Memorable One-Hit Wonders: See Where They Are Now

Imagine you’re making music for what feels like forever, or maybe you’re even new on the scene, and bam! You suddenly are the talk of the town. Your latest hit skyrockets to the top of the radio charts, the video clip is being watched by millions upon millions, and you’re being called the next best thing. Amazing, right? Now imagine fading away into radio and media oblivion. And that fame was really just your 15 minutes. Ouch, right?

Vanilla Ice posing with sunglasses and an American flag jacket / Macy Gray posing with her Brit Awards in 2000 / Psy dancing

Source: Shutterstock / Photo by EM Enternational, Shutterstock / Broadimage, Shutterstock

While some artists can carry their rise and fall more gracefully than others, some musicians just can’t handle seeing their music careers disappear so well. All these artists enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame, only to be remembered (and revered) as a one-hit-wonder. But hey, at least they still get their royalty checks, right?

See what they’re up to now!

Mickey by Toni Basil

“Oh Mickey, you’re so fine
You’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey,
Hey Mickey”

Then: Mickey was a song about Toni Basil’s crush on Micky Dolenz (one of the singers from the famous group The Monkees) from the time when she worked with the band as a choreographer. What girl didn’t bounce around her bedroom with pigtails and makeshift pom-poms to this bubblegum pop hit in the 80s?

Toni Basil performing

Source: Twitter

Now: The song ended up being Toni’s only top 40 hit. She went back to her true passion, which was dancing and choreography. Toni has choreographed dance routines for some of the music world’s biggest names, including David Bowie and Tina Turner. You’ve probably heard of them. She also worked on movies like Legally Blonde.

Black Velvet by Alannah Myles

“Black velvet and that little boy smile
Black velvet and that slow southern style
A new religion that’ll bring you to your knees
Black velvet if you please.”

Then: Was there a bigger karaoke song than this? Tons of people spent Karaoke Night at their favorite bar singing “Black Velvet.” Alannah Myles was also probably a huge Halloween costume idea with her huge hair circa 1989. Hairspray and leather? Yes, please. Alannah Myles was a Canadian from Toronto, and she wrote the song about Elvis.

Alannah Myles posing

Source: alannahmyles.com

Now: After having won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance for the hit single, Myles disappeared from the radar. She did, however, have some follow up records that did well in her native country of Canada. She’s still making music to this day.

What’s Up? By 4 Non-Blondes

Then: the group’s lead singer, Linda Perry, rocked our world back in 1993 with her epic cries of “hey, hey, hey…” You kind of had to ignore her fondness for large silly hats, though. But aside from the wacky hats, the song made a huge impact. Everyone turned it up and sang along in the car, in their bedrooms, and while making dinner alone in the kitchen.

Four Non-Blondes posing together

Source: Pinterest

Now: the band never completed their second album; they split in 1994, and Linda Perry went solo. She turned to music production, and has produced and wrote chart-topping tracks for artists like Pink’s Get the Party Started, Gwen Stefani’s What You Waiting For?, and Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful.

Perry started dating actress Sara Gilbert (who you are likely to remember from Roseanne and now stars in The Conners) in 2011. They announced their engagement in 2013 and got married a year later. Gilbert gave birth to their son, Rhodes Emilio Gilbert Perry, a year after that. Perry is also the stepmother to Gilbert’s son and daughter from a prior relationship.

How Bizarre by OMC

“Pele breathes words of comfort
Seena just hides her eyes
Policeman taps his shades
Is that a Chevy 69?
How bizarre”

Then: The song reached #1 in eight different countries, which began in New Zealand in 1996. It hit #1 in Australia, Canada, and the US. Yet, despite being a huge radio hit, the song never entered the Billboard Hot 100. This song was one of the major hits of the mid-90s, and no one could get it out of their heads.

