Tag Archives: one hit wonder

TOP TEN: Wondering About One Hit Wonders — 2013 Edition

The end of 2013 is just a few weeks away, and unfortunately, some acts just won’t be able to carry another single onto the charts in the new year. It’s the sad truth. Some may find success on genre-specific surveys or on small market panels, but it just isn’t the same. So, I must tackle the inevitable: acts who could be past their glory days, as small a time window as it was. Only one big song can do the trick, and for these artists and bands, that could be it. (Nothing to look down upon, however, some people can’t even get to that point.)

(NOTE: I did not include several acts who still have active singles at the moment. Those include American AuthorsEmblem3, NONONO and Zendaya, among others. You better watch out for 2014!)

Let’s start the top ten of the could-be one hit wonders of 2013 when it comes to popular music and the Hot 100…

That's "the way" to sample.

Her team has a Grande problem.

10. ARIANA GRANDE
The horror! Yes, as much as I know how many you like her, Grande’s team really can’t get it together when it comes to second significant radio hit. Though she will have an album out next year, I don’t feel she’ll have as big a hit as “The Way”.

Don't "Miss" this new track.

From #9 to Five.

09. FIFTH HARMONY
The X Factor gals had a good 2013 with a top ten EP. However, “Miss Movin’ On” is the only charting single from Better Together and I don’t think Syco/Epic know what to do with them. I am not expecting much from their full-length album.

That's "Who" he is.

That’s “Who” he is.

08. JONN HART
This is another Epic act who seems to have been lost in the shuffle. His hit “Who Booty” managed some airplay at the Rhythmic and Urban formats, plus a minor CHR crossover. Baby got back, but he hasn’t been back on the charts since.

Darling Nikki.

Darling Nikki.

07. NIKKI WILLIAMS
The South African singer took “Glowing” onto the pop airwaves but had its lights turned out midway up the survey. She plans to release a song called “Thank God It’s Friday” to CHR radio next year, but it’s very average and will underperform.

Livin' the life.

Not so “Alive” on the charts right now.

06. KREWELLA
They hit the top ten at pop radio in May with “Alive”, though sales of the songs were tepid. I actually thought the followup titled “Live For The Night” was a stronger song, but radio wasn’t a big fan. At least they’ll have DJ’ing gigs to fall back on.

I like it, "I Love It".

I like it, “I Love It”.

05. ICONA POP
They crashed their car into the bridge and wound up with a hit, “I Love It”, but when they wanted to do it “All Night”, radio and retail weren’t buying into it. Their album tanked and their buzz is largely gone. These two could only Pop for so long.

A "Safe" bet for some sales.

Their one and only “Safe” hit.

04. CAPITAL CITIES
The Los Angeles based duo had a major Alternative crossover smash in “Safe And Sound”. Its longevity was the main reason why followup “Kangaroo Court” quickly hopped on radio and was then pulled. I doubt they’re due for another hit.

Cup, cup and away.

Cup, cup and away.

03. ANNA KENDRICK
This one should be no surprise as no one expected “Cups (When I’m Gone)” from Pitch Perfect to blow up. Even though there’s a sequel in the works, Kendrick is focused on making films. Plus, “Plates” or “Utensils” couldn’t follow it up, right?

He really shook it up in 2013.

Really shook it up in 2013.

02. BAAUER
He captivated work places everywhere to film their staff shaking it out to the “Harlem Shake”, and a large change in the Billboard Hot 100 methodology lifted it to a #1 debut. Unfortunately, the DJ hasn’t busted out any chart moves recently.

"Fox" on the run.

“Fox” on the run.

01. YLVIS
Admit it, you watched the video for “The Fox” a few times and tried to howl along. It was a viral sensation for the duo from Norway, who lit up YouTube and iTunes and cracked the Hot 100’s top ten. Though this song is over now, the two keep churning out videos on the ‘net, even if they don’t get the attention their one big hit received. At least they’re consistent.

Agree with my picks? Totally disagree? Want to make a suggestion for another act you think will be known for just one song? Comment below or find PGTC on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the “Get Social!” tab.

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Wondering About One-Hit Wonders: 2012’s Potential List

That's just his "Style".

That’s just his “Style”.

As 2012 draws to a close, some singers and acts have been more successful than their counterparts. Of course, established acts like Adele, Flo Rida and Maroon 5, who have consistently done well, once again showed that they have some major chart muscle. Others, like Jessie J, LMFAO and Owl City, artists who were generally considered one-hit wonders in the U.S. despite minor entries and/or international success, scored a second big hit, thus, opening up the possibility for more success in the future. Then, there is a category of artists who will be doomed to one big hit only… the dreaded title of one-hit wonder.

Now, not everybody who gets predicted to be a one-hit wonder actually ends up being one. I, myself, thought Carly Rae Jepsen would score her only hit with the catchy “Call Me Maybe”, but she made it to the top ten once again with, now, another two-hit wonder, Owl City, on “Good Time”. I was also wrong about a certain girl’s whose first major single was “Pon De Replay”. Look at Rihanna now. Look at that song now; you barely hear it. So, bloggers, fans, artists, take these predictions with a grain of salt, but prepare yourselves just in case it does happen. Also, remember, I’m strictly talking about one-hit wonders in the United States and mainly on mainstream and Top 40 stations; some may apply worldwide, but I’ll elaborate on everything as I go through each example.

