By Britt Bickel

We all know and love these huge hits of the ’70s and beyond, but the artists who performed some of the most popular songs in history couldn’t seem to reach the same level of success on follow-up singles and have thus vanished from the scene.

Check out some of the most memorable one hit wonders from these forgotten artists in celebration of National One Hit Wonder Day today (Sept. 25)!

1. Lisa Stansfield: “All Around The World” (1989) — This was the biggest his for Lisa and after its release, she seemed to fall off the grid.

2. Bobby McFerrin: “Don’t Worry Be Happy” (1988) — This infectious tune always puts a smile on our face, but Bobby McFerrin never reached the same level of success with any other hit.

3. Cheryl Lynn: “Got To Be Real” (1978) — It seemed like Cheryl’s music career died along with the disco era after the release of her first and only big hit.

4. Sinead O’Connor: “Nothing Compares To You” (1990) — A cover of Prince’s ballad, Sinead turned heads with her emotional rendition of the song, but fans back lashed against her music after her infamous SNL moment when she ripped up a picture of the Pope.

5. Calloway: “I Wanna Be Rich” (1990) — The Calloway brothers may have gotten rich after this one hit wonder, but they never had another big hit.

6. Minnie Ripperton: “Lovin’ You” (1975) — She could hit an astounding five and a half octave range and was best known for this one hit wonder.

7. Wild Cherry: “Play That Funky Music” (1975) — That funky bass line always got people out on the dance floor and singing along.

8. The Weather Girls: “It’s Raining Men” (1982) — It’s every girl’s dream that it would rain men, but this hit ’80s group soon lost its luster after their one and only big hit.

9. Los Del Rio: “Macarena” (1994) — We’re all guilty of participating in the Macarena…even to this day.

10. Debby Boone: “You Light Up My Life” (1977) — Debby’s voice shined in this ballad, but she could never follow up with the same success as this big hit.

Here are a few more honorable mentions we just can’t get enough of:

  • Grateful Dead – “Touch of Grey”
  • Vicki Lawrence – “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”
  • Carl Douglas – “Kung Fu Fighting”
  • Men Without Hats – “The Safety Dance”
  • Falco – “Rock Me Amadeus”
  • Toni Basil – “Mickey”
  • The Kingsman – “Louie Louie”
  • Norman Greenbaum – “Spirit in the Sky”
  • Lipps, Inc. – “Funkytown”
  • The Knack – “My Sharona”
  • The Buggles – “Video Killed the Radio Star”
  • Baha Men – “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
  • After the Fire – “Der Kommisar”
  • The Archies – “Sugar Sugar”
  • Nena – “99 Red Balloons”
  • Eddie Murphy – “Party All The Time”
Comments (3)
  1. Palma Garcia says:

    This was an amazing song! Debby did go on to much success in Contemporary Christian music and musical theatre. We recently saw her perform a tribute to her mom-in-law Rosemary Clooney. Debby’s voice is still in top form.

  2. Esther says:

    Sade made reference to Minnie Ripperton’s Lovin’ You in her beautiful song Maureen. She sings, “Walking along the subway, listening to loving you is easy a capella…”, when she describes the boys she saw singing one night when she was out on the town with her good friend, Maureen…may Maureen and Minnie RIP.

  3. Esther says:

    Another great one missing from your list is Tommy Tutone’s 867-5309!!! Falco had hits with Der Kommissar and Rock Me Amadeus…we named our son “Amadeus”, which translates to Love God 🙂

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