Pauly Fuemana in the video for How Bizarre

Source: YouTube

Now: Sadly, OMC’s lead singer, Pauly Fuemana, passed away in 2010 after having suffered for many years from a chronic degenerative disease. Around the time of his death, “How Bizarre” hit the charts again in New Zealand. To this day, the song is the best-selling New Zealand record of all time.

Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice

Then: Does anyone here know that Vanilla Ice’s real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle? Anyway, he began “cooking MCs like a pound of bacon” in 1989 when “Ice, Ice, Baby” took the universe by storm. He sold more than 11 million copies of his debut album, had an 8-month fling with Madonna, and was even featured in racy photos in her now-infamous 1992 book titled “Sex.”

Vanilla Ice making hand gestures posing on a spiral staircase

Source: Shutterstock

Now: Ice never had another massive single. By 1994, he disappeared from the spotlight, grew his hair into dreadlocks, and spiraled downward into drugs and tattoos. He eventually got clean in 2008 and signed another record deal. He released an album of cover songs by Public Enemy, Bob Marley, and Cypress Hill, to name a few. Ice isn’t quitting, either. He tweeted that he’s going to release another album.

Tubthumping by Chumbawamba

Then: The politically-driven band started making music together all the way back in 1982. But the band never really did find mainstream success until they released their massive hit single, “Tubthumping,” in 1997. The song was omnipresent for quite a while, but it ended with that. They never matched that kind of fame again.

By the way, I didn’t add the lyrics here because I didn’t want to subject you to a week of singing this in your head. You’re welcome…

The members of Chumbawamba posing on a school yard

Photo by Hayley Madden / Shutterstock

Now: They got knocked down, but never really got back up again. The band went through 11 rotating members over the years, having released a whopping 19 albums until they decided to part ways in 2012. If you’re still wondering what the name of their band means, their website states that “Chumbawamba doesn’t mean anything.” And there you have it, folks.

Jump by Kris Kross

Then: Chris ‘Mack Daddy’ Kelly and Chris ‘Daddy Mack’ Smith were the very young rap duo who wore baggy clothes backward and made us all jump in our living rooms watching the music clip on MTV. They dominated the music industry in 1992. They even landed a spot supporting Michael Jackson and had their own Sega video game.

Kris kross

Source: Pinterest

Now:  Their follow-up singles barely touched the top 40 in the UK, and their second and third albums never saw a release in America. They disappeared from the public in 1996, when they were just 17-years-old. Then, in 2013, after their reunion performance at Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def Anniversary Concert, Chris Kelly passed away from an apparent drug overdose. So they won’t be releasing another single…

Too Shy by Kajagoogoo

Then: While it took a little while for the song to catch on in the States, “Too Shy” was a massive hit. Don’t remember? Play it, and I guarantee you’ll be transported back in time. The 1983 track was Kajagoogoo’s first single and catapulted the band into international stardom. Tensions between the band members grew, and the band fired their lead singer for being particularly difficult to work with.

Kajagoogoo

Source: Twitter

Now: The band released one bad single after another. They tried ditching their bubblegum look and sound by renaming themselves Kaja, but nothing could save them. The band dismembered in 1985. The original five members have reunited a few times since the ’80s, but after releasing their last and final single in 2011, Kajagoogoo officially called it quits.

I Try by Macy Gray

Then: Remember this song? Even if it doesn’t seem familiar right now, the second you hear it, it’ll come right back. Macy Gray started writing music in college and eventually released her first album in 1999. Her catchy and unique song, “I Try,” went quadruple platinum and turned Macy into a household name. She won a Grammy for best female pop vocal performance.

Macy Gray performing in 2000

Photo by JM Enternational / Shutterstock

Now: Macy Gray released eight more albums, the latest as recent as 2016 (“Stripped”). While her music has done somewhat well, she never reproduced the same success of “I Try.” She collaborated with Ariana Grande in 2016 on the song “Leave Me Lonely,” which brought her back into the limelight for a bit. She also continues to act, most often playing herself or taking small roles in small productions.

