One-hit wonders on Deezer: the songs that continue to echo across generations
Paris, September 25, 2023 – Across the history of recorded music there’s always been certain artists that shine brilliantly for a brief moment with one huge hit before fading into obscurity. But how many of these one-hit wonders* continue to resonate today? Which ones are still being streamed and, who listens to them?
In celebration of “One Hit Wonder Day”, Deezer, the global music streaming platform, has taken a deep dive into the data** to find out which one-track triumphs people still cling to and to curate a selection of the most relevant one-hit wonders to spice up your playlists.
Tones and I’s “Dance Monkey” stands out as the most streamed global one-hit wonder hit on Deezer. This song has found a special place in the hearts of those aged 26 to 35, with over 31% of streams in 2023 originating from this age bracket. While one reason for the song’s streaming success might be its 2019 release, positioning it squarely in the digital music streaming era, it’s noteworthy that our list features a nearly even distribution of songs from both the pre- and post-millennium eras.
What came as no surprise?
No wonder, that Survivor’s enduring classic “Eye Of The Tiger” from 1982 has rightfully earned its place on this list, continuing to inspire and motivate people all over the world, even to this day. It enjoys almost equal popularity among those aged 36 to 45 (25.4%) and the 26 to 35 age group (25.1%).
Additionally, the presence of Acqua’s “Barbie Girl” on our list is hardly shocking, especially considering the success of the Barbie film, as the song witnessed an almost twofold increase in streams in July.
What was surprising?
Our most astonishing discovery: Haddaway’s “What Is Love?” saw the highest number of streams among Gen-Z listeners this year, accounting for nearly 28% of its audience. Gen-Z, everything alright with you?
What’s particularly intriguing is that, for our 20 biggest one-hit wonders, there’s not much difference in preference between different age groups ranging between 18 to 45 years. This well-balanced listenership suggests that one-hit wonders indeed have the power to transcend time and establish connections across a wide range of age groups.
However, a few songs stand out, such as “Replay” by Iyaz. It reigns supreme as the favorite among Gen-Z listeners at nearly 49% of their admiration. Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” holds a special place with 37% popularity among those aged 26 to 35, while the 36 to 45 age group appears to favor House of Pain’s “Jump Around” (33%).
And now, without further ado, here’s our Top 20 one-hit wonders list, sorted by streaming numbers in 2023. Make sure to put some of these gems on your playlists – some may be brand new discoveries, while others might evoke fond memories of dance moves and lyrics you know by heart.
Top 20 one-hit wonders on Deezer:
- Tones And I – Dance Monkey
- Gotye – Somebody That I used To Know
- Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance
- Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
- Hoobastank – The Reason
- Acqua – Barbie Girl
- Icona Pop – I Love It
- Aventura – Obsesion
- Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger
- Eiffel 65 – Blue (da ba dee)
- The Calling – Wherever You Will Go
- The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
- Haddaway – What Is Love
- Nena – 99 Luftballons
- Vanessa Carlton – A Thousand Miles
- Los Del Rio – Macarena
- Iyaz – Replay
- Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
- Corona – The Rythm of The Night
- House of Pain – Jump Around
- Daniel Powter – Bad Day
*Definition “One Hit Wonder”:
Songs that made an incredible impact on culture without artists being limited to ever producing ‘one’ hit – they just never made a song that could compete with the fame of their one hit. This can also differ from country to country. Just look at Nena (“99 Luftballons”).
**Streaming data: 1.01.2023 – 18.09.2023
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