Top 10 Best One Hit Wonders Of The 2000s

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Top 10 Best One Hit Wonders Of The 2000s

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Felix Quinonez
Unfortunately for these artists, lightning didn't strike twice. For this list, we'll be looking at artists who managed to hit it big in the 2000s with songs that dominated the airwaves. Our countdown includes Snow Patrol, Jet, Vanessa Carlton, and more!
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Top 10 Best 2000s One Hit Wonders


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best 2000s One Hit Wonders.

For this list, we’ll be looking at artists who managed to hit it big in the 2000s with songs that dominated the airwaves. Unfortunately for them, lightning didn’t strike twice. Some of them did have other popular songs, but they weren’t really hits or at least not on the same level as the ones on this list.

Which of these still gets YOU singing along? Sing us a few lines in the comments!

#10: “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” (2000)

Nine Days
You know a song means business when it launches into the chorus right at the beginning. And frankly, hearing the chorus once is all it takes for it to get stuck in your head. This was a massive, worldwide hit that is still an incredibly catchy time capsule with the power to take you back to the era of cargo pants and TRL. The sweet, upbeat pop-rock anthem was written by guitarist/vocalist John Hampson about his wife, who he was dating at the time. These days, John Hampson is a middle school English teacher, but even if his days as a rock star are over, their song still lives on, gracing countless karaoke bars worldwide.

#9: “Chasing Cars” (2006)

Snow Patrol
Although the Scottish-Northern Irish rock band had other popular singles, Chasing Cars was so ubiquitous that it overshadowed them all to become their signature song. It wasn’t an instant smash, but it really took off after being featured on “One Tree Hill” and most famously on “Grey’s Anatomy.” The simple but effective melody builds slowly towards a cathartic crescendo that stays with the listener. Its lyrics are somewhat oblique but still feel universal, allowing listeners to project their own meaning onto them. Eventually, it sold almost 4 million copies in the US alone, appeared on even more “mixtapes,” and became the most played song of the 21st century on UK radio.

#8: “Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)” (2003)

Lumidee
Featuring a modified version of the iconic Diwali riddim, Lumidee’s debut single was a perfect blend of R&B and Dancehall. It climbed to #3 on the Billboard Hhot 100, charted all around the world, and brought countless people out on the dance floor. Although Lumidee doesn’t have the strongest voice, it was put to perfect use on this song. It perfectly captures the mood of a breezy, fun block party or summer barbeque. All these years later, it can still effortlessly get people to sing and dance along to it.

#7: “Stacy’s Mom” (2003)

Fountains of Wayne
Blending new wave and power pop, this band crafted a timeless classic that’s as catchy and fresh today as when it came out. Although the song was clearly indebted to bands like the Cars, Fountains of Wayne made a song that was all their own and just as memorable. Its massive success was undoubtedly helped by a music video that was every bit as iconic. Filled with pop culture references and a humorous and endearing narrative, it became a mainstay on both MTV and VH1. The song earned the band two Grammy nominations and broke them through to the mainstream. Even today, this perfectly constructed piece of ear candy is still likely to get listeners singing about Stacy’s mom.

#6: “Hit Em Up Style (Oops!)” (2001)

Blu Cantrell
It’s hard to say why, but revenge certainly seems to inspire a lot of great music. And listeners are attracted to the drama like moths to a flame. Because of that, it’s not surprising that a song about a woman who decides to get payback on a cheating lover by hitting him where it hurts (his wallet) became a huge hit. It certainly helped that it was an instantly catchy, incredibly well-crafted song that you can’t help but sing along to. And Blu Cantrell’s sultry yet fed-up vocals really sold the narrative to make the song irresistible.

#5: “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” (2003)

The Darkness
To this day, it’s hard to know if this song is serious or not. The ridiculously over-the-top video certainly didn’t help. But its success was undeniable. The band’s unabashedly retro style and lead singer Justin Hawkins’ falsetto vocals made a surprisingly potent mix that seemingly no one could resist. It had people singing along even as they scratched their heads. It also turned the band into bonafide rock gods, at least for a little while. The song appeared in movies, video games, was covered on “Glee,” and Taylor Swift sang along to it in a commercial for Apple Music. It’s still fondly remembered as a testament to a bygone era when guitars ruled the world.

#4: “Butterfly” (2000)

Crazy Town
Although you might be hard-pressed to find someone who admits to loving this song, in the early 2000s, it was inescapable. The song went all the way to number one on the Billboard charts, and it helped the album sell two and a half million copies worldwide. But if we’re honest, it’s not that hard to see why it became so popular. Coming right as nu-metal was reaching its commercial peak, the song skillfully blended rap and pop to get listeners all around the world to sing along to it. The hip-hop elements and lyrics about nipple piercings gave it the appearance of being edgy. But it was inoffensive enough to play at countless high school dances, where it no doubt became the soundtrack to many first kisses.

#3: “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” (2003)

Jet
Who says a song has to be original to be a hit? Jet’s 2003 single is the kind of song that sounds familiar even the first time you hear it. Sure, the band wore their influences on their sleeves, something people loved to point out, but it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of this song. The too-cool-for-school crowd may have labeled the band and this song derivative, but the rest of us were too busy singing along to care. And for what it’s worth, the legendary Iggy Pop, an artist the band was accused of ripping off, was reportedly a fan of the song.

#2: “Bad Day” (2005)

Daniel Powter
Both incredibly catchy and undeniably relatable, this power ballad still serves as a perfect soundtrack for someone having a rough day. It’s a simple but incredibly infectious song that really does have the power to brighten up someone’s mood. And as a sure sign of the song’s ubiquity, Weird Al actually wanted to parody it; unfortunately, Powter turned down the proposal. The song was also used to send off contestants on the fifth season of “American Idol,” and it became the biggest single of 2006. Daniel Powter, himself, was reportedly not much of a fan of the song, but hopefully, he can take solace in the fact that he created something with universal appeal that’s still beloved to this day.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Because I Got High” (2001), Afroman
Sometimes, Simple & Silly Wins the Day

“Smooth Criminal” (2001), Alien Ant Farm
This Nu Metal Cover of Michael Jackson’s Song Dominated Airwaves

“Teenage Dirtbag” (2000), Wheatus
This Beloved Modern Classic Perfectly Captured Teen Angst

“Wherever You Will Go” (2001), The Calling
A Hauntingly Beautiful Ballad That’s Still Big at Weddings & Karaoke Bars

“Days Go By” (2002), Dirty Vegas
Became a Hit After It Was Used in a Mitsubishi Ad

#1: “A Thousand Miles” (2002)

Vanessa Carlton
Sometimes a song comes along that both captures a moment in time and feels absolutely timeless. And that’s precisely what Vanessa Carlton’s debut single does. As soon as the simple and beautifully iconic piano intro starts, it transports you back to 2002 but still manages to feel incredibly fresh. If the song came out today, it would feel right at home on the radio and most likely still be a smash. Instead of dominating MTV, it would soundtrack a million Tik Tok challenges. The song climbed all the way to #5 on the Billboard hot 100 and was the sixth most-played radio single of 2002. And even two decades later, it still holds a special place in listeners’ hearts.
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