I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred

Then: the brothers from London, Richard and Fred Fairbrass, along with guitarist Rob Manzoli, hit the jackpot with their first song in 1991, “I’m Too Sexy.” The No. 1 dance track rushed their album “Up” goes gold, but the trio never released another chart-topper in the United States. And then a young blonde came along…

Right Said Fred posing together at a photoshoot in 1991

Photo by Nils Jorgensen / Shutterstock

Now: Rob Manzoli left the group in 1997, and so the brothers went on to make five more albums together. In 2017, Taylor Swift gave a writing credit to Right Said Fred on “Look What You Made Me Do,” which was the first single from her sixth album. The song samples the bassline from the chorus of “I’m Too Sexy.” Richard Fairbrass told People magazine: “When we recorded ‘Sexy,’ I didn’t think it would last more than six months,” he said. “So to be talking about it 26 years later and a star like Taylor using it and being influenced by it is really flattering. Absolutely flattering.” Believe it or not, in 2018, the band toured.

Butterfly by Crazy Town X

Then: 2001 was an awesome year for Crazy Town when their single “Butterfly” shot to #1 on the Billboard charts. Their album sales skyrocketed, and they earned fans worldwide. If you’re anything like me, you remember this song from the hilarious independent comedy film, ‘Orange County,’ which played this song throughout the move numerous times.

Crazy Town posing together in a carpeted hallway

Photo by Piers Allardyce / Shutterstock

Now: After their 2002 album Darkhorse, the band took a break and singer Shifty Shellshock (whose real name is Seth Binzer) went out on his own. He released a smash collaboration with Paul Oakenfold, called “Starry-Eyed Surprise,” and got some small parts in a few film projects. Crazy Town got back together in 2014 to release one single, “Megatron.”

Next – remember Vanessa Carlton? Sure, you do…

A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton

Then: Back in 2002, Vanessa Carlton was one of the most recognizable singer-songwriter voices. Her song, “A Thousand Miles,” became the sixth most played song of the year. Not only is it easy to remember the song instantly, but I also remember her video clip really well! Do you remember it?

Vanessa Carlton performing in 2002

Photo by Matt Baron / BEI / Shutterstock

Now: The success of her major hit “A Thousand Miles” was never matched again with any of her later releases. However, Vanessa has continued her career as a musician. She released four other albums, with her most recent one titled Liberman released in 2015. She’s also happily married now with a young daughter.

In May 2019, Carlton’s Instagram account revealed that she’s taking the lead role in the Carole King musical ‘Beautiful’ for a limited season. This is Carlton’s Broadway debut.

Save Tonight by Eagle-Eye Cherry

Then: Eagle-Eye Cherry turned into an overnight sensation after he released his single, “Save Tonight,” in 1997. The Swedish singer wrote and recorded most of the music for his first album in his bedroom. He gained worldwide popularity in 1998/99. His first album, “Desireless,” sold over 4 million copies and earned him a Grammy nomination.

Eagle Eye Cherry at the MTV Music Awards in 1998

Source: Shutterstock

Now: Sadly, Eagle-Eye Cherry just didn’t match the success of that one-hit-wonder that cast him into the limelight. He continued releasing albums, three to be exact. The most recent album, “Streets of You,” came out in 2018. He still performs live, but chances are most of you haven’t been to one of his concerts. It’s a shame because most of these artists really are talented!

Bitch by Meredith Brooks

Then: Brooks shocked the world of adult contemporary radio in 1997 with her hit “Bitch.” Brooks began singing at the age of 15, but she was 38 when the song “Bitch” came out. Because of the nature of the word “bitch,” there were issues when it came to radio stations playing it on air. They got a lot of slack.

Meredith Brooks at a Grammy party in 2000

Photo by Bei / Shutterstock

Now: Now, at the age of 54, Brooks has gone more behind the scenes in the music industry. Now, she’s working as a music producer. She’s worked on Jennifer Love Hewitt’s 2002 album, BareNaked, among other records by other music artists. Brooks also released a children’s album in 2007. But I’m going to assume that she didn’t use any profanities.

Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega

Then: Lou Bega (whose real name is David Lubega) hit the music scene with a bang in 1999 with “Mambo No. 5.” The German musician covered the original 1949 hit. Bega received his first (and only) Grammy nomination for this song, which reached No. 1 in multiple countries like Australia, France, and Germany and peaked at No. 3 on the American Billboard Hot 100.

Lou Bega sitting on a marble staircase 1999

Source: Shutterstock

Now: Yes, ladies and gentlemen; Lou Bega is still making music. His fifth studio album came out in 2013, and it did pretty well in his home country of Germany. In 2014, he married his longtime girlfriend Jenieva Jane in Las Vegas. The two, who have a child together, released the song “Eternity” in 2018. Pretty cute, huh?

I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts

Then: This is probably the greatest TV theme tune ever. Is there anyone out there that doesn’t agree? And considering the cult status of the majorly popular show ‘Friends’ accompanying this hit song, it’s hard to believe that The Rembrandts will ever enjoy the sweet taste of success again. I really do not know of anyone watching Friends who didn’t sing along during every episode introduction.

The Rembrandts posing together with their guitars

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Now: The duo re-released the Friends theme song just two years later. Why? Who knows? Maybe they just couldn’t get enough of it. But they did get to the top 5 slot in the charts. Their follow-up singles didn’t chart, though, and they now write songs for other artists, including Catchpenny and Gin Blossom.

Macarena by Los del Rio

Then: Antonio Romero and Rafael Ruíz were the two men behind Macarena. They were better known as the Spanish Latin pop duo Los Del Rio, started singing together in 1962. But it wasn’t until 1994, when the release of “Macarena” from the album “A Mi Me Gusta,” that the duo found massive mainstream success. And you can even remember a dance party in the 90s without this song?

The members of Los Del Rio posing together at an event

Photo by Muddy Ignace / DYDPPA / Shutterstock

Now: Antonio Romero and Rafael Ruiz just could not let go of their success. They ended up choosing to release a different version of “Macarena,” which was included on all of their albums together. They continue to perform, mostly in Spain, and were honored with a lifetime achievement Latin Grammy in 2017.

All The Things She Said by t.A.T.u

Then: When you put pseudo lesbian schoolgirls from Russia in schoolgirl outfits, singing and frolicking around in the rain, you get a one-hit-wonder. Can you really have seen it going any other way? This song and its video clip was the talk of the town (or globe) in 2002. They were on every radio station and on a continual loop on MTV.

t.A.T.u.

Source: Instagram/ pinterest/ instagram

Now: t.A.T.u later represented their native country of Russia in the Eurovision song contest and broke free from their management, then signing with a different record company in 2005. But, their second UK release didn’t turn any heads. After a bunch of lawsuits and controversy surrounding the singing duo, the pair split in 2009 to pursue solo careers.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something

Then: “She said, ‘I think I remember the film.’” In 1996, let’s face it – we were all jamming along with Texan rockers Deep Blue Something’s extra catchy tune. How can anyone forget this track? It was the band’s only hit, which peaked at number five on the US Billboard Hot 100. The Lead singer, Todd Pipes, got inspired by seeing Audrey Hepburn in the film ‘Roman Holiday,’ but he thought the title “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” for the song would be better.

The members of Deep Blue Something posing in 1996

Photo by British Sky Broadcasting Ltd / Kerry Ghais / Shutterstock

Now: The band never really enjoyed any sort of success close to that major hit with their follow-up records. In 2001, they split up only to reform as a group again. They’re working on tracks to release on iTunes.

Informer by Snow

Then: Canadian rapper Snow was touted as the new Vanilla Ice, who unleashed his highly-catchy gibberish-filled rap hit. The song soared on the UK charts after his release from prison. And people went crazy for it. People everywhere were basically “singing” along yet had no idea as to what they were saying at all. It was one of those songs that we all sang along to and didn’t even feel embarrassed for not knowing the words.

