Special Report

Biggest One-Hit Wonders of the 21st Century

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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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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

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

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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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

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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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

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

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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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

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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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

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

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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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

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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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

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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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

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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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

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

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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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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