One Hit Wonders The Greatest Motown Songs by One-Hit Wonders  

Ranker Music
839 votes 209 voters 11.7k views 33 items

List Rules Only songs by Motown artists who were one-hit wonders.

While Motown was responsible for some of the greatest hit-makers in music history, people like Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, the label also had its fare share of artists who only broke through once. While these Motown songs aren't as well known as the ones by the superstar counterparts, they're all worth hearing, and a vital part of the legacy of the famous Detroit R&B label.

Ranked in order of the most popular one-hit Motown song wonders to the least popular, you can see which dance songs are favorites by viewers just like you. Feel free to place your votes for your favorite one-hit Motown songs as well, and see them get raised to a higher position on the list. You can also copy and paste from the list to make your own list of favorite songs.

Do you not see your favorite one-hit Motown song on the list? Go ahead and add it to the list so that others can listen to it as well.
list ordered by

63 12
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Jimmy Ruffin
Went to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966.

43 14
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The Contours
The group had other minor hits, but this was their only smash, hitting #1 in 1962.

42 16
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Thelma Houston
Houston (no relation to Whitney) hit #1 on the pop chart in 1976, but never had another pop hit.

35 11
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McFadden & Whitehead
Though not on Motown, McFadden and Whitehead wrote songs for a number of Motown acts. Their only pop chart hit went all the way to #1.

39 15
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Rockwell was Motown founder Berry Gordy's son. This song hit #1 in 1983 - thanks to Michael Jackson singing the chorus.

28 9
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Barrett Strong
Motown songwriter Strong had his only success as a performer in 1960 with this classic, hitting #2 on the pop chart.

25 11
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Kim Weston
Reached #4 in 1965. Weston also sang the hit "It Takes Two" with Marvin Gaye.

12 2
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Mary Wells

23 14
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Mary Jane Girls
This track from the Rick James prodigy group went to #7 in 1983 - their only Top 40 hit.

22 16
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Dazz Band
This was the Motown funk group's only pop hit, reaching #5 in 1982.

14 9
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Carolyn Crawford
Hit #39 in 1964, her only chart hit.

9 4
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10 5
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Brenda Holloway

20 15
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This 1977 Motown single misfired, but it was re-released in 1982 and became a huge hit.

15 11
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R. Dean Taylor
Motown released this soft rock song on their rock subsidiary Rare Earth and it hit #5 on the pop chart in 1970.

13 11
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High Inergy
Girl Group High Inergy hit #2 in 1977 with this. It was their only hit.

13 11
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The Velvelettes
They never released a full album, but this track from girl group the Velvelettes hit #45 on the pop charts in 1965.

7 5
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7 5
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13 12
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Shorty Long
Hit #4 on the U.S. R&B chart in 1968. Long drowned a year later.

10 9
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The Monitors
Went to #21 on the R&B chart in 1966.

1 0
Oh How Happy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Motown Songs by One-Hit Wonders
jerophonic added Shades of Blue

Blue-eyed soul!

13 13
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Stoney & Meatloaf
Singer Meatloaf was briefly a member of a duo who cut one album for Motown. This song was their only hit, reaching #71 on the Pop chart.

10 11
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Chris Clark
Clark's only chart hit, this song hit #41 on the R&B chart in 1966.

9 10
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Willie Hutch
Hutch recorded numerous singles for Motown, and this reached #8 on the R&B chart in 1966.