Top 10 Artists and Bands Whose Debut Single is Their Biggest Hit

These are artists whose debut singles in the mainstream of music are not only their most successful debuts, but their most successful songs to this day. They’ve gotten TONS of positive reception & remain their signature hits.
The Top Ten
1 Britney Spears Britney Jean Spears, born on December 2, 1981, is an American former singer and actress. She was born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana. As a child, she performed acting roles in stage productions and television shows, such as "The Mickey Mouse Club," before signing with Jive Records in 1997... read more

Her debut single is Baby 1 More Time which was her biggest hit as well as the biggest debut single in the history of music. It hit #1 in 22 countries & was even certified gold in many places. It was even the best single of the U.S. in 1999. Long live Britney Spears.

I would have thought Toxic was more popular.

2 Ke$ha Kesha Rose Sebert (formerly known as Ke$ha) was born on March 1st, 1987 in Los Angeles, United States. She is best known for her hits like Timber, Tik Tok, and We R Who We R. Kesha is an animal rights activist and she works for H.S.I. (Humane Society International). Kesha also stands up for L.G.B.T. rights in America

Her debut single is TikTok, which was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 9 weeks and was the biggest weekly sum of all time by a female artist (with 610K downloads in 1 week). It was certified 8x platinum by the RIAA and sold 6.8 million copies in the U.S. and a whopping 12.8 million worldwide. All in all, it made it the best-selling global single of 2010, and it has nearly 20 million copies, making it one of the best-selling digital singles by any artist to this day. It was in 61st place on the top Billboard Hot 100 songs of all time.

3 Avril Lavigne Avril Ramona Lavigne is a Canadian–French singer-songwriter and actress. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain; by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more than $2 million.

Her debut single is Complicated which hit #1 in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand & Norway as well as #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 & #3 in the U.K. It even broke the record from Natalie Imbruglia's cover of Torn by Trine Rein for the longest time at #1 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 when Complicated stayed there for 16 weeks in a row. It was nominated for 2 Grammy awards for Song of the Year & Best Pop Vocal Performance. She never made another song anywhere near as successful as Complicated to this day.

4 Olivia Rodrigo Olivia Isabel Rodrigo (born February 20, 2003) is an American singer-songwriter and actress who rose to fame after playing Paige Olvera in Bizaardvark and has also played Nini Salazar-Roberts in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. She gained much more fame after the release of her debut single "drivers license" along with follow-up singles such as "good 4 u" and "deja vu".

Her mainstream debut single is Drivers License which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 8 weeks in a row & even became the most streamed song of 2021 on Spotify. Even Deja Vu & Good 4 U didn't quite get those receptions (though it did surpass Drivers License for highest charting song on the Billboard Year End by her). All I Want (which was released earlier) wasn't mainstream, but simply made as a soundtrack for HSMTMS & her theme for American Girl's Grace wasn't mainstream either, so Drivers License was her debut on the mainstream music, which's what we focus on today.

Omg. Her song Driver's License have a skyrocket popularity.

It's too early.

5 Lorde Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor (born 7 November 1996), better known by her stage name Lorde, is a singer-songwriter from New Zealand. She released her first EP "The Love Club" in 2012 and gained worldwide popularity with her song "Royals" at the age of 16.
With "Pure Heroine" (2013), "Melodrama" (2017) and "Solar Power" (2021), Lorde has released three studio albums so far. She is is known for... read more

Her debut single is Royals which reached international success, with #1 in Belgium, the Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, the U.K. & Canada. Royals was 9 weeks in top of the Billboard Hot 100 & was certified Diamond by the RIAA. It sold 10M units worldwide, making it her best selling song & 1 of the best by anyone worldwide. It was also the 2nd most consumed song of 2013 in New Zealand & it was certified 9x platinum in Australia & Canada. It won Grammy awards for Song of the Year & Best Pop Solo Performance. It's credited as bringing alternative-focused artists into music.

6 Spice Girls The Spice Girls are an English pop girl group formed in 1994. The group consists of Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice), Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), Mel B (Scary Spice), and Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice).

Their biggest hit was in fact their debut single Wannabe, which peaked at #1 in many places & sold 100K copies from June to October that year.

7 Billy Ray Cyrus

His cover of Achy Breaking Heart was his 1st & biggest yet only hit, making him a 1 hit wonder as a solo & lead artist.

If features count, Old Town Road Remix is his biggest hit.

8 Phil Collins Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins is an English singer-songwriter and musician, who has also worked as a record producer and actor.

His debut single (as a solo artist) is In the Air Tonight which hit #2 on the U.K. Singles chart as well as #1 in Austria, Germany, Switzerland & Sweden along with the top 10 in Australia, New Zealand & several European areas. It peaked at #19 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 & #2 on the Rock Tracks Chart, yet was eventually certified gold by the RIAA (with a whopping 500K copies sold). The music video by Stuart Orme received heavy play when it played on MTV.

