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List of one hit wonders on the UK Singles Chart

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This is a list of artists who have achieved one number-one hit on the UK Singles Chart and no other entry whatsoever on the chart. The list uses the strict The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles definition of "one-hit wonder", a term also commonly used more loosely to refer to any act known primarily for one major hit.

Contents

Methodology

A hit is attributed to the main artist given credit. If a single is released by two artists with the conjunction 'and' or 'versus' then both artists have equal billing (e.g. Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg) and are both counted as having a number one (in this case "Je t'aime... moi non plus") whereas if the conjunction between two artists is 'featuring' or 'with' (or similar) then the first artist is considered the main artist for that hit, with the other artist listed being given a lesser billing (traditionally in these cases they would be additional vocalists or contributing instrumentalists, although in the 21st century it became common for the lead vocalist to be a 'featured' artist).

Artists who are classed as one-hit wonders within the past twelve months are not yet added to the list, as they may still follow-up their number one with another hit. A one-hit wonder from earlier who now go on to score another hit will be removed from this list.

Under an alternative name

  • The KLF scored a single hit as The Timelords (the #1 "Doctorin' the Tardis" in 1988), but scored individual hits as The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (aka The JAMs) and 2K, and several hits, including another #1, as The KLF.
  • Isaac Hayes reached #1 as Chef with "Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)" in 1998. He had hits under his own name during the 1970s.
  • One hit wonders excluding collaboration work

    This list is the opposite to the "Collaborations classified as one-hit wonders list" as this is artists who went to number one on their own with their only solo hit, however their only additional chart entries were with other artists.

  • John Denver on his own only had a single Top 75 chart entry, with "Annie's Song" which reached number one in 1974. He also collaborated with Plácido Domingo on another single, 1981's "Perhaps Love" which reached #46 and was his only other chart entry. Denver also had five Top 20 albums on the UK Album Chart during the 1970s. His lack of chart success in the United Kingdom stands in contrast to his popularity in his native United States, where he charted 15 Top 40 entries, including four number one singles.
  • Steve 'Silk' Hurley on 24 January 1987 had his only UK solo chart entry "Jack Your Body" which went to number 1. The well-known producer had scored many hits on the UK Dance Chart and was a member of JM Silk (who have had other chart entries). Hurley refused to promote himself as a solo artist and went on to remix many more chart hits.
  • Collaborations classified as one-hit wonders

    The following collaborations are classified as "one-hit wonders" by Guinness Hit Singles because each of these particular combinations of artists had a single #1 hit with no other chart entries in this particular configuration. However, in each case, each of the participating artists had at least one additional hit separately. The latter editions of the Guinness Hit Singles book omitted this list. Examples of titles which were eligible for inclusion include the following

  • Frank and Nancy Sinatra, "Somethin' Stupid" (1967)
  • Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra, "Xanadu" (1980)
  • Queen and David Bowie, "Under Pressure" (1981)
  • Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, "Ebony and Ivory" (1982)
  • Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson, "I Know Him So Well" (1985)
  • David Bowie and Mick Jagger, "Dancing in the Street" (1985)
  • Cliff Richard and The Young Ones, "Living Doll" (1986) (Cliff Richard has had many hits in his own right. Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson made other chart entries as their spoof band Bad News, along with Nigel Planer who also had a solo hit in 1984 as character 'Neil'. Actor Christopher Ryan is the only member of this line up who did not have any other chart appearances.)
  • Aretha Franklin and George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me" (1987)
  • Christians, Holly Johnson, Paul McCartney, Gerry Marsden and Stock Aitken Waterman, "Ferry Cross the Mersey" (1989)
  • Englandneworder, "World in Motion" (1990) (a collaboration between chart acts England World Cup Squad and New Order)
  • Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff, "Dizzy" (1991)
  • George Michael and Elton John, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (1991)
  • George Michael and Queen, "Five Live (EP)" (1993)
  • Cher / Chrissie Hynde / Neneh Cherry, "Love Can Build a Bridge" (1995)
  • Puff Daddy and Faith Evans, "I'll Be Missing You" (1997)
  • Run DMC Vs Jason Nevins, "It's Like That" (1998)
  • Queen and 5ive, "We Will Rock You" (2000)
  • Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and Pink, "Lady Marmalade" (2001)
  • Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman, "Somethin' Stupid" (2001)
  • Elvis vs. JXL,"A Little Less Conversation" (2002) (JXL normally uses name Junkie XL and also named as co-artist in DJ Tiesto vs Junkie XL - "Obsessions")
  • Will Young and Gareth Gates, "The Long and Winding Road" (2002) (double A-sided single; paired with "Suspicious Minds" by Gates as a solo artist)
  • Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne, "Changes" (2003)
  • LMC vs U2, "Take Me To The Clouds Above" (2004)
  • Beyoncé and Shakira, "Beautiful Liar" (2007)
  • Sugababes Vs Girls Aloud, "Walk This Way" (2007)
  • Eva Cassidy and Katie Melua, "What a Wonderful World" (2007)
  • Military Wives and Gareth Malone, "Wherever You Are" (2011)
  • Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band, "Sing" (2012)
  • Please note, this list is not exhaustive.

    Aggregate ensemble groups

    The following is a list of aggregate ensemble groups. These are usually put together for charity purposes. The ones listed below are one-hit wonders in their respective line-ups, but each is made up of several chart artists. The following line-ups have all reached number one in their only hit under these umbrella group names:

  • Band Aid ("Do They Know it's Christmas?", 1984)
  • USA for Africa ("We Are the World", 1985)
  • The Crowd ("You'll Never Walk Alone", 1985)
  • Ferry Aid ("Let It Be", 1987)
  • Band Aid II ("Do They Know it's Christmas?", 1989)
  • Dunblane ("Knocking on Heaven's Door", 1996)
  • Various Artists ("Perfect Day", 1997)
  • Band Aid 20 ("Do They Know It's Christmas?", 2004)
  • The X Factor finalists ("Hero", 2008)
  • The X Factor finalists ("You Are Not Alone", 2009)
  • Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band ("The Official BBC Children in Need Medley", 2009)
  • Helping Haiti ("Everybody Hurts", 2010)
  • Shout for England ("Shout", 2010)
  • The X Factor finalists ("Heroes", 2010)
  • The X Factor finalists ("Wishing on a Star", 2011)
  • The Justice Collective ("He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", 2012)
  • Band Aid 30 ("Do They Know it's Christmas", 2014)
  • Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir "A Bridge over You", 2015)
  • As the contestants in the UK TV show The X Factor were different every year, the group of finalists were different each year as well, despite keeping the same name. In a similar manner, there have been a few different collaborations under the name "Various Artists", which have charted, none of which match the one singing "Perfect Day" as listed above, which is why they are eligible for inclusion on this list.

    References

    List of one-hit wonders on the UK Singles Chart Wikipedia


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