How one-hit wonder artists fare on their second singles | EW.com

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What comes after the one-hit wonder?

How one-hit wonder artists fare on their second singles

In honor of National One-Hit Wonder Day, we took a look at 10 one-hit-wonders from the past 35 years and how their next single after the hit performed: Turns out “Who Let the Dogs Out” wasn’t Baha Men’s only single, and Los del Río’s second attempt at remixing “Macarena” barely stuck. See what followed their career-defining hits below.

Soft Cell
Hit:
“Tainted Love” (1981)
Next single: “Bedsitter” (1981)
Like a lot of America’s musical imports, Soft Cell enjoyed far more longevity across the pond. After their bonkers 1981 synth-pop jam “Tainted Love” peaked at No. 8 in the U.S., the band launched multiple singles into the top 10 of the U.K. singles chart over the next three years before temporarily calling it quits in 1984. But, regardless of their fade into obscurity stateside, their influence is not forgotten: Have you heard Rihanna’s “SOS”? —Eric Renner Brown

Vanilla Ice
Hit: “Ice, Ice Baby” (1990)
Next single: “Play That Funky Music” (1990)
Let’s be honest, how many times have you or someone you know tried — and possibly succeeded — at learning all the words to Robert Matthew Van Winkle’s debut single? Though the first few seconds make it hard to tell the song from Queen’s “Under Pressure,” Ice’s lyrics quickly take a drastic turn and undoubtedly prove the catchiest among early ’90s white guy rap. When it came time for Ic to kick it one more time, he delivered “Play That Funky Music,” a lower key hip-hop cut that warmed its way up the charts with help from Wild Cherry’s 1976 hit by the same name. —Dana Rose Falcone

Right Said Fred
Hit: “I’m Too Sexy” (1991)
Next single: “Don’t Talk Just Kiss” (1991)
The London-based band was too sexy for their shirts, Milan, New York, your party, and, evidently, the United States. Although “I’m Too Sexy” made it to No. 1, their next single — “Don’t Talk Just Kiss” — peaked at just No. 76. —Ariana Bacle

Sir Mix-a-Lot
Hit: “Baby Got Back (1992)
Next single: “Swap Meet Louie” (1992)
Baby got back, but Sir-Mix-a-Lot don’t got stamina. Yes, “Baby Got Back” is the definitive butt song to date, and Nicki Minaj even sampled it in her own booty anthem, 2014’s “Anaconda.” His follow-up, “Swap Meet Louie” though? Not nearly as inescapable — actually, most casual (or even not-so-casual) music listeners don’t even remember it to begin with. The track didn’t make it onto any charts, and these days, Sir Mix-a-Lot is perhaps more often referred to as “the ‘Baby Got Back’ guy” than his own name. —AB

Los del Río
Hit: “Macarena” (1995)
Next single: “Macarena Christmas” (1996)
Anyone who lived through the ’90s will recognize “Macarena” — and maybe even remember the now-iconic dance that usually accompanies the Spanish song at weddings, parties, etc. The Bayside Boys gave it an English-language makeover for a version that ended up spending 14 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Los del Río’s attempt to ride that “Macarena” wave didn’t work out quite as well: Their holiday-themed remix, “Macarena Christmas,” only made it to No. 57, and their next single, 1999’s “Baila Baila” didn’t even make it onto the charts. —AB

Semisonic
Hit: “Closing Time” (1998)
Next single: “Singing in My Sleep” (1998)
Semisonic’s 1998 alt-rock anthem never even broke the Hot 100’s top 10, but you’d never know it considering the song’s ubiquity nearly 20 years later. (They faced some stiff alt-rock competition: “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls, “One Week” by the Barenaked Ladies, “How’s It Going to Be” by Third Eye Blind, and “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground all made the cut that year.) Unfortunately, this song really was closing time for the band, who never made so much of a dent on the radio with subsequent singles and went on hiatus in 2001. Good thing “Closing Time” will soundtrack the final swigs from pint glasses for years to come. —ERB

Lou Bega
Hit: “Mambo No. 5” (1999)
Next single: “I Got a Girl” (1999)
There was a time when Rita was all you needed and Sandra was in the sun, thanks to the Italian-Ugandan musician’s remake of Perez Prado’s 1949 instrumental. The upbeat song found a place among kids who wanted to “take one step left and one step right,” and adults who understood the deeper meaning of Bega’s womanizing ways. Unfortunately “Mambo No. 6” never surfaced and instead the German native followed his debut with “I Got a Girl,” which uses the same beat and lyrical structure as his first hit. But Americans tired of hearing about Bega’s player lifestyle, and his sophomore single failed to chart in the U.S. —DRF

Baha Men
Hit: “Who Let the Dogs Out?” (2000)
Next single: “You All Dat” (2001)
Who Let the Dogs Out” was titanic and primal, in the way only a catchy pop song whose words just involve screaming the title over and over can be. “Who Let the Dogs Out” did not emerge wholly from the abyss or the head of Zeus, however. It was the first single off an album, also called Who Let the Dogs Out. The second, “You All Dat,” did not perform nearly as well as its predecessor, and it barely even cracked the Billboard Hot 100. “You All Dat” combines a sample of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” with a couple talk-rapping at each other to create a likable eccentric mix, but without an easy hook, it’s easy to see why radio DJ’s would’ve rather just spun “Who Let the Dogs Out” for the billionth time. —Christian Holub

Daniel Powter
Hit: “Bad Day” (2005)
Next single: “Free Loop (One Night Stand)” (2005)
Daniel Powter’s middle-of-the-road ode to terrible days spent five weeks on top of the Hot 100 — and many more stuck in our collective head — but despite placement in numerous ads, TV shows, and becoming the semi-official American Idol theme song, the good days didn’t last. Powter hasn’t broken onto the most coveted chart since, even with his intriguingly-titled follow-up single “Free Loop (One Night Stand).” —ERB

Psy
Hit: “Gangnam Style” (2012)
Next single: “Gentleman” (2013)
While the South Korean singer had released nearly two dozen singles prior to the 2012 viral hit, his K-Pop dance song was the first to make it to mainstream America. With help from the Internet, the half-English, half-Korean lyrics quickly filled the radio airwaves and even earned a cover on the fourth season of Glee. Once recreations of its music video infamous video slowed, Psy put out “Gentleman,” an equally fun pop banger with video game-style beats that found its way to the top of the charts. —DRF