Special Report

Biggest One-Hit Wonders Who Are Still Making Music

36. Gary Numan
> Hit song: Cars (1980)
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 9 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Top 40: 17
> Latest studio album: Intruder (2021)

The alien-like offspring of artists such as David Bowie and Kraftwerk, Numan forged his signature electronic sound in the late 1970s. His hit single “Cars” helped usher in a new era of synth pop, among other things. He’s experimented with various styles in the time since and will kick off his next tour starting in February of 2022.

Source: Fin Costello / Redferns via Getty Images

35. Soft Cell
> Hit song: Tainted Love (1982)
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 8 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Top 40: 15
> Latest studio album: Happiness Not Included (2022)

One-hit wonders in the US perhaps, but this synth pop duo scored no less than 12 top 40 hits in their native England. They initially broke up in the 1980s and have reunited more than once over the decades that followed. During their most recent tour, the group performed their iconic album “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret” in full and also previewed songs from an upcoming release.

Source: Thos Robinson / Getty Images

34. Bertie Higgins
> Hit song: Key Largo (1982)
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 8 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Top 40: 17
> Latest studio album: Wanted (2019)

This American singer-songwriter has never matched the success of his breakout hit “Key Largo,” which became a stalwart on adult contemporary radio. He continues to release albums and make live appearances to his loyal fans, also known as Boneheads. When not recording music, he’s been known to work in film production with his two sons.

Source: Davizro / Getty Images

33. Portrait
> Hit song: Here We Go Again! (1992)
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 11 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Top 40: 18
> Latest studio album: Afro Trees (2020)

Hailing from Los Angeles, this R&B quartet arrived on the tail end of the new jack swing style. Their only hit single features a Michael Jackson sample and reached #3 on the US R&B charts in addition to its other accomplishments. Now a trio, their latest album was the group’s first in over 14 years.

Source: Alexander Hassenstein / Bongarts via Getty Images

32. Right Said Fred
> Hit song: I’m Too Sexy (1992)
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Top 40: 17
> Latest studio album: Exactly! (2017)

Right Said Fred’s iconic hit single was a global phenomenon with lasting cultural capital. Despite the lack of a commercial follow-up, the British band has nevertheless enjoyed a wildly successful career. Two of its members were recently credited as co-writers on the Taylor Swift song “Look What You Made Me Do,” which reworks the chorus of “I’m Too Sexy.”

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