The Top 40 one-hit wonders of the decade

The biggest one-off hits by artists who scored only one Top 40 hit in the 2010s.

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 Tik Tok.

MORE: The UK's Official Top 100 biggest songs of the decade

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 musican 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 siner-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 antitode 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 Candian 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. 

POS TITLE ARTIST PEAK YEAR
1 LET HER GO PASSENGER 2 2012
2 7 YEARS LUKAS GRAHAM 1 2015
3 WAVES MR PROBZ 1 2014
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
7 RIPTIDE VANCE JOY 10 2013
8 FEEL IT STILL PORTUGAL THE MAN 3 2017
9 HO HEY LUMINEERS 8 2012
10 THIS GIRL KUNGS VS COOKIN' ON 3 BURNERS 2 2016
11 CAKE BY THE OCEAN DNCE 4 2015
12 SEXUAL NEIKED 5 2016
13 FADED ALAN WALKER 7 2015
14 PUMPED UP KICKS FOSTER THE PEOPLE 18 2011
15 RUDE MAGIC 1 2013
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
29 PANDA DESIIGNER 7 2016
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
35 1-800-273-8255 LOGIC/ALESSIA CARA/KHALID 9 2017
36 MAN'S NOT HOT BIG SHAQ 3 2017
37 IN2 WSTRN 4 2015
38 SAIL AWOLNATION 17 2015
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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