Snow wearing a camouflage hoodie and a white hat

Photo by J. Alexander / Woolbridge Media

Now: Now, this may come as a shock to many, but Snow never hit the top of the charts again. And even though his later releases performed poorly in the charts (other than in Japan and Jamaica), he keeps recording and releasing tracks. His track ‘Adore You’ from 2009 was on the Canadian charts, though.

Gangnam Style by Psy

Then: In 2012, Psy came out of nowhere. Well, not from nowhere exactly. He’s from South Korea. But anyway, he popped up and hammered into our heads his super catchy single, Gangnam Style, along with its signature dance moves. The song and video became a viral sensation across the globe, creating a frenzy of dancing kids, adults, and seniors alike.

Psy performing on the Today Show

Photo by Kristin Callahan / Shutterstock

Now: About 7 or so years down the line and Psy is still releasing singles, but none have quite achieved the same success like Gangnam Style. In 2019, he founded his own company called P-Nation. Psy’s real name is Park Jae-sang, but his stage name “Psy” comes from the word psycho. He said in a BBC interview, “What I thought was, you know, crazy about music, dancing, performance, so that kind of psycho.”

Who Let the Dogs Out by Baha Men

Then: The song was written by Anslem Douglas, who is a musician from Trinidad. He wrote this song two years before The Baha Men recorded it. The song was originally called “Doggie.” The Baha Men turned it into something else; they toned down the calypso rhythm to make it more appealing to Americans. But regardless, this was their only major hit.

Baha Men posing at the Grammy’s with their awards

Photo by Stewart Cook / Shutterstock

Now: The Baha Men released a bunch of albums, including a Christmas Medley that combined The Little Drummer Boy with Silver Bells. In 2015, the band performed at the MetLife Stadium, the halftime show for the New York Giants/Dallas Cowboys football game. In April 2019, the group released a new single, “Let’s Go,” which is dedicated to the teams playing in the Final Four.

Video Killed the Radio Star by Buggles

Then: “What did you tell them? Video killed the radio star. Video killed the radio star” There – now you can get it stuck in your head again, just like in 1981. Sorry about that! But anyway, this song goes down in history as the first video to air on MTV. They launched the clip on August 1, 1981, and it was the first piece of evidence that MTV was going to be a success.

Trevor Horne and Geoffrey Downs of the Buggles performing

Photo by Andre Csillag / Shutterstock

Now: After the massive stardom that came with the song, the Buggles split up, making the song their only hit. Both Trevor Hurt and Geoff Downes continued on to have successful solo careers as artists and producers. They had a reunion in 2010 for a show called “Lost Gig.”

My Sharona by The Knack

Then: Lead singer Doug Fieger wrote this song about a girl he saw when he walked into a clothing store. She was a high school student named Sharona Alperin, who worked in the shop. She was eight years younger than him and in a relationship, but he didn’t care. He invited Sharona to one of his shows. He broke up with the girlfriend and professed his love for Sharona. Sharona even came with her boyfriend to The Knack shows. Fieger wrote this song at a time when they weren’t even together. But about a year after they first met, Sharona gave in, and they started dating.

The Knack posing together wearing guardsman’s jackets

Photo by Dezo Hoffman / Shutterstock

Now: After a while, the records stopped selling, and the girls stopped screaming. In 1994, “My Sharona” hit the Billboard chart again when it was released as a single from the soundtrack of the Ben Stiller movie, “Reality Bites.” Sadly, in 2010, Fieger died at his home in Los Angeles after battling cancer.

99 Luftballons by Nena

“99 Luftballons, Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont, Hielt man für UFOs aus dem All, Darum schickte eine General.” That’s for you to know how to actually recite the lyrics. The song from 1983, sung in German, is obviously not easy to understand if you don’t speak the language. Apparently, the song is about the dreams of the German people after WWII. The 99 balloons represent all the dreams that each person had.

