Welcome to the pop music industry. Sometimes you’re at the top of the charts and sometimes you just fade into the shadows. Over the years there have been so many great tracks from so many artists, but some pay just a one-time visit to the top of the charts. Whether a result of lightning never striking the same place twice, or just poor decisions from management, these viral sensations usually find it extremely difficult to cement their success into a long-term career. Slowly but surely, these one-hit wonders just quietly exited our playlists.
But where are they now? These pop culture anomalies are like chunks of dry ice hitting boiling water: fantastic to watch while they’re around, but they fizzle out oh so quickly. We’ve compiled a short list of our favourites from recent years – with updates on how they’ve been doing in recent years!
Carly Rae Jepsen
After the single “Call Me Maybe” exploded on the radio charts (the hot model in the MV is definitely the cause of that), we were really expecting more from Ms. Jepsen. The song was even tweeted out by the great Justin Bieber, which is surely a good sign.
Carly then released her second hit song with Owl City titled “Good Time”. While “Call Me Maybe” and “Good Time” were definitely catchy summer tunes, Jepsen’s next single “This Kiss” didn’t manage to top the charts. It’s been a while since we heard from Jepsen but her latest album, titled “E•MO•TION”, already has 2 singles released – “I Really Like You” and “Run Away With Me”. True to the Canadian artist’s style, both tracks are perfect summer tunes for you and the #squad to dance to.
Once upon a time (okay maybe just 2009), Orianthi’s “According To You” was a major power-pop/rock anthem. The Australian singer-songwriter truly showcased her amazing vocals on that debut single, even performing the song on “American Idol” in 2010.
Unfortunately, her next singles wasn’t as rocking as “According To You”. Even working with the great Steven Tyler apparently wasn’t enough to launch the blonde beauty into the charts. Despite that, her star still shines bright. The Australian singer – who is also a wicked guitarist (she was slated to play for what would’ve been Michael Jackson’s final tour) – toured with Alice Cooper as lead guitarist for three years. Currently, Orianthi’s got a few shows lined up in the US. While I admit I do miss her powerhouse vocals, Orianthi might be more comfortable sticking to shredding on the guitar instead of taking centre stage.
When your dad is the great Will Smith you can be pretty much be anything you want in the world. Young Willow Smith decided to follow dad and big bro Jayden’s footsteps into showbiz at just ten years of age. While the Smith patriarch definitely had the moves and great tunes (“Gettin’ Jiggy With It” anyone?), Willow seems to be more in the limelight for her eyebrow-raising statements than her songs.
While “Whip My Hair” was a pretty catchy tune, I guess Willow’s been spending the last few years resting her neck after that insane music video. It’s been a while since we heard from her but earlier this year a new single titled “F Q-C #7” was released. Could this be a hint to a new album from lady Smith?
It was the new year’s eve of 2013 when just about everyone was making dubsmash-like videos to Icona Pop’s biggest hit to date. Assisted by Charli XCX, the Swedish electropop duo’s “I Love It” skyrocketed them to international fame. I mean, it’s the theme song for the “Snooki & Jwoww” TV series, you can’t get any bigger than that (debatable).
The duo released a single back in 2014 called “Get Lost”. Unfortunately it didn’t manage to live up to “I Love It” and was lost on the charts. On the bright side, they did win a few Grammis (the Swedish version of the Grammys) and also got to open for One Direction for the North American leg of their “On The Road Again” tour.
Back in the early 2000s JoJo was one of the biggest voices around. She had a strong but soothing tone and her songs were (and still are) the perfect break-up tunes. “Leave (Get Out)” was definitely one of her more memorable songs, along with “Too Little Too Late”. Despite her agile and expressive vocals (her runs in “Too Little Too Late” still give me goosebumps), JoJo has had some pretty rough patches in her career.
But fret not JoJo fans, she hasn’t given up on music yet. Being only 24 years old, the brunette star still has a long future in music. She just released her fourth EP and it already sounds amazing. Titled “III.” the three singles (or “tringle”) on the EP is packed with a whole lot of soul and the R&B beats that is uniquely JoJo. The EP is available on Spotify and JoJo’s official YouTube channel.
BONUS: The official music video to “When Love Hurts” JUST hit the Internet. Careful, it’s hot!
The 2000s was a really good place for R&B and one of the greater gems from that golden time was Shontelle. Better known for her hits “T-shirt” and “Impossible”. The latter was Shontelle’s most successful single, reaching #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, her other singles didn’t manage to garner as much success. The Barbadian beauty did collaborate with Akon on the single “Stuck With Each Other” on her first album. It was even made the theme song for the 2009 romantic comedy “Confessions Of a Shopaholic”. It’s been 2 years since Shontelle’s third album was pushed back for release and it seems that there are no plans that the R&B singer will be releasing an album anytime soon.
It’s a given that the world’s favourite K-pop superstar on this list. PSY exploded onto the global stage with his hit “Gangnam Style”, which literally broke the internet and the YouTube views counter. The video has been viewed over 2.4 billion times on YouTube. The catchy dance moves also sparked parodies and flash mobs all over the world.
It’s hard to beat a single that has done that well but the South Korean performer released another song titled “Gentleman”. Would you believe that “Gentleman” was actually PSY’s nineteenth single? The singer-songwriter has actually been in the industry for 16 years but became an overnight sensation through “Gangnam Style”. The last we heard from this rapper was last year where he introduced his single with Snoop Dogg titled “Hangover”. We’re not sure if PSY’s having a prolonged hangover but if he does put out another international hit, we’re hoping it’ll be just as entertaining as “Gangnam Style”.
We’ve kept the best sensation for last and it’s none other than… Rebecca Black. The 18-year-old Californian made it big when her infamous song “Friday” went viral on YouTube. Who could forget the lyrics of “Friday, Friday, Gettin’ it down on Friday”? That song was the weekend anthem of 2011. Since then, Rebecca has released 5 more singles (the last one titled “Saturday”, featuring a bunch of YouTubers) to much anticipation.
After having “Friday” dubbed “The Worst Song Ever”, Rebecca has since shaken the whole incident off and appears grateful for the attention it has given her. Currently the young starlet is mostly on YouTube where she uploads videos and is in the process of releasing another album. Fingers crossed she’ll have a track titled “Sunday” soon!