Do You Remember All These One-Hit Wonders Through the Years?

vanilla ice performs in boston
Do You Remember All These One-Hit Wonders?Walter Iooss Jr - Getty Images
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For pop stars or bands on the rise, having a song become a worldwide smash hit is nothing short of a dream come true. But topping the charts is not necessarily indicative of a long career filled with many more hits to come. While these one-hit wonders may have only captured our hearts briefly, their catchy tunes will go down in music history. All it takes is one massive hit to build a legacy, and these 11 one-hit wonders have done just that.

Terry Jacks

In 1974 the Canadian singer Terry Jacks released "Seasons in the Sun" which became a huge international sensation. A little-known fact is that the song was actually an adaptation of a song originally penned by Belgian singer and songwriter, Jacques Brel. Jacks produced a version of it for The Beach Boys, but then rerecorded it himself when they decided not to release it.

terry jacks
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American new wave band, Devo, released their smash hit single, "Whip It" in 1980, and the song's absurd lyrics and synth-pop feel instantly got people dancing. The song charted in several countries, and the accompanying music video became a favorite on MTV.

devo backstage at max's kansas city
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German band Nena recorded "99 Luftballons" in 1983, and their song took over the European charts the following year. The band jumped into the studio to record an English-language version, but ultimately the German version reigned supreme, becoming Nena's only hit in the U.S.

nena und band
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The Weather Girls

In 1983 American pop duo, The Weather Girls, released "It's Raining Men," the lead single off of their third studio album. The song quickly became the number-one dance song in the country, and it topped the charts worldwide. The song was even nominated for a Grammy—for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals!

weather girls
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In 1985 Norwegian synth-pop group a-ha released the now iconic single, "Take On Me." Their accompanying music video was equally popular, blending pencil-sketch animation and live-action footage through a process called rotoscoping. Today it remains one of the most popular music videos on YouTube.

a ha
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Vanilla Ice

Rapper Vanilla Ice rose to seemingly instant fame in 1990 on the heels of the release of his song, "Ice Ice Baby." Though he has continued to release music and perform throughout the years, there's no denying that 1990 marked the peak of his success.

portrait of vanilla ice
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Right Said Fred

Right Said Fred's 1991 dance hit "I'm Too Sexy" dominated the charts, and though the duo never had another single achieve such great success—the song has become nothing short of iconic. Taylor Swift even paid homage to the legendary track in her 2016 song, "Look What You Made Me Do."

right said fred
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Los Del Rio

In 1996 it was impossible to turn on the radio without hearing Los Del Rio's "Macarena." The duo's only hit became one of the most popular songs of all time, inspiring a line dance that people still enjoy at weddings and other parties to this day.

los del rio sing the macarena
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The Verve

The Verve put themselves on the map in 1997 when their single, "Bitter Sweet Symphony" became a massive hit. The song was praised by publications like Rolling Stone and NME, and its accompanying music video got three nominations at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards.

the verve
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Lou Bega

Though it was originally written and recorded in 1949 by Cuban artist Dámaso Pérez Prado, "Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of...)" was the viral hit that put Lou Bega on the map exactly 50 years later.

lou bega
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Macy Gray

Macy Gray released her smash hit single "I Try" in the summer of 1999. The song dominated the charts internationally and even won Gray a Grammy Award in 2001 for Best Female Pop Vocal.

macy gray
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