Several acts on the charts at this moment are looking for their second big single. On CHR radio, Ellie Goulding is up to #25 with “Anything Could Happen”, her second top-40 hit following “Lights”. Even though her current single has brick walled right now, she’s most likely capable of securing another hit, especially with her collaboration with Calvin Harris, “I Need Your Love”. Cher Lloyd is up to #28 with “Oath” featuring Becky G, her followup to a top ten record, “Want U Back”. It’s not doing amazingly at the moment, but Lloyd is young and has a lot of potential, so she’ll probably stay around for a while. Both Goulding and Lloyd have been much bigger in the United Kingdom.

Then, we have acts who are in with their first big hit: Phillip Phillips with “Home” at #10, Ed Sheeran with “The A-Team” at #15, etc. It’s too early to call on some of the acts further down than that. These two should be safe to have at least one more hit, however. Phillips will be releasing “Gone, Gone, Gone” as his next single in early 2013, and Sheeran is already climbing at AAA radio with “Lego House”, which was a big U.K. release for him. Sheeran is also opening for Taylor Swift on her tour, which will keep him familiar with American audiences for some time. I think can both do particularly well, especially in the upcoming Spring season.

Now, the list. Well, five examples of could-be’s.

ALEX CLARE
Once upon a time, a long time ago… okay, fine, it was ten years ago, a little trio named Dirty Vegas scored a top ten record at CHR radio with a song called “Days Go By” that got widespread exposure through an advertisement for the Mitsubishi Eclipse. Though it was lyrically a breakup song, it had a danceable beat and it ascended the charts up to a high of #7 before falling off. Consider Alex Clare this decade’s version of that particular example. His song, “Too Close”, reached a high of #4 on the same airplay chart after being prominently featured in an advertisement for Internet Explorer. Though it’s lyrically a breakup song, it has a danceable beat and it ascended the charts and is just dropping in spins now. Déjà vu? Point is, his followup single in the States, “Up All Night”, is very unlikely to crossover to CHR radio, so he will likely have to settle with his one hit. This is happening globally too as none of his other singles have caught on. In other words, the coast is Clare.

As of April 2013, Clare has yet to score another mainstream hit here in the States.

GOTYE (and KIMBRA)
This one shouldn’t be any surprise considering that Gotye has basically accepted the fact that he’s going to be a one-hit wonder. In an article with NME, he said, “If I was to become a one-hit wonder, I’d be in some good company.” Well, “Somebody That I Used To Know” was a big #1 hit in the United States, and even though the followup, “Eyes Wide Open”, was a mid-charter at Alternative radio, it never became a national smash, and he hasn’t charted since. Kimbra is going to end up in the same category here in the States, but she’s managed to score a few chart singles in her native New Zealand, including one top ten earlier this year.

As of April 2013, neither singer has charted here.

HAVANA BROWN
Originally a hit in Australia in 2011, “We Run The Night” was Brown’s debut single, remixed for American audiences by successful producer RedOne and featuring rapper Pitbull. The result was a #1 Dance hit and a top twenty hit on CHR radio that was quite the slow burner. Brown has had better success as a DJ in Australian nightclubs. Her album, When The Lights Go Out, only hit a high of #16 on Australia’s Album Chart and second single, “Get It”, barely scratched the top 40 there. I guess very few people actually got it. Well, even if she gives up as a singer, she still has her other profession to fall back on.

As of April 2013, Brown managed to have another moderate single in her native Australia, the top 20 “Big Banana”. She has yet to issue any other releases here.

THE LUMINEERS
Have you turned on your radio lately to find a folky song playing? You think, “Hmmm, that’s not Mumford & Sons. It’s not Phillip Phillips either. Who could it be?” Congratulations, you’ve just found yourself another one-hit wonder, The Lumineers. Don’t blame this trio for stealing the particular sound that’s become the rage lately; “Ho Hey” has been around for a while. It, too, has been the subject of an advertisement campaign, but an online one for Bing. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this song is the shortest song to hit the CHR chart this decade. It clocks in at 2:35. It’s the shortest one to hit the top 40 since 2007, when the Jonas Brothers clocked in at 2:33 with the debut charting single, “S.O.S.”, a #23 hit. Followup single “Stubborn Love” is gaining minor airplay at Alternative radio, but it won’t do anything at Pop radio stations. “Ho Hey” is simpler and much easier to digest.

As of April 2013, “Stubborn Love” has received very little crossover play, and it peaked at a lowly #70 on the Hot 100. Who knows if the third single, “Submarines”, can do any better?

PSY
OK, guys, the fun is over: “Gangnam Style”, which will shortly be surpassing 900 million views on YouTube, is falling in both sales and airplay here in the States. Hey, it was no “Macarena”, though it did hit #2 on the Hot 100 and #10 on CHR radio. PSY has had multiple hits in South Korea for over a decade, so he won’t be a one-hit wonder there, but outside of there, he is the most obvious one-hit wonder with a dance craze-related single since Los Del Rio. Are you really expecting this guy to take the charts by storm again here in the States? Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, will try as he might to get some sort of second single on the charts, possibly featuring Bieber, but it’s not going to work whatsoever. 안녕, PSY. (That was goodbye, by the way.)

As of April 2013, PSY managed to have another hit! “Gentleman” made the top 5 on the Hot 100, but it was largely due to YouTube plays and not from airplay or sales. Oh well. He’ll still always be remembered for “Gangnam Style”.

Am I totally wrong? Right on? Missed a big one? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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