Actors and/or Musicians Who Built an Entire Career off of one hit
And never really did anything as good as that one hit ever again.
Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"
Beyonce's "Say My Name"
Weird answer, I know: Herb Alpert, "The Lonely Bull." And I say that as a major, major TJ fan.
Tim Curry, "RHPS."
The Beatles, "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
The pepsi Girl
That kid from Jerry Maguire who goes on about the brain weighing 10 pounds ...or whatever
Captain & Tennille - Do That to Me One More Time
Matthew Broderick - Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Cyndi Lauper owns this thread, although I think she may have had two or three hits.
R1, I think you accidentally typed "Beyonce" when you meant to type "the five other bitches who were in that group that Beyonce was also in at one point."
r3 is stone deaf.
I'm pretty sure R3 was being facetious.
Lisa Loeb "Stay"
Duncan Sheik - Barely Breathing
The Captain and Tennille may not be everyone's cup of tea but they had several hits before "Do That To Me One More Time."
Macy Gray - I Try
The Beatles,Captain and Tennille and Herb Alpert had many more than one hit people!!A one-hit means only one top-forty hit.they had many.Think Blues Image with "Ride Captain Ride" or Eddy Grant"Electric Avenue" or David Soul"Don't Give Up On Us Baby" or Heaven help us,Morris Albert's "Feelings".The song that helped guys everywhere in the 70's get blonde chicks into bed.Boy did I hit puberty too late!!Also,who can forget Barry McGuire's"Eve Of Destruction".He said he thanks God he never had another hit or he would have ended up dead like Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix.Oh yeah ands while we're in the 60's.Strawberry ALarm CLock"Incense And Peppermints"Groovy man.Far out!
Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct". Other than some decent work she did in "Casino", she's done little else of note.
R15 An entire career based on flashing her snatch.
R16 You could say the same about Paris Hilton.
Not to be unkind, but Marlee Matlin comes to mind. Probably some other Oscar winners, as well.
[quote]Musicians Captain & Tennille - Do That to Me One More Time
"Love Will Keep Us Together" "Muskrat Love"
Patrick Hernandez, Born to be alive
Amy Winehouse, a true one-hit wonder.
Rick Astley - "Never Gonna Give You Up"
Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares to U
Chris Isaak - Wicked Game
I realize that these are all 90s acts, but that was when I was clubbing.
Chris Brown...when he assaulted Rihanna it was the biggest hit of his career!
Technically Cindy Lauper has two hits: Girls Just Want To Have Fun and True Colors.
How about The B-52s? Love Shack is probably the only track getting played by them. Love them as a band though.
"Love Will Keep Us Together" was the number one song of all of 1975, followed by "The Way That I Want To Love You", "Muskrat Love, "Shop Around" and other Top 40 hits way before DTTMOMT hit the airwaves. Captain and Tenille is a really bad example.
So is Gloria Gaynor, the ORIGINAL Queen of Disco (many historians like calling Donna Summer the Queen of Dance Music to let Gaynor keep her title). Granted, many of her hits were disco covers of classic songs, but Miss Gaynor still made a lot of noise on the dance floors throughout the world:
"Never Can Say Goodbye"
"I Got You Under My Skin"
"Reach Out I'll Be There"
"I Will Survive"
"I Am What I Am"
To be fair, R12, Duncan Sheik's one-hit wonder probably didn't have a lot to do with his winning two Tonys and a Grammy for Spring Awakening.
[quote]Technically Cindy Lauper has two hits: Girls Just Want To Have Fun and True Colors.
I assume you are talking about albums, because she certainly had a lot more hits than that... and then a career in films and TV, not as a star, but as a working actress.
[quote]How about The B-52s? Love Shack is probably the only track getting played by them. Love them as a band though
Their 1980 album "Wild Planet" (Rock Lobster) was a hit, especially with the college crowd. It brought them out of the avant guarde cultures and into mainstream tastes.
Tony Basil, much more than just "Mickey"
[quote]A one-hit means only one top-forty hit.they had many.Think Blues Image with "Ride Captain Ride" or Eddy Grant"Electric Avenue" or David Soul"Don't Give Up On Us Baby" or Heaven help us,Morris Albert's "Feelings".
