One Hit Wonders Of The 2000s

The 2000s were a memorable decade for music lovers. Despite the heavy hip hop and alterna-rock influences, the decade marked an explosion of sub-genres and mainstream appreciation for pop hits.

As fickle as the era was, it’s no surprise that there were so many one-hit wonders. We built a  list of the top one-hit wonders from the 2000s that will likely leave you feeling nostalgic for the good old days.

Bulletproof by La Roux

Song Year: 2009

This upbeat, pop-dance tune by La Roux is all about breaking the cycle. Though some argue it’s about love, La Roux’s lead singer says otherwise. She notes that it’s about any recurring situation that you want to get over.

With over 50 million views on YouTube, there’s no doubt that the song is a hit. Unfortunately, the synth-pop duo hasn’t replicated the success with other songs, making them a one-hit wonder.

Stanky Legg by GS Boyz

Song Year: 2008

“Stanky Legg” witnessed a meteoric rise to popularity thanks to the dance-pop beat and associated dance. The multi-step dance pays tribute to other popular moves and remains a popular reference among American soccer fans.

The music video helped the song in its rise to fame with more than 40 million views. The GS Boyz haven’t managed to deliver those numbers with any subsequent releases.

Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

Song Year: 2006

Not all one-hit wonders are equal. Some manage to break the leaderboards. Gnarls Barkley became a worldwide hit powered by two well-known musicians who teamed up to release an album with “Crazy” as the lead single.

This song received lots of praise and even won a Grammy. With around 200 million views on Youtube, it remains one of the most popular songs of the era. Singing along to this song is lots of fun and likely contributed to the crazy number of cover songs for this track.

Recently, there have been rumors that Gnarls Barkley will return to making music.

Who Let The Dogs Out by Baha Men

Song Year: 2000

With a name like Baha Men, it’s not a huge surprise that they would have a major hit in the form of freewheeling fun. The Seattle Mariners chose to use this tune as the team walk up song and the rest is history. Though the band hasn’t found subsequent success, this song remains a staple on the sporting scene.

Surprisingly, not many people know the real meaning behind the lyrics. Anselm Douglas confirmed the true meaning as the response women at parties give to men when they start to get disrespectful and begin to name-call.

Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus

Song Year: 2000

“Teenage Dirtbag” was a significant hit shortly after its release and remains popular in large part due to its use on TikTok. Wheatus saw their song rise in popularity but has struggled to make a second song of any fame.

The song is about a teenager with self-esteem issues and struggling to get with his crush, but in the end, he shockingly does. She asks him out when he least expects it.

Turning Me On by Kevin Lyttle

Song Year: 2003

Reggae songs always feel fresh with a unique, uplifting beat, and this one is no different. Embrace the strong summer feel to get the party started with this tune, or look up the video to copy some of the amazing dance moves. You wouldn’t be the only one to tune in because the official video has around 70 million views on Youtube.

The lyrics are self-explanatory, just like the title. While at a party, the singer meets a woman, and they quickly start getting physical during a dance.

Girl Next Door by Saving Jane

Song Year: 2005

Not every one-hit wonder manages to land over 1 million views on Youtube. This song only managed to reach half a million hits. However, “Girl Next Door” performed great on the US Billboard 100, giving Saving Jane some momentary fame.

The lyrics talk about a girl who is jealous of the popular cheerleader, raging over how the cheerleader’s life seems perfect compared to the singer’s. This band delivers a pop-rock beat with an alternative edge that mesh well with the lead singer’s outstanding voice.

Pieces Of Me by Ashlee Simpson

Song Year: 2004

“Pieces Of Me” is a typical love song about a teenager telling the world how much she loves her boyfriend. She talks about how he lights her world and how she can finally rest with someone.

Ashlee Simpson talks about how imperfect she is, but her loving partner loves her regardless. The music video has over 35 Million views on Youtube and is worth a watch.

Such Great Heights by The Postal Service

Song Year: 2003

“Such Great Heights” is an alternative song that sounds modern and was ahead of its time. While the interpretation of the lyrics may vary depending on who you ask, that is part of its charm.

