September 25 is National One-Hit Wonder Day. What better way to commemorate it than taking a trip down memory lane with some of the best Latinx one-hit wonders? We’re throwing it back musically for this week’s #TBT.
Rosie and the Originals, “Angel Baby”
In 1960, “Angel Baby,” by Rosie and the Originals was released. The song was their only hit, but “Angel Baby” has proven to be an oldies classic, known and enjoyed by so many today. Chicana Rosalie “Rosie” Méndez Hamlin was the first Latina to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Astrud Gilberto, “The Girl From Ipanema (“Garota de Ipanema”)”
You probably know the melody and/or some of the words to the iconic “Girl from Ipanema.” Astrud Gilberto’s classic was released in 1963, becoming a worldwide hit, and winning the Record of the Year Grammy in 1965.
The Premiers, “Farmer John”
The Premiers were one of the Chicano bands who made a splash in music during the 1960s. They scored a hit with their 1964 cover of the Don & Dewey song, “Farmer John.”
Cannibal & the Headhunters, “Land of a Thousand Dances”
Cannibal & the Headhunters was another Chicano band repping for Latinos during the 1960s. The title of their 1965 hit “Land of a Thousand Dances” may not ring a bell, but practically everyone has heard the “Na, na na na na, na na na na, na na na, na na na, na na na na” part. This hook was added into the cover song by the band (Chicano band Thee Midniters also had success covering this song).
Gerardo, “Rico Suave”
Sure, the video may look cheesy now, but “Rico Suave” was a number one hit in 1990. Ecuadorian Gerardo Mejía repped for Latinos, while also reinforcing that machismo stereotype we’re trying to undo today.
Digable Planets, “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That)”
Digable Planets had everyone saying they were “cool like that,” with their smooth, Grammy-winning 1992 hit, “The Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That).” Member Mariana “Ladybug Mecca/DJ LadybugMek” Vieiera is Brazilian.
Tatyana Ali, “Daydreamin'”
Another Afro-Latina who scored a hit song during the ’90s is actress, and singer, Tatyana Ali. The Panameña and Indo-Trinidadian, who you may know from her role as Ashley Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, released her successful song, “Daydreamin'” in 1998. Additional songs from her Kiss the Sky album were also hits in the U.K.
Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself”
The early ’00s were all about TV music competitions (American Idol, Making the Band, Popstars). Eden’s Crush was formed from the show Popstars, with Latinas Ivette Sosa Aleisho, Ana Maria Lombo, and Rosanna Tavarez making up part of the five-girl group. Their song, “Get Over Yourself” became a hit in 2001.
Lumidee, “Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)”
Here’s another song where you may not remember the name, but definitely remember a specific part (“Uh oooh! Uh oooh”). It was heard everywhere in 2003, making Nuyorican Lumidee Cedeño a star. She released her second album, Unexpected, in 2007 (the first was Almost Famous), and two mix tapes in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Los Lonely Boys, “Heaven”
Grammy-winning 2004 hit, “Heaven” had everyone jamming to the Texican Rock ‘n’ Roll sounds of the Chicano Garza brothers. The song won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Nina Sky, “Move Ya Body”
Identical twin sisters Natalie and Nicole Albino, better known as Nina Sky, had a big hit with the 2004 song “Move Ya Body.” The Nuyoricans continue to make music, having recorded a total of three albums.
Terror Squad, “Lean Back”
Fat Joe and Remy Ma may each have several hits under their belts, but as a group, Terror Squad’s only hit was 2004’s “Lean Back.” In the vein of many great songs (one-hit wonders included–the Macarena, anyone?), the #1 song came with a corresponding dance (that you know you know).
Cassie, “Me & U”
Cassie (aka Casandra Ventura), who is Afro-Latina (African-American, Mexicana, West Indian, and Filipina) had a hit with 2006’s “Me & U.” She continues to make music, as well as act.