Press "Enter" to skip to content

Voice Picks Favorite One-Hit-Wonders

So we’re sitting here wondering “Whatever happened to Biz Markie?”
Turns out, the one-hit-wonder  contributes his talents to the Nick Jr. television block on a regular basis. Naturally we wanted to know more. 
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite one-hit-wonders, and where they are now. 
Devo – “Whip It” (1980)
Devo crafted the iconic music video for their synthesized Billboard hit “Whip It” with only $15,000 out-of-pocket, a little inspiration and the Devo-branded “energy dome,” the red plastic hat that sits atop the heads of each member during videos and performances.
Today, founding member Mark Mothersbaugh has transcended his one-hit-wonder days to become quite successful. His numerous ventures have included scoring most of Wes Anderson’s films, including “Rushmore” and “The Life Aquatic.”
James Blunt – “You’re Beautiful” (2005)
Sure, his albums sold, but all anyone remembers is the pure pain of hearing this song every waking hour of every day in the summer of 2005. James Blunt’s voice haunts my dreams and invades my thoughts.
House of Pain – “Jump Around” (1992)
With the abundant and ever-rising number of Irish hip-hop groups in the 1990s, House of Pain somehow managed to stand out with their hit single, “Jump Around.”
In 1996, founding member Everlast decided to go back to the solo career he had before forming House of Pain in 1992. The emcee followed up with the commercially successful hits, “What It’s Like” and “White Trash Beautiful.”
The Knack – “My Sharona” (1979)
In the words of Homer Simpson, the Knack’s only hit is “a pop culture footnote.” The power-pop group went on to record seven albums. They are still active and touring today.
Tag Team “Whoomp! – (There It Is)” (1993)
For anyone who has ever owned “Jock Jams” Volume I, or really, if you’ve been to any kind of sporting event at all, you’ve probably been able to experience Tag Team in all its one-hit-wonder glory with “Whoomp! (There It Is).”
The recognizable, crowd-energizing single has also been used countless times in pop culture. Probably the best use of this song – in “D2: The Mighty Ducks” during the “knuckle puck” scene against the kids from South Central L.A.
Flock of Seagulls – “I Ran (So Far Away)” (1982)
Everyone remembers the hair, but the new wave synthesizer heavy hit “I Ran (So Far Away)” is what launched the Flock of Seagulls career. Unfortunately, they sputtered, and were never to find true success. However, their style lives on in jokes everywhere.
Aqua – “Barbie Girl” (1997)
The rising fame of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” ended in a lawsuit from Mattel, saying Aqua had transformed Barbie into a sex object. Newsflash, Mattel, Aqua was merely translating Barbie’s feelings about Ken, fashion and living the plastic life into a song. Mattel was told to lighten up and the case was dropped.
Marcy Playground – “Sex and Candy” (1997)
“Sex and Candy” spent 15 weeks at the top of the charts, but Marcy Playground was never able to follow it up with anything worth noticing. They are preparing for a 2009 tour in support of two new albums.
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – “Come on Eileen” (1982)
Although they actually had one other hit in the UK, Dexy’s Midnight Runners are best known for “Come on Eileen.” It has been covered an unknown thousand of times, and seems to have become a sort of musical right of passage. The band is currently seeking a new record deal so that they can start work on another record.
Biz Markie – “Just A Friend” (1989)
Biz Markie’s hit, “Just A Friend,” reached its peak point at #9 on the Billboard charts and was featured on the album “The Biz Never Sleeps.” Today, he’s keeping busy with “Celebrity Fit Club” and an appearance on “The Andy Milonakis Show” as the Rap Fairy. Biz was the opening act for Chris Rock’s “No Apologies” Tour in 2008, and is now a cast member on Nick Cannon’s “Wild’n Out.”
Biz now also has his very own feature on Nickelodeon’s “Yo Gabba Gabba” called “Biz’s Beat of the Day,” in which he exhibits new beatboxing techniques to the Nick Jr. fan base.
Billy Ray Cyrus “Achy Breaky Heart” (1992)
We can thank this man’s mullet and obnoxious barroom love song for spawning a plague on modern pop culture.
Copyright © 2023, The Scout, Bradley University. All rights reserved.
The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.