Even though those are all perfect examples of one-hit wonders, some of us need to go back and read OP's topic. This is not a thread about Top-40 one-hit wonders. It's about people who built an entire career out of one single thing they did that hit it big.
Chubby Checker may have had a few chart-toppers, but his entire livelihood has revolved around The Twist dance craze, which created his song (all his other hit songs were either identical sounding follow-ups or sequels). After his TV show went off the air and the album from the movie Grease had financed his home, Jon Bauman (Bowzer from Sha-Na-Na) tried careers as game-show host and producer. They all dismally flopped, until he went back to donning his greaser blacks and high-tops and assuming his by-now sickening flexed biceps/open mouth position.
Converssely, Vicki Lawrence, Tracey Ullman, and Toni Basil are technically pop one-hit wonders, but we all know they've had long illustrious careers in front of and behind the cameras that are not attached to that one hit.
Billy Rae Cyrus, the lucky bastard who was able to breed himself out of ABH
r2, I would have said Richard O'Brien was the one-hit wonder of "Rocky Horror." Tim Curry had a hit pop single ("I Do the Rock") and created the role of King Arthur in "Spamalot," which was a sizable Broadway hit.
Has Kevin Bacon ever been in anything else as massive as "Footlose""
For R6, a compendium of Cyndi Lauper's hits, with Billboard chart positions (USA)
Girls Just Want to Have Fun - #2
Time after Time - #1
She-Bop - #3
All Through the Night - #5
True Colors - #1
Change of Heart - #3
I Drove All Night - #6
Donna Douglas has milked Ellie Mae Clampett for all that character's worth.
Same with Didi Conn aka Frenchie in Grease.
To r14 and r31, re: Herb Alpert and Tim Curry:
I think the OP is worded ambiguously. I did not take it to mean "one-hit wonders," i.e., one hit and GONE; I took it to mean a career that began with one major hit that was not thereafter quite equaled.
Though I own many HA&TTB albums (and saw them at the show depicted on the back cover of "SRO"), I lost interest when he became a Chris Botti. So I guess I missed Herb's big comeback.
As for Tim Curry, I saw him in "Spamalot" (my reason for going); I also own his (sadly execrable) solo albums. He is not known for either "role"; he is known for being Frank N Furter. But that he has had a subsequently successful career is unarguable.
Melanie has had more than one good role (Working Girl) - "Another Day in Paradise", "Stormy Monday", "Body Double", "Something Wild".
Chris Brown's career has been based on one hit.
And a bite.
[quote] I took it to mean a career that began with one major hit that was not thereafter quite equaled.
That would be more referred to as peaking early or shooting your wad at the start gate. I took it to mean an entire career built and revolving around one and only one hit, even if you had minimal success in other things before or after. Like Chubby Checker, Didi Cohn, Bowzer, Donna Douglas, the gay guy from Star Trek, Billy Ray Cyrus (who should thank his lucky stars that his daughter gave him a shot at doing something else besides that stupid song), and yes, probably Susan Lucci, who's never been able to let go of the Erica Kane persona - even in other projects - and Barbara Eden, who was seen strutting her Jeannie stuff well into her 50's.
I guess we should ask OP, if he/she is still chiming in.
Lee Greenwood "God Bless The USA"
Charo and her koochy koochy koo shtick.
[quote] Gabourey Sidibe
Uh no.. hello.. Gabourey Sidibe was in that show with Laura Linney .. C Factor..C something..and she was quite good in it. Also GS was in The Heist movie with Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller.
Plus she has a handful other projects coming up!
I think R38 hits it. Lets take the career of Jennifer Aniston. She plays Rachel or some version of Rachel in everything.
Sarah Michelle Gellar is Buffy and she'll never eclipse Buffy, even though she came pretty close in Cruel Intentions.
And then there are careers like Halle Berry's and you wonder if she has a career only because she's hot. Does a Halle Berry performance ever standout in anything?
John Kay and Steppenwolf - They actually had two hits: "Born to Be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride." John Kay is the only original member left, but he milked that for decades.
Can we expand to politicians?
[quote]Charo and her koochy koochy koo shtick.
Excellent example in my opinion, as it shows the "hit" doesn't have to be a tangible achievement, like a recording, TV show, or book, but it can also be a very narrow, one-note delivery of a schtick or persona.
