10 One-Hit Wonders Of The '90s: Where Are They Now?
The '90s truly were an iconic time in music.
It was the era that gave us the likes of bubblegum pop bands such The Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, and N*SYNC -- all of which we jammed out to at the school disco or thrashed on our ~antishock~ Discmans until the CDs were scratched beyond repair.
But scattered among the artists who dominated the decade were a whole lot of lesser-known musos who managed to shoot up the charts with a catchy banger -- only to practically vanish into obscurity afterwards.
We've done some deep research in the name of ~journalism~ to suss out exactly what happened to the bands or singers who created these one hit wonders, which have since become a quintessential part of '90s musical history.
Len - Steal My Sunshine
This song is still an absolute bop tbh. Also, one of the only times I've ever won anything in my life was when I called Video Hits and had to say why I loved this song in order to win a copy of the album. Being like nine years old at the time, I probably said something stupid, but hey! I won and was stoked!
Anyway, after dropping the iconic tune in 1999, brother-sister duo Marc and Sharon Costanzo (SHARONNNN, I LOVE YOU) became overnight stars, but in the years that followed, the band -- specifically leader Marc Costanzo -- grew to detest their fame.
“It wasn’t a hard decision [to stop]. We just realised that everything we were, we’re not anymore,” he told The Star, adding, "We made a choice to walk away from it rather than try to keep living that same moment over and over again.”
They released sporadic albums that failed to chart and were later dropped by their record label, EMI. Marc now works within the music industry behind the scenes.
Tubthumping - Chumbawamba
Following the 1997 hit, the band got knocked down and didn't really get up again. What's interesting, however, is that the band had been releasing music since 1982, but prided themselves on their anarchist and post-punk roots.
When "Tubthumping" became a massive hit and the group signed to EMI, OG fans became disgruntled and accused the musos of becoming sell-outs and becoming the very thing they were against.
They later turned down a $1 million offer from Nike to use their song for a World Cup ad, but later accepted $70k from General Motors -- only to donate the earnings to groups that would fund an aggressive environmental campaign against GM.
On 8 July 2012 Chumbawamba announced their decision to disband. On their website, they stated, "That's it then, it’s the end. With neither a whimper, a bang or a reunion." They stated they would continue with individual efforts, and ended their official statement.
Mambo No. 5 - Lou Bega
German artist David Lubega -- aka Lou Bega -- went on to release four more albums following the 1999 track, though none of which were particularly successful. But not to worry -- he's still making decent cash from royalties for the monster hit.
In fact, he'll be in Australia early next year along with Aqua, The Vengaboys, Eiffel 65, B*Witched, Mr President, Blue, Outhere Brothers and 2 Unlimited as part of '90s nostalgia tour So Pop.
Closing Time - Semisonic
The three-piece rock band found fame with the 1998 single from their second album, Feeling Strangely Fine.
Following the band's hiatus in 2001, vocalist Dan Wilson went on to win two Grammy Awards as a songwriter and producer, including Album of the Year for “Not Ready to Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks and Song of the Year for “Someone Like You" by Adele. He's also written hits for Taylor Swift, Nas, Weezer, and Pink.
How Bizarre - OMC
New Zealand band Otara Millionaires Club (OMC) were thrust into the spotlight back in '96 for their super catchy tongue-in-cheek tune.
Sadly, in 2010 lead singer Pauly Fuemana passed away after years of suffering from an auto-immune disorder at the age of 40. After his death, "How Bizarre" again charted in New Zealand.
Save Tonight - Eagle Eye Cherry
Swedish musician Eagle Eye Cherry (yep that's actually his name) dropped the huge hit back in 1997 and later went on to co-write and sing on "Wishing It Was" from Santana's 1999 album Supernatural.
He soon dabbled in acting, before becoming tired of being typecast as 'the sidekick' to the white protagonist.
"I was getting the same kinds of roles over and over again. Being of color in the States at that time, I started to feel like I needed to do something that could change minds," he said the time.
He went on to release music to varying degrees of success and appeared as a musical guest on The Voice Romania and just last month dropped another album called "Streets Of You."
Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-a-Lot
In ways, Sir Mix-a-lot was kind of a pioneer -- just look at the whole big butt trend à la the Kardashians that we see today.
At the time of it's release in 1992, the song was labelled as 'controversial' and initially banned from MTV. Despite this -- “Baby Got Back” became the second best selling song in the U.S in 1992.
He went on the release and produce various albums, and spoke out praising Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" which sampled his track, saying " it was a "new and improved version"
He also appeared in a Season 4 of BoJack Horseman playing himself, and currently hosts a morning radio show in Seattle on Hot 103.7FM.
Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve
Despite the single being a gargantuan hit in 1997, you could say that the band's success was ultimately bittersweet.
The band negotiated a license to use a five-note sample from an orchestral version of The Rolling Stones' “The Last Time” for the song's iconic melody. However, once the song became a hit, they were sued by former Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein, and later, former Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.
For the first lawsuit, they chose to settle out of court and hand over 100 percent of their songwriting royalties as it would be more costly to fight a legal ruling that might not end in their favour. They were later sued by Oldham, too.
Richard Ashcroft, lead singer of the group, later appeared at Splendour In the Grass in 2010, but walked off after the first song.
"After three gigs in two days, including a two-hour show in Sydney on Saturday night, we knew Richard would have to look after his voice for the Splendour in the Grass set so we cancelled all promotional activity for Sunday," the statement said. It continued: "It wasn't until he got on stage on Sunday night at Splendour that he realised his voice wouldn't make it through the set."
Crush - Jennifer Paige
The pop hit dominated the airwaves upon its release in 1998, and presently Paige continues to work on music. She recorded a single called “Beautiful Lie” with Nick Carter, formed a new band called Paige & Palermo and released a Christmas album.
Most recently in 2017, she dropped an album called Starflower after creating a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. She released the album on March 31st, 2017, which included an acoustic version of "Crush."
Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me) - Blessid Union of Souls
The song was released in 1999 and referenced a whole bunch of pop culture moments and celebrities du jour, including Tyson Beckford, Robert Redford, Steve Buscemi and the movie Fargo, opera singer Pavarotti, Cindy Crawford, and Jim Carrey in the movie The Cable Guy. In fact, the song title itself is a reference to Leonardo DiCaprio.
Lead singer Eliot Sloan is apparently still making music and is the last original band member left in Blessid Union Of Souls. In 2011, they released a contemporary Christian album, and in 2012, they began the project Hear 2 Heal -- which is an interactive performing arts project featuring Sloan along with the performing arts students.
The project aims to "heal through the process of expression and opening lines of communication."