The song discusses two individuals that are identical and made for each other. Their love is potent to the point that they feel troubled when the other is away.

The two have a different connection that goes beyond the norm; they say that God made them into matching puzzle shapes. It is a great song to send to your partner if you feel the same about your connection.

Young Folks by Peter Bjorn & John

Song Year: 2006

The whistling at the start alone is enough to identify “Young Folks,” and many people refer to it as “that one whistle song.” 

Peter Bjorn & John made a song about a person with a troubled past and how it affects his present life. The individual mentions that he regrets his past and feels obligated to bring it up to whoever he is dating. Whenever he discloses his past, his relationship ends.

All this changed when he met someone who did not leave him after sharing his past but wanted to know more. The two start to bond as the entire world is blocked out momentarily.

Lady (Hear Me Tonight) by Modjo

Song Year: 2000

This song has the most recognizable beat of all the one-hit wonders; over 200 million people have watched the official music video. If you’re looking for a little romance, this might be the one-hit wonder for you.

Modjo sings about a man who conveys his love to a lady while they dance under the sky. They met at a disco, and he asked her for a dance. The singer tells the lady that he knows she feels the same way, as he can tell by the look in her eyes.

The Boys Of Summer by The Ataris

Song Year: 2003

The Eagles alum, Don Henley originally released this song in the 1980s, but the Ataris re-recorded it with a pop-rock edge. The cover was so well received that it became their breakout hit and currently has 20 million YouTube views.

The story behind the song is deep as it encompasses the fading of youth and the transition into middle age. The song reminisces about a nostalgic past relationship. Countless bands have released a cover of “The Boys Of Summer” but none have made it as successful as The Ataris.

The Middle by Jimmy Eat World

Song Year: 2001

“The Middle” is a hit song that perfectly reflects the vibe of the 2000s, from the music video to the singing. With an outstanding message about fitting in, “The Middle” promotes individuality and tells people they do not need to mimic others to belong.

The singer tells young adults not to give up and to try their best, and just to give things time. Other than “The Middle,” the band has no major songs and has struggled to deliver another hit.

Heaven by Los Lonely Boys

Song Year: 2003

Los Lonely Boys’ one big hit came from guitarist Henry Garza’s emotional pain following the death of his infant son. The musician fought through his depression to find peace after immense loss.

“Heaven” has the magic that makes a song great with beats that flow smoothly in all the right places. Topped off with stellar vocals, it’s easy to relax and relate to the emotional tune.

Stacy’s Mom by Fountains of Wayne

Song Year: 2003

Switching gears to an instant classic we land on one of the biggest one-hit wonders of the 2000s. “Stacy’s Mom” has over 170 Million views on YouTube and triggered dozens of epic parodies across the internet.

This song plays up a boy’s teenage crush on his friend’s mom. He tells Stacy that she is not the one for him, but her mom is. The boy believes that the mom is sending out subtle hints that she returns his affections adding a layer of comedic relief.

Collide by Howie Day

Song Year: 2003

Love songs will never fall out of fashion, and “Collide” is one of the sweetest tunes to come out of the 2000s. Howie Day’s soft rock ballad spent over 30 weeks in the top 100.

It’s all about two people with completely different lives coming together over shared interests. The narrator is shy and quiet, which he believes translates to weakness. He is surprised to find that she feels the same way about him and the ending hints that the two can work as a couple despite their differences.

Just the Girl by The Click Five

Song Year: 2005

In “Just the Girl” the singer confesses that he is in love with a girl that does not feel the same about him. He dreams of her but she only loves to pull pranks on him. The girl is warm on the inside but cold on the outside, which is just the type the singer loves; he often refers to her as bittersweet.

This song remains the band’s only hit after peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spending 21 weeks on two separate American charts.

I Wish by Carl Thomas

Song Year: 2000

“I Wish” became the first and only hit for Carl Thomas and spent several weeks on the Billboard R&B charts. It was a collaboration with producer Mike City that boosted City’s career, but Thomas failed to land another hit.

