10 Popular Country Stars Who Were One Hit Wonders


It’s very hard to make it as an artist in the music industry, both as a solo artist or in a band. The more popular genres like country music are even more difficult for new artists. To make matters worse, success is fleeting. Country artists know success can happen overnight, but it can also fade just as fast. Lots of them have experienced the boom of a career altering single, but not all of them are able to keep the momentum going and many fall victim to the one hit wonder curse. Here’s a list of 10 popular country stars who were one hit wonders!

10. Cyndi Thomson, “What I Really Meant To Say”

Cyndi Thomson released her first album in 2001 and used “What I Really Meant to Say” as her debut single. It shot to the top of the Billboard Hot Country charts landing in the No. 1 spot. Her career has been very hot and cold. At the peak of her success in 2002 she quit making music, only to resume again in 2006. Unfortunately by then she had lost her footing and was never able to gain the success she once had. She’s had two other singles land on the charts in the 21 and 31 spot, but never again came close to having a No. 1 hit. She did co-write “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” for Gary Allan which became a top five hit for him in 2006.

9. The Wreckers “Leave the Pieces”

The Wreckers was a country duo made up of two solo artists, Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp. The two singer/songwriters joined forces in 2005 and released the album Stand Still, Look Pretty. The album spawned the No. 1 hit single, “Leave the Pieces” and “My, Oh My” which reached the No. 9 spot. The Wreckers were nominated for a Grammy in 2006 and released another single in 2007, but it failed to live up to their first two hits. Branch and Harp announced their duo was splitting up to focus on their solo careers.

8. Carolyn Dawn Johnson, “Complicated”

This Canadian singer-songwriter is an artist who we thought would go much further than she did. Her career began as a songwriter when she co-wrote Chely Wright’s No. 1 single, “Single White Female,” in 1999. In 2001 she got a record deal of her own and released her debut album which spawned two Top 10 hits, “I Don’t Want You to Go” and “Complicated.” Her next album wasn’t as successful, although she did chart one single on the Top 40 chart. Her last studio album was in 2010, but she’s failed to chart any singles even on the Top 100 since 2004.

7. Aaron Lines, “You Can’t Hide Beautiful”

This Canadian country singer started his career back in 2001, but it was fairly short lived. The last time he released an album was in 2010 and it failed to chart a single song. He started gaining success in Canada early on in his career after he released his first two singles, “Love Changes Everything” and “I Can Read Your Heart,” so he moved to the states and got an American record deal. He immediately began working on his second album which spawned the hit “You Can’t Hide Beautiful” which peaked at the No. 4 spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. He continued to release music since then but has never come close to landing a single in the Top 10. He’s still fairly well known in Canada, but his career in American country music has fallen flat.

6. Ty England, “Should’ve Asked Her Faster”

When Ty England first started out, he was a member of Garth Brooks’ band. He eventually landed his own record deal and released the single, “Should’ve Asked Her Faster,” in 1995. It peaked in the No. 3 spot which is quite an impressive feat for a new solo artist. England continued to release music, making three albums by 1999, but was never able to get another single in the Top 10. The closest he ever came was with his single, “Irresistible You,” which landed at No. 22 on the Top 40. He took a break and didn’t release another album until 2007, but it didn’t chart a single song. He now sells real estate in Oklahoma.

5. Heartland, “I Loved Her First”

Heartland was an American country music band who reached their peak in 2006 with their debut single, “I Loved Her First.” It quickly became a popular wedding song and shot them to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts landing in the No. 1 spot. Their second and third singles fell flat on the charts and they ended up bouncing around to a few different labels without ever getting another single even on the Top 40 chart. Eventually band members began leaving to start families and by 2012 all the original members were gone except for Jason Albert and Chuck Crawford.

4. Jessica Andrews, “Who Am I”

Jessica Andrews came onto the country scene when she was only 15 in 1999 with the release of her debut album, Heart Shaped World. The record brought her a lot of attention with three singles on the Top 40 charts. Her real career altering success came when she released the 2001 hit “Who Am I” which landed in the No. 1 spot. Unfortunately, this is where Andrews’ career peaked. Her third album didn’t do too badly with the lead-off single landing in the Top 20, but after this she never again got a single to even reach the Top 30. Her last album was released in 2009, right before Carolwood Records closed. Andrews was the only artist who wasn’t transferred to its parent label, Lyric Street, and no one has really heard from her since.

3. David Lee Murphy, “Dust on the Bottle”

There’s no denying that “Dust on the Bottle” was and still is David Lee Murphy’s biggest hit. It’s a karaoke favorite and still a popular song on the radio today. Murphy signed a record deal back in 1994 and scored three hit singles on his debut album, Out with a Bang. One of these hits was the No. 1 single “Dust on the Bottle.” He’s since changed his tune and works more as a songwriter than a singer lately. He’s written huge hits for artists like Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney, but never managed to write another for himself.

2. Tammy Cochran, “Angels in Waiting”

Tammy Cochran only managed to ever get one single onto the Top 10 country charts. It was the 2001 single, “Angels in Waiting,” which told the true story of Cochran’s deceased brothers who passed away from Cystic Fibrosis. This song was the third single she’d ever released and its success lead to her releasing a self-titled debut album. It peaked in the No. 9 spot and earned her a Christian Country Music Award for Video of the Year. The album had one other successful song, “I Cry,” which reached the Top 20. Her second album didn’t have much success and she was quickly dropped from her label. She’s released two studio albums since, but never again charted another single.

1. Ricochet, “Daddy’s Money”

The band Ricochet is another band that fell victim to the one hit wonder curse. They started out strong with huge success on their debut album, Ricochet. It spawned three Top 10 hits, including their only No. 1 hit to date, “Daddy’s Money.” When the success of their debut album faded, their studio albums that followed never lived up to the success of their first as they failed to ever land another single on the Top 10 charts.  The band was eventually dropped from Columbia Records in 2001 and moved onto independent record labels. Ricochet underwent a lot of change and only a few band members are still around.

Katherine G

Katherine G

Katherine is the Managing Editor for Health and Parenting, but she has a soft spot for entertainment. She loves binging shows on Netflix, reality TV is a guilty pleasure, and country music is her go-to playlist. When she's not writing, she's spending time outdoors, especially with her puppy Zoey!