioning, and came out as transgender on Instagram when a fan asked.
1. Sir Mix-a-Lot — “Baby Got Back”
Oh my god, Becky, look at her butt! You have to be living under the biggest rock to not know this huge hit. “Baby Got Back” has been played on the radio for what feels like ages, and recently it’s made a huge comeback thanks to artists sampling it in their own songs. Most recently, Nicki Minaj revived the song when she sampled it in her single, “Anaconda” in 2014. The song was essentially given a new life and it’s still being played today, despite its release in 1992.
These days, Sir Mix-a-Lot is still living off of the high that his hit song created (with a special thanks to Nicki Minaj). In July 2016, he started to host his own radio show based in Fresno, California. Although he hasn’t released any new albums since Daddy’s Home in 2003, he still enjoys making music. He might not ever be able to escape, “Baby Got Back” but that’s definitely okay with us.
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