Music

Great One Hit Wonder Artists of the '90s 

Lon Harris
Updated April 2, 2020 18.1k votes 1.8k voters 272.2k views 28 items

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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.
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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. Nevertheless, the band wouldn't release another memorable single. Shortly after the band's second release, "Soup," Hoon was found dead of a cocaine overdose

Were they great?

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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. 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 2008 for some shows and a new album, "Forth." Then they broke up again, for good this time. Maybe.

Were they great?

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Few musical moments are more "90s" than the chorus of "What's Up?," from 4 Non Blondes 1993 debut album "Bigger, Better, Faster, More!" Impressive considering it's essentially just singer Linda Perry singing the word "Hey." Perry wound up becoming a massively successful songwriter for other artists, writing "Beautiful" for Christina Aguilera, "What You Waiting For" for Gwen Stefani among others.

Were they great?

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There's just something about the way the guy from Semisonic says "Closing Time" over and over and over that gets in your brain and literally never leaves again. For the rest...of your...life...

"Closing Time" hit in 1998, a single off the band's second album, Feeling Strangely Fine

The band released one more album in 2001, which did fine but did not produce a hit anything like "Closing Time." The band members continue to focus on their individual artistic projects.

Were they great?

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