37 Best One Hit Wonders Of The 2010s

Though we’ve barely cracked the 2020s, it’s fun to peek back into the 2010s to revisit some of the major hits.

Of course, the ‘10s gave us plenty of new talent and a goldmine of one hit wonders. Until these musicians deliver another smash, they remain among the one hit wonders of the 2010s.

“Cheerleader” by OMI

Song Year: 2012

This 2012 release comes from the Jamaican musician, OMI. The combination of a catchy rhythm and uplifting lyrics quickly landed this one on charts around the world. OMI’s lively love song comes from his debut album, Me 4 U.

The protagonist of “Cheerleader” is a man who devotes his whole being to his fiancée. As a result, he is immune to the allure of other women who may convince a less stable guy to cheat.

The narrator appreciates his girlfriend not only for her physical attractiveness but also as the one who gives him the confidence and assurance he lacks to face the world.

“Teach Me How To Dougie” by Cali Swag District

Song Year: 2010

Cali Swag District is a collaboration of rappers Smoov, Jayare, Yung, and M-Bone. The crew crafted this hot hit to separate their creation from the jerk movement that was popular in LA at the time.

It would be nice to think there’s some deep meaning behind the song, but the group maintains it’s simple. This song pays tribute to teaching people how to do the Dougie, simple as that.

Sadly, Cali Swag District never topped the charts again after losing M-Bone to a drive-by shooting and JayAre to sickle cell anemia.

“Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye

Song Year: 2011

Wouter Andre “Wally” De Backer, more commonly known as Gotye, hails from the land down under but has ties to Belgium as well. He made a splash in Australia during the 2000s but didn’t find worldwide success until this song hit the airwaves in 2011.

Coupled with a curiously engaging video, this pop ballad topped the charts in numerous countries and was named Record of the Year at the Grammys. Despite the outstanding success of this one song, Gotye hasn’t replicated the feat.

This song is about a man who can't stop thinking about his ex-girlfriend. There's no way for him to let it go. Even though he appreciates his fiancée, he often finds himself longing for his ex.

“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepson

Song Year: 2012

“Call Me Maybe” spent nine weeks on top of the Billboard Charts and made a splash around the world. It even scored the Canadian singer a Juno award and Grammy nomination.

This catchy pop tune explores the feelings of love at first sight as the narrator hopes and dreams her crush will call.

Some might question Jepson’s appearance as a one-hit-wonder given her hit with Owl City for “Good Time,” but she’s never repeated as a solo artist. Perhaps her new album, The Loneliest Time, will change that.

“Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon

Song Year: 2014

Walk the Moon hails from Ohio in the heart of America and credits their love of the 1980s as inspiration for this dance hit.

You have to put yourself aside and relax every once in a while. The narrator of this viral dance track is a man in a pub who is still suffering from high school awkwardness and tenseness. He has to stop worrying and start enjoying his life.

He's lucky since a free-spirited lady in “a backless dress and sneakers” invites him to dance. He needs someone like her to help him relax and enjoy himself.

“Let Her Go” by Passenger

Song Year: 2012

Michael Rosenberg is better known by his stage moniker, Passenger. The English musician continues to release new music but has not yet been able to replicate his pop chart success.

This song clearly struck a chord with audiences around the world as a tale of learning tough lessons too late.

Having lost his girlfriend forever, the narrator feels so empty he just lies in bed looking at the ceiling. It’s now a common breakup ballad that laments the narrator’s inability to show his ex how much he cared.

“Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People

Song Year: 2010

Foster the People is an American group headed by Mark Foster who started out writing jingles. He penned this song to explore teenage mental health issues and serve up a cautionary tale regarding the future of gun violence.

Of course, the upbeat, catchy tune sounds happy and far lighter than the deeper meanings. It stems from real life as the singer/songwriter and his band explore a young man's suicidal ideation and plans to take his anger out on others.

Foster the People hoped to start a discussion about gun violence, but now think the hit should be retired in the wake of more mass shootings.

“Rude” by Magic!

Song Year: 2013

The story behind this reggae fusion song's catchy chorus might hit too close to home for some. It’s about a young guy who is eager to marry his fiancée but is unsuccessful in winning her father's approval. Despite the Dad’s refusal, the spurned suitor assures him he will marry the daughter.

The alternative music song topped the charts worldwide, from pop to dance to Latin music and the adult contemporary genres. It also charted on Billboard's decade and all-time Hot 100 lists.

Though the duo behind this hit have collaborated to write and produce several hits for other artists, “Rude” remains their only smash.

“Ex's & Oh's” by Elle King

Song Year: 2014

Tanner Elle Schneider, more commonly known by her stage name, Elle King, is the daughter of comedian Rob Schneider. She likes to blend blues, rock, and alternative country to create unique tracks with a range of instruments that provide depth.

This song tells the story of a feisty and brassy lady who loves them and leaves them without a second glance. She bemoans the string of clinging ex-boyfriends that keep coming back into her life.

It’s somewhat surprising to learn that Elle King is a one-hit wonder, especially with some of her outstanding collaborations. However, “Ex’s and Oh’s” remains her only chart-topping release.

“Gangnam Style” by Psy

Song Year: 2012

The South Korean singer, Psy, took the world by storm with his 2012 hit song. Though the singer did find commercial success with other hits, Gangnam Style will forever help define music in the 2010s.

The catchy chorus and unique dancing style created a silly smash. However, the lyrics and video are wholly satirical as a way to tease the wealthiest in Seoul’s Gangnam district.

Psy stepped away from creating music to start his own label and contribute to South Korea’s music scene in a different way.

“Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silento

Song Year: 2015

Ricky Lamar Hawk hit the hip-hop scene at a young age, but you might recognize him as Silento or Prince Silento. “Watch Me” represents the artist’s debut song that skyrocketed him to worldwide fame as it topped the dance, mainstream, and Latin music charts.

Amazingly, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” made it into both the Billboard Hot 100 decade-end and all-time lists, despite being singled out by some as the most despised or obnoxious song of the decade.

It’s unlikely that Silento will top any charts again soon. He was charged with murder in 2021, which effectively ended his career.

“Best Day of My Life” by American Authors

Song Year: 2013

American Authors hails from Boston, Massachusetts where they met at the Berklee College of Music. The musical group has a few albums under their belt, but only a single hit.

“Best Day of My Life” follows the narrator wildly celebrating what he claims to be the happiest day of his life. According to him, it's a day full of potential and he feels so good he never wants the feeling to end.

This pop-rock track reached the top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It earned the band accolades and a host of appearances at mainstream events, including SXSW Music Festival and Lollapalooza.

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