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Billboard ranks decade's one-hit wonders

By Jo Piazza, Special to CNN
Singer Daniel Powter topped the Billboard list of one-hit wonders for the last decade with his 2006 song "Have a Bad Day."
Singer Daniel Powter topped the Billboard list of one-hit wonders for the last decade with his 2006 song "Have a Bad Day."
  • Billboard has compiled a list of the top one-hit wonders of the past decade
  • Daniel Powter tops the list with his 2006 hit "Have a Bad Day"
  • Artists chosen based on how high first single charted compared with second
  • Music
  • Gnarls Barkley
  • Macy Gray

(CNN) -- Certain songs define a specific time, a summer, a holiday, sometimes even a whole year.

An artist releases a hit, and it seems ubiquitous, the only thing you hear on the radio, on television and in the clubs for a brief period of time. The song sticks with you, but the artist fades away into the land of one-hit wonders.

To celebrate those artists who have provided a singular soundtrack for our lives and then faded into obscurity, Billboard magazine has compiled a list of the 25 top one-hit wonders of the past decade.

Artists were chosen because they managed to crack Billboard's Hot 100 Top 10 list with their first single and then never managed to crack the Top 25 for the next 10 years.

"Everybody loves to have those songs that consume their lives for a period of time," said M. Tye Comer, executive editor of "You expect them to be there forever and then they go away. This list is a nice way to go back and remember those songs and find out what happened to the artists."

The list of one-hit makers is ranked by how high their first single climbed on the charts compared with how low their sophomore efforts peaked on the charts.

Topping off the list is Daniel Powter, whose hit "Have a Bad Day," was used as the send-off song on the fifth season of "American Idol," making it the biggest single of 2006. Powter hasn't had a song break into the Hot 100 since.

Terror Squad's "Lean Back," Crazy Town's "Butterfly," Mims' "This Is Why I'm Hot" and D4L's "Laffy Taffy" round out the top five.

James Blunt's 2006 over-the-top anthem for nerdy men who love gorgeous women, "You're Beautiful," comes in at No. 6.

The British singer/songwriter was nominated for five Grammys in 2006, but Blunt's second single, "Goodbye My Lover," only reached No. 66 on the charts. Thankfully for Blunt, "You're Beautiful" was more than enough to land him supermodel girlfriend Petra Nemcova for a brief romance.

Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" was the anthem of 2006 that spilled over into 2007, but subsequent singles by the artists Cee-Lo and Dangermouse haven't made it past No. 88 on the charts, which puts them at No. 7 on the list.

"The celebrity factor of these artists expands beyond their one hit so they seem so much bigger," Comer said. " 'Crazy' was everywhere in the summer of 2006 so you feel like they must have had a lot of songs from that one album, but it just isn't true. The phenom of Gnarls Barkley was just from that one hit."

Lou Bega's "Mambo No. 5," is No. 13 on the list. Bega's "Mambo" may have been the dance-hall hit of 1999, but Bega didn't even flirt with the charts for the rest of the decade.

Macy Gray and Vanessa Carlton became household names after their respective ballads, "I Try" (No. 22 on the list), and "A Thousand Miles" (No. 24 on the list), but neither songstress has come out with a comparable hit since.

"Even if you have one hit, it's still better than nothing. You still make your mark on pop culture," Comer said. "Look at Dexys Midnight Runners and 'Come on Eileen,' people still love that one song today."