Special Report

Biggest One-Hit Wonders of the 21st Century

Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Some of the longest reigning No. 1 singles in Billboard history are from artists who never churned out another hit song. Take Belgian-Australian singer Gotye’s minimalist art pop breakup ballad “Somebody That I Used to Know.” The enduring song debuted in 2011, spending eight weeks at No. 1, and had amassed over two billion views on YouTube by the end of 2022. Despite the fact that he has since released six more singles, Gotye has yet to chart another record.

Dozens of other artists from the 2000s have had a similar experience, enjoying fame for a lone single and nothing more. To determine the biggest one-hit wonders of the 2000s, 24/7 Tempo reviewed performance data for the top 40 singles on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts. Songs that reached No. 1 or No. 2 between the years 2000 and 2016 were ranked based on an inverse score wherein a week at No. 1 is worth 40 points, a week at No. 2 worth 39 points, and so on, up to a week at No. 40 worth one point. To be considered, artists must have had no more than three top 40 hits, either as individual artists or as featured artists, and must have sold no more than five million albums in the United States throughout their careers. Chart data is current through April 8, 2023.

Click here to see the biggest one-hit wonders of this century

Songs like PSY’s “Gangnam Style” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” went viral on YouTube, with “Gangnam Style” not only starting a viral dance craze that became nothing short of a pop cultural phenomenon but also becoming the first YouTube video ever to exceed a billion views. (It is undoubtedly one of the 25 most iconic music videos ever made.)

Many of these one-hit wonders, like Canadian reggae fusion band Magic!, famous for their debut single “Rude,” have continued making music, while others have disbanded, including Atlanta hip hop group D4L, whose hit single “Laffy Tаffy” spent one week at no. 1. Some songs, including the Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah” and Blu Cantrell’s “Hit “Em Up Style (Oops)” even received Grammy Nominations. (As an illustration of how musical tastes change, see this list of the biggest one-hit wonders of the 1990s.) 

25. Butterfly
> Artist: Crazy Town
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 2 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 18 weeks
> Entered charts: February 3, 2001
> Left charts: June 2, 2001

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Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty Images

24. Laffy Tаffy
> Artist: D4L
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 1 week)
> Total time on Top 40: 20 weeks
> Entered charts: October 29, 2005
> Left charts: March 11, 2006

Source: Courtesy of Dream via Facebook

23. He Loves U Not
> Artist: Dream
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 2 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 21 weeks
> Entered charts: November 11, 2000
> Left charts: March 31, 2001

Source: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

22. Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)
> Artist: Blu Cantrell
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 2 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 21 weeks
> Entered charts: July 14, 2001
> Left charts: December 1, 2001

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Source: Courtesy of Far East Movement via Facebook

21. Like A G6
> Artist: Far*East Movement Featuring Cataracs & Dev
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 3 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 22 weeks
> Entered charts: September 18, 2010
> Left charts: February 12, 2011

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

20. Fireflies
> Artist: Owl City
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 2 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 25 weeks
> Entered charts: October 10, 2009
> Left charts: March 27, 2010

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Source: Michael Kovac / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

19. Gangnam Style
> Artist: PSY
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 7 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 26 weeks
> Entered charts: September 29, 2012
> Left charts: April 6, 2013

Source: Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

18. Crazy
> Artist: Gnarls Barkley
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 7 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 26 weeks
> Entered charts: June 3, 2006
> Left charts: November 25, 2006

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

17. Tipsy
> Artist: J-Kwon
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 1 week)
> Total time on Top 40: 26 weeks
> Entered charts: February 7, 2004
> Left charts: July 31, 2004

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Source: Mark Sullivan / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

16. Replay
> Artist: Iyaz
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 1 week)
> Total time on Top 40: 27 weeks
> Entered charts: October 17, 2009
> Left charts: April 17, 2010

Source: Vince Bucci / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

15. Bad Day
> Artist: Daniel Powter
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 5 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 27 weeks
> Entered charts: March 11, 2006
> Left charts: September 9, 2006

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Source: Bryan Steffy / Getty Images

14. 7 Years
> Artist: Lukas Graham
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 4 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 27 weeks
> Entered charts: February 27, 2016
> Left charts: September 3, 2016

Source: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

13. Hey There Delilah
> Artist: Plain White T’s
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 2 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 28 weeks
> Entered charts: May 26, 2007
> Left charts: December 1, 2007

Source: Scott Gries / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

12. Lean Back
> Artist: Terror Squad
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 3 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 27 weeks
> Entered charts: July 3, 2004
> Left charts: January 15, 2005

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Source: Graham Denholm / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

11. Cheerleader
> Artist: OMI
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 6 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 27 weeks
> Entered charts: May 30, 2015
> Left charts: November 28, 2015

Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

10. You’re Beautiful
> Artist: James Blunt
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 1 week)
> Total time on Top 40: 29 weeks
> Entered charts: December 24, 2005
> Left charts: July 8, 2006

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Source: Mike Coppola / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

9. Take Me To Church
> Artist: Hozier
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 3 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 31 weeks
> Entered charts: November 1, 2014
> Left charts: May 30, 2015

8. Rude
> Artist: MAGIC!
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 6 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 33 weeks
> Entered charts: May 24, 2014
> Left charts: January 24, 2015

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

7. The Reason
> Artist: Hoobastank
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 1 week)
> Total time on Top 40: 34 weeks
> Entered charts: April 10, 2004
> Left charts: November 27, 2004

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Source: Dave M. Benett / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

6. Bleeding Love
> Artist: Leona Lewis
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 4 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 33 weeks
> Entered charts: March 22, 2008
> Left charts: November 1, 2008

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

5. Everything You Want
> Artist: Vertical Horizon
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 1 week)
> Total time on Top 40: 34 weeks
> Entered charts: February 19, 2000
> Left charts: October 7, 2000

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Source: Jason Merritt/TERM / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

4. Dynamite
> Artist: Taio Cruz
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 3 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 38 weeks
> Entered charts: June 19, 2010
> Left charts: March 12, 2011

Source: Phillip Faraone / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

3. Forget You
> Artist: CeeLo Green
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 2 (for 4 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 44 weeks
> Entered charts: September 18, 2010
> Left charts: July 16, 2011

Source: Jason Merritt / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

2. Somebody That I Used To Know
> Artist: Gotye Featuring Kimbra
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 8 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 44 weeks
> Entered charts: February 11, 2012
> Left charts: March 2, 2013

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Source: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

1. Party Rock Anthem
> Artist: LMFAO Featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
> Peak position on Top 40: No. 1 (for 6 weeks)
> Total time on Top 40: 52 weeks
> Entered charts: May 14, 2011
> Left charts: June 9, 2012

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