This song talks about two people who experienced love at first sight but met at the wrong time. They started talking, and the woman confessed that she was unhappily married. Despite both loving one another, he wishes that he had never met her, as she is already married.

I Wanna Be Bad By Willa Ford

I Wanna Be Bad By Willa Ford

Song Year: 2001

“I Wanna Be Bad” is a less popular one-hit wonder, with only 5 million YouTube views. However, it hung around the American Billboard Hot 100 for a while.

The dance-pop song explores what it means to be a bad girl. She explains to her partner that she wants to be a bad girl because he makes it seem so fun.

You’re Beautiful By James Blunt

Song Year: 2004

“You’re Beautiful” might be one of the most iconic songs from the decade after spending over 500 weeks on 17 different charts, including time at number one in several countries. While the song sounds sweet, it’s not as romantic as it seems.

James Blunt notes that the lyrics tell the story of a guy who gets high, rides on the subway, and stalks somebody else’s girlfriend. He wrote the song as a commentary on the culture of female harassment.

1985 by Bowling for Soup

Song Year: 2004

Bowling for Soup released this fun, upbeat pop hit to great acclaim. It’s the epitome of nostalgia for any 80s kid with lyrics laced with throwbacks to the era of hair bands, legwarmers, and excess.

The song tells the story of a woman who doesn’t recognize the world around her anymore and yearns for her past. She desperately wants to reclaim and relive the glory of her teenage years.

Because I Got High by Afroman

Song Year: 2000

Many people think that this song is an anti-drug song, but it is mostly a funny song for Afroman’s friends. The singer never dreamed the comedic ditty would become a worldwide hit, but it landed a spot on several charts.

The song became well-known for mixing comedy and stellar beats into an upbeat, entertaining bit. Simple storytelling and a stripped down arrangement likely factored into the song’s success.

Untouched by The Veronicas

Song Year: 2007

The Veronicas is an Aussie duo with one album under their belt, but the twin sisters managed to make a splash with one song, “Untouched.” Thanks to the relatable lyrics and alterna-rock beat, this song remains surprisingly relevant today.

This song bears the heartache of long-distance relationships and the challenges that come with physical separation. It further goes on to complain about how untouched she feels, despite how strong their relationship feels.

Laffy Taffy by D4L

Song Year: 2005

What do you do when you’re tired of people talking about shaking booties? You write a new song with a different catchphrase that means the same thing like D4L did. From the song’s title to the candy-laden lyrics, this tune is caked with sugary metaphors for women’s body parts.

The repetitive but addictive hip hop song landed on the Billboard Hot 100 and even hit number one.

Wanted by Jessie James

Song Year: 2009

Despite having several releases, Jessie James Decker only boasts one major hit, “Wanted.” This country-pop song highlights the singer’s self-named album and aims to represent a sexy yet classy woman.

The lyrics tell the story of a woman seeking attention from one particular man. She wants him to want her the same way.

Broken Again by Another Animal

Song Year: 2007

If you’ve ever committed to a relationship and given it your all only to end up with nothing, you can relate to this tune. The solo hit by Another Animal reflects on lost relationships.

The lyrics talk about a man in a relationship that is going downhill, he is trying his best to fix things, but his partner continues to lie and hide things from him. Despite all this, he still puts effort into mending the relationship, but it nevertheless ends.

Cry For You by September

Song Year: 2005

“Cry For You” is a fun electronic dance-pop jam that landed on several charts and even cracked the top five. The one-hit wonder sounds cheerful until you listen to the lyrics.

It’s actually a sad story about a couple approaching the end of their relationship. The guy in the relationship believes they will last forever and is only thinking about the future. His partner asks him to focus on the present as that is the priority, but he fails to do so. By focusing on the future, he kills the relationship.

Built To Last by Melee

Song Year: 2008

We all find love in the last place we expect, and this song explores that experience with finesse. People connected so well with the song that it spent over 60 weeks on six different charts.

The lyrics describe a story about two close friends who struggle to find a relationship, but all their friends know the two belong together. Once they got together, they realized they were meant to be, and they were “Built To Last.”

