The 11 top-selling music singles from one-hit wonders of all time, from Gotye to the 'Macarena'

Business Insider | Jun 24, 2019, 10.37PM IST


Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images


You might think being a "one-hit wonder" would cause a music artist a lifetime of existential angst, as he or she tried to recreate that commercial success.

But that's not the vibe you get if you talk to Los del Rio, the Spanish duo that is perhaps the most famous one-hit wonder in modern history for 1993's "Macarena."

"We have no words to thank everyone," Antonio Romeo Monge told Billboard at a 20th anniversary party for the song hitting No 1. "We're just two guys from a small town, doing things very humbly because we come from very humble families, we lost our parents very young, we've worked so hard, and to see ourselves here?"

Contained in Monge's words is the truth that most musicians don't even get one hit, but struggle with their craft in relative obscurity, or without the type of financial success and recognition that comes from topping the Billboard charts.

And that financial reward can be substantial. Some one-hit wonders have sold millions of copies over the years, going up to 8 times platinum (the equivalent of selling 8 million units).

We rounded up the top-selling singles from one-hit wonders of all time, based on data from the RIAA. The definition of a one-hit wonder is subjective, but all 11 of these artists had one single that vastly outstripped all their other output commercially.

Below are the 11 top-selling one-hit wonders of all time, ranked by how many times platinum their singles went:

Add Comment
Keep scrolling for next story

How to add music and other audio to your Apple Watch and listen to it from the watch

Loading next story
Copyright © 2015 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
All rights reserved.