TOP 10: One-Hit Wonders of 2003

February 27, 2023

By Curtis Creekmore

The music of 2003 gave us a bevy of bangers from well-known artists and even launched the solo careers of pop culture icons like Justin Timberlake and Beyonce. But what about those we never heard from again? Take a look at our picks for the top 10 one-hit wonders of 2003.

Looking for more 2000s music? Check out our Season 7 episode devoted to the Best Song of 2003!

Looking for more pop-culture Top 10 lists? Click here!

10. “Beautiful Goodbye” by Jennifer Hanson

Hanson’s country twang and acoustic guitar gave us hints of Sheryl Crowe, but she never took flight in quite the same way. Beautiful Goodbye hit No. 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 before Hanson said her own goodbye, never having another hit on the airwaves.

9. “Blowin’ Me Up (With Her Love)” by JC Chasez

After Justin Timberlake struck out on what would become a stellar solo career, N*SYNC’s runner-up-Jan-Brady JC Chasez tried his hand at finding the spotlight, releasing Blowin’ Me Up. He also tried to make the mullet come back, but missed that fad by a few decades.  The song has a decent beat, but it even sounds like someone trying too hard.

8. “Take Me Away” by Fefe Dobson

Perhaps a US-centric take on this list, but while Canadian-born Fefe Dobson did see some further success in her home country with songs like Ghost and Stuttering in 2010, she never saw much success in the states, though the alt pop Take Me Away gave Avril Lavigne a run for her emo money.

7. “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe

This song felt like it was everywhere in 2003. It undoubtedly served as a theme for untold thousands of proms across the southern United States, even though its message is a religious one. How many children were conceived to the lyrics “Will I dance for you Jesus?”

6. “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” by Jet

Another case of a foreign band not seeing the same success abroad – Australian band Jet stormed the American airwaves in ’03 with their big black boots, long brown hair, and a get back stare, making it all the way to No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, we were not going to be their girl, as they didn’t see much more success in the states following. But this song was great!

5. “(There’s Gotta Be) More to Life” by Stacie Orrico

I’m cheating by including Stacie Orrico on this list, since she did technically have two songs off self-titled album in 2003. Both Stuck and (There’s Gotta Be) More to Life made it into the Billboard Hot 100, with More to Life edging out its sister record, peaking at number 30. It’s a travesty that Orrico didn’t become more of a success – her dusky vocals make both of these songs such bops.

4. “Salt Shaker” by Ying Yang Twins

While most would argue Beyonce’s Crazy In Love and Outkast’s Hey Ya were the songs most likely to be played at a wedding in 2003, Salt Shaker by the Ying Yang Twins undeniably has a place on that podium. This song never failed to fill the dance floor, especially Lil Jon’s rap at the bridge.

3. “The Boys of Summer” by The Ataris

God, this song KICKS ASS. While it is a cover of the original by Don Henley, The Ataris added that ubiquitous early 2000s rhythm guitar and syncopated drum beat and turned this 80s rock ballad into an amazing alt rock anthem that peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart and No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

2. “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne

Even thirty years later, Stacy’s Mom by Fountains of Wayne will occasionally rear its head in the pop culture zeitgeist. From a music standpoint, the song isn’t anything to write home about, but somehow this song ferreted its way into the collective consciousness of 2003. It very well may have been the salacious music video that certainly served as fuel for many young men in the boudoir.

1. “All the Things She Said” by t.A.T.u.

One of the few songs on this list that could be considered ground-breaking, All the Things She Said by Russian duo t.A.T.u found success worldwide, hitting the top of the charts in 10 different countries, though the U.S. was surprisingly not one of them. The more important aspect of the song came in the form of the music video, which showcased the two female singers kissing, sparking rumors of lesbianism and gaining the ire of social conservatives around the globe. When asked later, one of the artists explained their producer had made them out to be lesbians when they were just singing for them. “We wanted people to understand them and not judge them. That they are as free as anyone else.” This pod loves an LGBT+ icon! Oh, and the song is great, too.

DISCLAIMER: The wrong opinions included in this listicle are solely that of the author and do not represent the similarly wrong opinions of other debaters of this podcast.

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment with your picks below!

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