Dangerous by Kardinal Offishall

Song Year: 2008

“Dangerous” is a rap and hip-hop mix with iconic beats and has an astonishing 250 million views on YouTube and spent dozens of weeks on several charts. It even hit number two on the Canadian charts.

The song is about two people who cannot stop looking at each other in public, and the guy is cautious as he finds the girl to be dangerously irresistible. Throughout the song, the singer makes frequent mentions of the woman’s body.

Seasons by The Veer Union

Song Year: 2009

Change is an inevitable part of life, and The Veer Union capitalized on that concept to write a striking post-grunge-era masterpiece. Despite being a theme song for the WWE and spending time on several charts, this hard rock anthem is the band’s only hit.

The song reflects on frequent and constant change and that there’s no stopping transitions. Being ready to accept and welcome change is a valuable skill that the song promotes. The last line in the lyrics is about turning a new page and embracing your journey through life.

Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap

Song Year: 2009

The world of indie rock found its footing in the 1990s but exploded through the 2000s, including this Grammy-nominated song by Temper Trap. Despite its nomination and notable YouTube presence with over 65 million views on YouTube, Sweet Disposition remains the band’s only hit.

The song has several deep meanings. Many argue that it is about wanting to go back to better times or someone, but the reality of life makes it impossible. The song urges listeners to focus on the present and avoid worrying about the past or the future.

Put Your Hands Up For Detroit by Fedde Le Grand

Song Year: 2009

This entry on the list has one of the strangest music videos of all time, which may have played a part in it becoming a club classic. The electro-house beat spent several weeks on many charts and remains irresistible to this day.

Fedde Le Grand stated that the whole point of the song is to get people up and dancing. The video features skimpy clothing and suggestive moves, so it does not suit young audiences.

No Tomorrow by Orson

Song Year: 2006

“No Tomorrow” peaked at number one in the UK but managed to spend 91 weeks on eight different charts. The song remains popular and has over two million views on YouTube.

These lyrics tell the tale of a couple wanting to have fun at a rave. It explores the positive emotions you feel from a partner you love and how you can never get enough fun with them. They ignore the whole world and focus on themselves.

Do I Make You Proud? by Taylor Hicks

Song Year: 2006

Though this tune is a one-hit wonder that didn’t last long on the charts, it tells a happy story. Taylor Hicks wrote “Do I Make You Proud” as his success story after winning American Idol in 2006.

Despite the short-lived success, Hicks’ song left an impression and even earned a parody by “Weird Al” Yankovic called “Do I Creep You Out?”

Lipstick by Rockie Lynne

Song Year: 2006

Rockie Lynne has several singles out, but only “Lipstick” hit the top 100 on any charts. With flawless guitar play, this one is certainly worth a listen.

This rock song tells the story of a couple in love. They are excited to go on an adventure and decide to pack up and leave on a whim – after the girl puts her lipstick on.

Bad Day by Daniel Powter

Song Year: 2005

It only takes two words for most people to recognize this iconic hit by Daniel Powter. Though people expected more from the singer, “Bad Day” remains his only hit. However, the video boasts over 200 million views on YouTube and it spent a lot of time on several charts around the world.

Of course, being relatable may have played a role in this song’s success. While it’s not the happiest subject, “Bad Day” discusses the challenges of tackling adult problems.

Kids by Mgmt

Song Year: 2008

“Kids” marked the final single on MGMT’s synth-pop album. The American rock band sang about children growing up.

The lyrics start with comments on how innocent children are at birth. As children grow, they lose their innocence and learn how to fit into society. “Kids” offered Mgmt a way to succeed as a band through great storytelling and singing.

Top One Hit Wonders Of The 2000s, Final Thoughts

Whether these were your favorite songs from the great decade of the 2000s, we tried to give you a taste of what rose straight to the top. Some of these one-hit wonders still feel contemporary, while others did not age as well.

One-hit wonders happen all the time in the music industry, so you may have your own favorites to add to this list.

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