Landing a song in the Top 40 on the Official Singles Chart is no mean feat, particularly as the continued overall growth of the music market in recent years has significantly upped the units needed to enter the top flight.
There's no obvious recipe for cooking up a Top 40 single; some acts are backed by major label marketing budgets or ride the wave of the latest trend, while others may have a highly dedicated following or find themselves in the middle of a viral storm thanks to YouTube or TikTok.
The last decade has thrown up many one-off hits for artists who scored one Top 40 song and didn't return to the upper reaches of the Official Singles Chart again. The most successful of the 2010s appear at the bottom of the page; many are by acts who have gone on to have continued success on the Official Albums Chart or as touring artists, while a handful have since faded into obscurity.
The biggest 'one-hit wonder' of the decade goes to Let Her Go by Passenger. The Brighton-born musician released the gentle folk-rock track in 2012 as the second single from his fourth album All The Little Lights. It turned out to be a surprise grower, taking almost a full year to reach its chart peak of Number 2 in the UK. The track introduced the little-known singer-songwriter to a wider audience, and he's since scored five Top 10 albums, including 2016's chart-topping Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea. View Passenger's full Official Chart history.
Lukas Graham with their Official Number 1 single Award in 2015.
Other big one-off hits of the 2010s include 7 Years by Danish band Lukas Graham, a five-week Number 1 in 2015, and Somebody That I Used To Know by Belgian-Australian singer Gotye. The track's minimalist art-pop sound initially found success online as the antidote to the slew of dance-pop out at the time, and went on to become the UK's biggest song of 2011, logging five weeks at Number 1.
In 2013 Canadian band Magic topped the Official Singles Chart with their reggae-pop debut song Rude, and as yet haven't managed to recreate the, well, magic again, and in 2014, French folk-pop duo Lilly Wood & The Prick found themselves with a surprise smash with Prayer In C thanks to a remix from German producer Robin Schulz, topping the chart for two weeks.
Elsewhere, country music superstars Lady Antebellum feature with their only song to make the Top 40 in the UK, 2010's Need You Now, and comedian Big Shaq features with his Top 3 (and only) hit novelty song Man's Not Hot from 2017.
Below are the Top 40 biggest one-hit wonder releases of the 2010s, based on sales and streams compiled by the Official Charts Company.
|1||LET HER GO||PASSENGER||2||2012|
|2||7 YEARS||LUKAS GRAHAM||1||2015|
|4||SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW||GOTYE FT KIMBRA||1||2011|
|5||SHUT UP & DANCE||WALK THE MOON||4||2014|
|6||DANCING ON MY OWN||CALUM SCOTT||2||2016|
|8||FEEL IT STILL||PORTUGAL THE MAN||3||2017|
|10||THIS GIRL||KUNGS VS COOKIN' ON 3 BURNERS||2||2016|
|11||CAKE BY THE OCEAN||DNCE||4||2015|
|14||PUMPED UP KICKS||FOSTER THE PEOPLE||18||2011|
|16||SOLO DANCE||MARTIN JENSEN||7||2016|
|17||BODY||LOUD LUXURY FT BRANDO||4||2017|
|18||MY LOVE||ROUTE 94 FT JESS GLYNNE||1||2014|
|19||PRAYER IN C||LILLY WOOD & ROBIN SCHULZ||1||2014|
|20||PRETTY GIRL||MAGGIE LINDEMANN||8||2017|
|21||I HATE U I LOVE U||GNASH FT OLIVIA O'BRIEN||7||2016|
|22||SAY SOMETHING||A GREAT BIG WORLD/AGUILERA||4||2013|
|23||CALL ON ME||STARLEY||6||2016|
|24||MI GENTE||J BALVIN/WILLY WILLIAM||5||2017|
|25||AM I WRONG||NICO & VINZ||1||2014|
|26||FIGHT SONG||RACHEL PLATTEN||1||2015|
|27||REGGAETON LENTO (REMIX)||CNCO (& LITTLE MIX)||5||2017|
|28||LITTLE TALKS||OF MONSTERS & MEN||12||2012|
|30||XO TOUR LLIF3||LIL UZI VERT||25||2017|
|31||LET YOU DOWN||NF||6||2017|
|32||DANCE MONKEY||TONES & I||1||2019|
|33||NEED YOU NOW||LADY ANTEBELLUM||15||2010|
|34||GIRL IS MINE (DESTINY'S CHILD & BRANDY)||99 SOULS||5||2015|
|36||MAN'S NOT HOT||BIG SHAQ||3||2017|
|39||YOU DON'T OWN ME||GRACE FT G-EAZY||4||2015|
|40||MY HEAD IS A JUNGLE||WANKELMUT & EMMA LOUISE||5||2014|
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