...and I love her for it, wouldn't want my Charo served any other way (and millions probably agree, which is probably why she's still serving, like McDonald's)
Charo's fall wig, unchanged since 1968.
Arguably, Joan Collins
Alicia Silverstone - Clueless
Ray Liotta - Goodfellas
Jason Schwartzman - Rushmore
Malcolm McDowell - A Clockwork Orange (still a good actor though)
Rutger Hauer - Blade Runner
Scarlett Johansson - Lost in Translation
Johnny Lee Miller - Trainspotting
Michael Madsen - Reservoir Dogs
Carrie Fisher & Mark Hamill - Star Wars
James Caan - The Godfather
Sandra Bullock - Between Speed and The Blind Side she just did mediocre films
Jennifer Lopez - Hasn't done any good films since Out of Sight
Cuba Gooding Jr - Jerry Maguire
[quote]Technically Cindy Lauper has two hits: Girls Just Want To Have Fun and True Colors.
Time After Time?
How is writing "Postcards From the Edge" and many other screenplays considered building a career that revolves around "Star Wars?"
How are JLo's numerous recordings, fashion, and perfume lines considered building a career around "Out Of Sight?"
Sandra Bullock?! No need to address that again.
I'll give you Cuba Gooding, Jr., who despite other projects, cannot let go off "Show me the money!" for fear of not being acknowledged or even noticed.
Some people need to read the topic again.
R51 I was really talking about J-Lo's film career, maybe it's not just because of Out of Sight but it's probably the only half-decent film she's ever done.
Sandra Bullock shot to fame with Speed than did crap chick flick after crap chick flick, then popped up in the very overrated Crash and finally won the Oscar first time lucky for The Blind Side.
Carrie Fisher may have talent as a writer but Star Wars is the reason she's famous.
Maybe some of my choices don't exactly qualify, I'm not the showbiz expert you gays seem to be.
R5 I don't think Broderick has built his career on FBDO. I think it's more accurate to say that's what he's best known for. He has done comedies, dramas, TV, musical theater and plays. Some of them were good, others not so much.
Francis Scott Key, quintessential one - hit wonder boy. Hell,he only wrote the lyrics and stole the melody. what ever happened to him?
hello! Debby Boone...anyone? anyone?
For real, R61. Thank God.
Baby One More Time- Britney Spears
Crazy in Love- Beyonce
Yes, Debby Boone is the best example of ANY here. She is still milking that "You Light Up My Life" bullshit song in her Lifestyle Lift commercial! Holy crap, that song was, what, 35 years ago?
[quote]As for Tim Curry, I saw him in "Spamalot" (my reason for going); I also own his (sadly execrable) solo albums. He is not known for either "role"; he is known for being Frank N Furter.
I have to disagree with this. He didn't "build an entire career" on that role, in that he hasn't spent any time reprising it and making sure that he never is seen doing anything else (like Carol Channing, say, with Hello Dolly). And I think his identification with that role depends on the audience you're talking about. There are actually young kids who would know him--perversely enough--from Clue more than from RHPS. Or just as that guy they see in lots of stuff. RHPS got him attention at one point, but didn't define his career any more than it did Susan Sarandon's.
Don McLean-"American Pie"
Jimmy Buffett - the TRUE owner of this thread, for "Margaritaville"
Arlo Guthrie - "Alice's Restaurant"
[quote]Billy Ray Cyrus owns thus thread
Sadly, he built 2 careers because if it hadn't been for Achy Breaky Heart being a hit we'd never have heard of Miley Cyrus.
r41 Actually, Charo was a very talented classical guitarist. Unfortunately for her, no one cared so she developed the choochi choocki schtick instead.
I love Jessie's girl. Rick Springfield built an entire career just based on that one hit. I've always been curious to know what else he sings in concert. (He was the headliner for a 4th of july concert one year)
Tom cruise (all his movies have the same character now),
Angelina Jolie (come on, you can only be a seductress for so long),
Elton John (don't flame me, it's true),
Pitbull (it's like the same song that NEVER ENDS FFS),
Nirvana (cuz, well there wasn't any other music to put out, but they all got stinking rich)