The 50 most streamed one-hit wonders

"Somebody That I Used to Know" won the unofficial blue ribbon with more than 810 million plays

Published May 31, 2021 1:00PM (EDT)

Kimbra performs in London (Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
Kimbra performs in London (Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

This story originally appeared on Mental Floss.

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In 2011, mainstream music listeners were introduced to Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter Gotye through his cross-genre chart-topper "Somebody That I Used to Know," featuring Kimbra. Though he's released plenty of other music since then, he has fallen short of recreating the magic of that one unforgettable indie breakup ballad. This has inspired many people to make the exact same joke about Gotye's now being somebody that we used to know.

As a one-hit wonder, however, he's among the best. UK-based broadband comparison service compiled a list of the 50 most popular one-hit wonder songs based on the 20 most followed one-hit wonder playlists on Spotify. After ranking the hits by number of Spotify streams, "Somebody That I Used to Know" won the unofficial blue ribbon with more than 810 million plays.

You could probably divide the list into three categories: Songs Whose Titles and Artists You Recognize; Songs Whose Titles You Recognize But Whose Artists You Swear You've Never Heard Of; and Song You Don't Recognize By Title or Artist (But Would Definitely Know Them If You Heard Them). For anyone around during the 1990s, "MMMBop" by Hanson — number 31 on the list — likely falls in the first category, and diehard Hanson fans might even claim the band isn't a one-hit wonder at all.

Unless you're especially well-versed on the Second British Invasion, you may not remember (or maybe you never knew) the name of the band behind 1982's "Come on Eileen." The perennial pub banger, in fourth place, was recorded by Dexys Midnight Runners. Other songs that often fall in that second category include "Macarena" by Los Del Río (46th place) and Eiffel 65's "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" in 10th place.

See how many one-hit wonders and their hits you recognize in the full list below. And to help jog your memory about all the songs you'd remember after the first few bars, has also created a Spotify playlist with all 50 hits, which you can listen to here.

  1. "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye
  2. "This Girl" by Cookin' on 3 Burners
  3. "Stuck in the Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel
  4. "Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners
  5. "What's Up?" by 4 Non Blondes
  6. "Dancing in the Moonlight" by Toploader
  7. "Mambo No. 5" by Lou Bega
  8. "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina & the Waves
  9. "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede
  10. "Blue (Da Ba Dee) " by Eiffel 65
  11. "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia
  12. "IAmChino" by Ay Mi Dios
  13. "What Is Love" by Haddaway
  14. "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
  15. "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell
  16. "Save Tonight" by Eagle-Eye Cherry
  17. "Watch Me (Whip / Nae Nae)" by Silentó
  18. "Escape (Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes
  19. "Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum
  20. "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus
  21. "Send Me on My Way" by Rusted Root
  22. "(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight" by Cutting Crew
  23. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley
  24. "Stacy's Mom" by Fountains of Wayne
  25. "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice
  26. "You Only Get What You Give" by New Radicals
  27. "99 Luftballons" by Nena
  28. "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles
  29. "Black Betty" by Ram Jam
  30. "My Sharona" by The Knack
  31. "MMMBop" by Hanson
  32. "Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin
  33. "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls
  34. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something
  35. "Better Off Alone" by Alice DeeJay
  36. "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" by Looking Glass
  37. "Turn Me On" by Kevin Lyttle
  38. "Sugar Sugar" by The Archies
  39. "She's So High" by Tal Bachman
  40. "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry
  41. "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles
  42. "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn
  43. "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba
  44. "Dragostea Din Tei" by O-Zone
  45. "I'll Be There For You" by The Rembrandts
  46. "Macarena" by Los Del Río
  47. "Jordan Belfort" by Wes Walker & Dyl
  48. "There She Goes" by The La's
  49. "Bi***" by Meredith Brooks
  50. "Dancing in the Moonlight" by King Harvest

By Ellen Gutoskey

MORE FROM Ellen Gutoskey

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