Nena sitting on stage with a microphone in 1986

Photo by Andre Csillag / Shutterstock

Now: Nena continued releasing solo music and appearing on German TV throughout the ’90s. She made a “comeback” in the German charts in 2002 with ‘Nena ft. Nena,’ a re-recording of the band’s biggest hits from back in the day. Her most recent album, Old School, was released in 2015.

Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

“Here’s a little song I wrote, You might want to sing it note for note, Don’t worry, be happy.”This song hit No. 1 on the US pop charts, which is impressive for an a cappella song. McFerrin recorded it with no instruments, using his body to make all the sounds. He won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance and Song of the Year in 1989. And word on the street is that he hates the song.

Bobby McFerrin being photographed in Budapest

Photo by Nora Pelyi / Shutterstock

Now: He may be known as a one-hit-wonder, but don’t worry – he’s happy. According to NPR, the song “ended McFerrin’s musical life as he had known it.” He returned in 2013 with a new gospel album. And in contrast to other performers from the ’80s MTV era of “one-hit wonders,” McFerrin doesn’t even usually perform “Don’t Worry” live in concert. His response to being a pop star was to learn how to conduct an orchestra.

One of Us by Joan Osborne

Then: Joan Osborne’s hit single landed at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1995. The song was also used as the theme song for the TV series, ‘Joan of Arcadia,’ in 2003. The song was nominated for a few Grammys, including Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal. She was nominated for Best New Artist and album of the year as well. But she didn’t win in the end.

Joan Osborne wearing a fluffy white sweater in concert in 1996

Photo by Hayley Madden / Shutterstock

Now: Osborne is now in her 50s and still performing music, but this time as a member of the band Trigger Hippy. The band was nominated for Best Blues Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards. One of Joan’s latest releases is an album with all Bob Dylan covers. ‘Songs of Bob Dylan’ is her 9th studio album.

Tainted Love by Soft Cell

Then: “Once I ran to you (I ran), Now I’ll run from you, This tainted love you’ve given, I give you all a boy could give you, Take my tears, and that’s not nearly all Tainted love.” In America, Soft Cell is a one-hit-wonder, but they did well for themselves in the UK. In 1981, Tainted Love was Britain’s best-selling single. It hit the charts again in May 1991, reaching #5. And you probably heard the cover by Marilyn Manson from 2001.

David Ball and Marc Almond in front of a sign that says What

Photo by Eugene Adebari / Shutterstock

Now: After the success of “Tainted Love,” Soft Cell (Marc Almond and Dave Ball) released an EP in 1982 (Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing) and two LPs in 1983 (The Art of Falling Apart and This Last Night in Sodom). After their split in 1984, Almond launched a solo career, and Ball worked as a producer. In 2018, they reunited for the first time in 15 years to do a “Last Ever Final Show” concert.

Kung-Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas

Then: “Everybody was kung-fu fighting, Those kicks were fast as lightning, In fact, it was a little bit frightening, but they fought with expert timing.” This popular song rose to the top of the British, Australian and American charts, and the Soul Singles chart. It also received a Gold certification from the RIAA in 1974. It sold 11 million records worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Carl Douglas with a samurai sword posing for a photograph

Source: Shutterstock

Now: Carl Douglas landed another top 30 hit in England with his single “Run Back” in 1977. He then released the albums “Love, Peace, and Happiness” in 1979 and “Keep Pleasing Me” in 1983. But nothing matches the success of “Kung Fu Fighting.” Douglas now lives in Germany and owns a publishing company.

Closing Time by Semisonic

Then: The band’s vocalist and songwriter Dan Wilson said: “I really thought that that was the greatest destiny for ‘Closing Time,’ that it would be used by all the bartenders, and it was actually. It still is. I run into people all the time who tell me, Oh, I worked in this one bar for four years, and I heard your song every single night.”

