Have you ever simply LOVED a song so much… only to see the artist who performed it fade away into obscurity? That happens more often than you might think.
We call such artists “one-hit wonders" because they are mainly known for achieving only a single success. Although the term can be used in many situations, it is mainly used to describe musicians who have only one hit song.
Sometimes artists become one-hit wonders because they create a song that becomes a hit due to a particular fad. For example, Rick Dees had a hit — his only one — with his song “Disco Duck," which capitalized on the disco craze during the 1970s.
At other times, one-hit wonders may just be the result of bad timing. For example, a musician named The Big Bopper had his career tragically cut short when he died in a fatal plane crash. At other times, the sudden success of a big hit has led to a band breaking up immediately after they've hit it big.
More often, though, one-hit wonders are serious musicians who simply struggle to maintain their success after an initial hit. If you follow popular music over several decades, you will see that tastes change and very few acts are able to maintain a high level of popularity over time.
Although the term “one-hit wonder" is sometimes used in a negative way, the hits themselves often remain popular and stand the test of time. Because they are sometimes linked to fads or particular time periods, they often are associated with good memories from the past.
So can you still be a one-hit wonder if you have more than one hit? As it turns out, there are some artists who may have a couple of hits, but they are still considered a one-hit wonder because their biggest hit overshadows the rest of their career.
In fact, you can even be a one-hit wonder in one country and be a big star in another. For example, artists like Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Right Said Fred and The Verve are considered one-hit wonders in the United States, but they have many hits in their native countries.