Ranked in order of preference for their one big hit song. Clearly, there are going to be a lot of artists who had big singles in the '90s and didn't make my list. Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments, but I'm not putting "How Bizarre" on the list...so don't bother asking...
NOTE: I'm considering an artist a "one-hit wonder" if they had a big breakout single, and then basically faded from mainstream public view. Many of the artists listed below went on to release other singles (even if only from the album that also featured their big breakthrough hit) and other albums, particularly if you include their respective native countries. Some of them have even built up a devoted or cult following over the years. Many of them are still together. But for the purposes of this list, these are all artists who popped up on pop culture's radar between 1990 and 2000 and haven't really been heard from since.
Who is the greatest one-hit wonder of the 1990s? It's up to you to decide.
Everything about Blind Melon's 1993 single "No Rain" has remained infamous to this day, from the opening guitar riff to Shannon Hoon's distinctive whine to, of course, the video's tap-dancing bee girl. The song came off the band's self-titled debut album, and turned that album into a quadruple-platinum hit. Nevertheless, the band wouldn't release another memorable single. While touring in support of their second release, "Soup," in 1995, Hoon was found dead of a cocaine overdose. The group disbanded in 1999 after failing to find a suitable replacement singer.
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The Verve formed in 1990 in England and built a considerable fanbase in the UK on the strength of their first few releases. (Lead singer Richard Ashcroft was even friends with Noel Gallagher!) Though they toured America with Lollapalooza in 1994, it wasn't until three years later that they found fame in the States with the release of "Bittersweet Symphony." It ended up basically being the worst thing that ever happened to The Verve, and they broke up soon after.
Though Ashcroft had long swore The Verve would never get back together, they did reunite in 2007 for some shows and a new album, "Forth." Then they broke up again, for good this time. Maybe. see more on The Verve
Few musical moments are more "90s" than the chorus of "What's Up?," from 4 Non Blondes 1992 debut album "Bigger, Better, Faster, More!" Impressive considering it's essentially just singer Linda Perry singing the word "Hey." 2 years later, Perry left the band to pursue a solo career. That didn't exactly play out, but she wound up becoming a massively successful songwriter for other artists, writing "Beautiful" for Christina Aguilera, "What You Waiting For" for Gwen Stefani among others.
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Marcy Playground's "Sex and Candy" spent 15 weeks at the top of Billboard's Modern Rock chart. At the time, this was a record for any single song, walloping previous record-holder Oasis' 10-week run with "Wonderwall." (Really? "Wonderwall" is a much better song.) Thanks, people of 1997!Though the vast majority of the world have not thought about Marcy Playground since "Sex and Candy," founding member and songwriter John Wozniak is actually still recording and touring, sometimes with his Marcy Playground bandmates. And they're not even wallowing in obscurity. Their 2010 release, the oddly-titled "Indaba remixes from Wonderland," was released by Capitol Records!
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