Semisonic performing in 2000

Photo by Stephen Meddle / Shutterstock

Now: The song is still popular today, even played at bars when they’re about to close. It’s been almost 20 years since Semisonic last released anything new, and, aside from an occasional Minneapolis-area show, the pop-rock trio has been sitting dormant. But, according to drummer Jake Slichter, the band never officially nor unofficially broke up.

Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn

Then: Marc Cohn won the 1991 Grammy for Best New Artist award, beating both Boyz II Men and Seal. But Cohn never matched the success of this song. Cher did her own version of the track for her 1995 album, ‘It’s a Man’s World,’ and her version hit #11 in the UK.

Marc Cohn performing in 2017

Photo by Suzanne Cordeiro / Shutterstock

Now: In 2005, Cohn was shot in the head in an attempted carjacking after a show he did in Denver. “When the doctor wheeled me in and found the bullet had missed my skull, he told me, ‘You’re the luckiest unlucky b*st*rd we’ve seen,’ ” Cohn described. “Another centimeter, I would have been dead.”

He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and turned to write as therapy. It resulted in a 2007 album, ‘Join the Parade,’ which explores themes of mortality, fate, and chance.

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers

Then: “But I would walk five hundred miles, and I would walk five hundred more, Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles, to fall down at your door.” This was a hit in the US after it was placed in the movie ‘Benny & Joon.’ The director heard the song and loved it. The group had no idea it would be even featured in the film.

Charlie Reid and Craig Reid of the Proclaimers singing

Photo by Keith Waldegrave / Associated Newspapers / Shutterstock

Now: Charlie and Craig Reid were the brothers, also known as the Proclaimers. Charlies said, “500 miles is the reason we can keep making records. In terms of what it has brought in over the years, it pays for new records; it pays for tours; it underpins everything we do.”

Just a Friend by Biz Markie

Then: “You, you got what I need, but you say he’s just a friend, but you say he’s just a friend.” Remember this one? Biz Markie is a rapper who also sings in this song, albeit poorly. He was one of the first to do so. 10 years later, a trend started where rappers would sing on their records. Rappers like Ja Rule and Nelly had hits where they also sang not so well but wasn’t supposed to be ironic.

Biz Markie holding up his chain with #1 on it on the red carpet

Photo by Leon / Mediapunch / Shutterstock

Now: After making a name for himself as a goofy rapper, Biz Markie wasn’t taken seriously by the public. After his third album, “I Need a Haircut,” was released, Markie was handed a lawsuit from Gilbert O’Sullivan, who claimed that Biz’s song “Alone Again” had an unauthorized sample from O’Sullivan’s single “Alone Again (Naturally).” Biz went on to do small projects like working with the Beastie Boys, The Rolling Stones, producing a song for the Office Space soundtrack, and even appeared in ‘Men in Black II.’

Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus

Then: “Cause I’m just a teenage dirtbag, baby, Yeah I’m just a teenage dirtbag, baby, Listen to Iron Maiden, baby, with me, ooh.” This song was released in 2000 as the lead single on their debut album. The song was written by Brendan B. Brown, and it was inspired by a childhood experience of his.

Members of Wheatus posing against a brick wall

Source: Facebook

Now: Their other singles, “Leroy” and “Wannabe Gangstar,” performed less well. The band had many disagreements with their record label, mostly because Brendan Brown insisted on self-producing the album (as he did with their debut). Their second album, “Hand over your loved ones,” hardly any promotion and didn’t do well. Recently, Wheatus opened for UK pop-rock band Busted for their reunion tour. And they’re working on new music.

(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life by Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley

Then: This song won the 1987 Grammy award for Best Vocal Performance by a Duo and an Academy Award for Best Film Song. As you know, it was featured in the climactic scene of the popular movie, ‘Dirty Dancing,’ with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. This was a one-hit-wonder of this one-time duo Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley.

Jennifer Warnes performing in 1983 / Bill Medley performing in 1982

Photo by ITV, Shutterstock / Bei, Shutterstock

Now: Jennifer Warnes did not write or perform for many years after her mother passed away. She was extremely close to her mother, who came on the road with Jennifer on her tours. Now Warnes is a senior citizen and still making music. Bill Medley is part of the music group The Righteous Brothers with Bucky Heard, and they perform weekly in Las Vegas.

Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest

Then: The song was written by Sherman Kelly, the group’s keyboard player and songwriter, in 1969 after a trip he made to the Caribbean island of Saint Croix. He was attacked and left for dead. When he was recovering, he wrote the song. “I envisioned an alternate reality,” he said. “The dream of a peaceful and joyful celebration of life.”

The members of King Harvest posing around a motorcycle

Source: Pinterest

Now: The band went through a constantly fluctuating membership. Band members came and went, but it always included its four core co-founders: Dave “Doc” Robinson (lead vocals/bass/keyboard), Ron Altbach (keyboard), Ed Tuleja (guitar), and Rod Novak (saxophone). In 2016, King Harvest released their new single “Our Old Songs.” But they’re always going to be known for “Dancing in the Moonlight.”

Sugar, Sugar by The Archies

Then: “Sugar, ah honey honey, You are my candy girl, And you got me wanting you.” The Archies were quite unique in that the group was a fictional band that performed on the famous Saturday morning cartoon, ‘Archie.’ The group itself was never seen; only the cartoon characters were. The song was written with preschoolers in mind.

The Archies from the comic ‘Archie’

Source: YouTube

Now: The band had a few other hits like “Feelin’ So Good” and “Everything’s Archie,” but they were nothing like “Sugar, Sugar.” After thriving in the ’60s and ’70s, The Archies released a Christmas album in 2008 called The Archies Christmas Album featuring Betty and Veronica. The Archie comics revamped with a new modern series following the band who is pursuing a music career.

Wipe Out by The Surfaris

Then: the popular instrumental track had a repetitive but significant surf rhythm. The only vocal was the phrase “Wipe Out.” The Surfaris were a band of teenagers with no money to record their work. Their breakthrough was thanks to drummer Ron Wilson, who did such a good job on the long drum solos that it became one of the most famous drum solo breaks ever played and recorded.

The members of the Surfaris

Source: Spotify

Now: The band consisted of Jim Fuller, Pat Connolly, Ron Wilson, and Berryhill. But, Fuller and Wilson have since passed away, and Connolly left the music business. The Surfaris today consist of Berryhill, his wife Gene, and their sons Deven and Joel. And the now family-based group is making music and touring.

In A Big Country by Big Country

Then: “In a big country, dreams stay with you, Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside, Stay alive, here we go.” This was the only Big Country hit that made its way to the US and didn’t even get much radio airplay, but the video was huge on MTV. Lead singer Stuart Adamson explained that they weren’t much of a “message band.” They were happy if listeners could dance to their songs and identify with them in some way.

The members of Big Country leaning on a railing next to the water

Photo by Ilpo Musto / Shutterstock

Now: Stuart Adamson of Big Country had his 15 minutes of fame; he was at the height of his career. The man was the picture of success, but it all went downhill. Adamson’s life was ruined and destroyed by alcoholism. The man took his life and was found in a dingy Hawaiian hotel room after a drinking binge. He was only 43.

Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane

Then: “Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night long, If you’re going my way, I want to drive it all night long.” This song was Cochrane’s only US Top-40 hit, hitting No. 6 in 1992.  “Life is a Highway” maintained its popularity due to it being heavily used in commercials. Do you remember the National City Corp commercial and the series VIPER? The song was featured in them.

Tom Cochrane on the red carpet

Photo by Michael Hurrcomb / Shutterstock

Now: In 2016, Cochrane celebrated the 25th anniversary of his Mad Mad World album, announcing that he’s going to release a special edition of the album, with a demo recording of “Love is a Highway. In 2017, he toured with Meghan Patrick and Nice Horse and even released a coffee table book about the album.