9 Norah Jones Norah Jones is an American singer, songwriter, pianist & actress. She won several awards and sold more than 45 million records worldwide. Billboard named her as the top jazz artist of the 2000–2009 years.

Her debut single is Don't Know Why which peaked at #30 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100 & was critically successful (more than any other song of hers). It won 3 Grammy awards in 2003 Record of the year, Song of the Year & Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. It was her biggest hit in the U.S. (as well as worldwide) & the only hit of hers to hit the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. It was #5 in Australia, #24 in New Zealand & #59 in the U.K. It was ranked #459 on 500 Greatest Songs That Played Since You Were Born.

10 Evanescence Evanescence is an American alternative rock/alternative metal band. It was founded in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.

Their debut single was Bring Me to Life, which received mostly positive critical response, with critics praising the melody of the song, Amy Lee's vocals & their accompaniment by McCoy. It remains the band's signature song. Following the inclusion of the song on the Daredevil soundtrack, it became a commercial & critical success, topping the charts in Australia, the United Kingdom & Italy. It charted in the top 10 in more than 15 countries including the U.S. Argentina, Germany & New Zealand. Bring Me to Life was certified platinum by the RIAA & twice platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). The lyrics of the song were interpreted by some as a call for new life in Jesus Christ, which helped the song to chart on the Christian rock charts, despite it not being the songwriters' intention. The band Evanescence won in the category for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 46th Grammy Awards where the song was also nominated for Best Rock Song. Directed by Philipp Stölzl, the accompanying music video shows Lee singing & climbing on a skyscraper while having nightmares in her bedroom. "Bring Me to Life" was part of the set list during the Fallen & The Open Door Tour. Many artists recorded cover versions of the song, including the classical singer Katherine Jenkins & American pianist, John Tesh. It was also used on several television shows.

The Contenders
11 Vanessa Carlton

Her debut single A Thousand Miles was her only hit to reach the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #5 (making it her only top 5 hit).

12 A Touch of Class

Their debut single is in fact Around the World, which covered Pesenka by Russian band Ruki Vverh, which hit the top 20 in many countries worldwide, proving a Russian song can be enjoyed worldwide rather than just Russian.

13 Frankie Goes to Hollywood

The band's debut single is Relax which hit #1 on 9 charts #5 on 4 charts, #11 on 1 chart, #9 on 1 chart, #10 on 1 chart. It was also their only global hit, making them 1 hit wonders worldwide. They had multiple hits in several local places though.

14 Michelle Branch Michelle Jacquet DeSevren Branch is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. During the early 2000s, she released two top-selling albums, The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper.

Her debut single was Everywhere, which was on top of the charts & won an MTV Video Music Awards Viewer's Choice Award in 2002.

15 The Zombies The Zombies are an English rock band formed in 1962 in St Albans and led by keyboardist and vocalist Rod Argent and vocalist Colin Blunstone.
16 No Angels No Angels were an all-female pop band from Germany formed in 2000. The group consisted of band members Nadja Benaissa, Lucy Diakovska, Sandy Mölling, Vanessa Petruo, and Jessica Wahls.

Their debut single Daylight In Your Eyes hit the top of the Austrian, German & Swiss Singles & Airplay Charts, making it their biggest hit to this day.

17 Juli Juli is a German alternative rock band consisting of Eva Briegel (vocals), Jonas Pfetzing (guitar), Simon Triebel (guitar), Andreas Herde (bass) and Marcel Römer (drums), that formed in 2001. They had their national breakthrough with their debut single “Perfekte Welle” in 2004, with the follow up album “Es ist Juli” being their most successful record to date, being certified triple platinum. Their style is soft and melodic rock music with indie influences and German lyrics (including all songs from the album “In Love”). They have been compared to both Wir sind Helden and Silbermond, all three of them being female fronted German language bands that had their biggest successes around more.
18 Carly Rae Jepsen Carly Rae Jepsen is a Canadian singer and songwriter from Mission, British Columbia, and later based in Vancouver. She is best known for her hit song "Call Me Maybe" which topped many charts in 2012.

No way, because her debut single isn't her biggest hit which's Call Me Maybe & that blew up on multiple charts, making history for all of pop music. Yet that made her a global 1 hit wonder as it's her only global hit to this day.

19 The Knack The Knack was an American rock band based in Los Angeles that rose to fame with their first single, "My Sharona", an international number-one hit in 1979.

Their debut single My Sharona hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for 6 weeks & was #1 on Billboard's 1979 Top Pop Singles year-end chart. Plus they became 1 hit wonders for this. They never had another global hit.

20 The Killers The Killers is an American pop rock band formed in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2001, by Brandon Flowers and Dave Keuning.

Their first single "Mr. Brightside" was massive ever since it was released in 2003 and even huger when re-released a year later. It's STILL on the UK charts after all this time and it's around the 100th most streamed song on Spotify.

21 Silento Richard Lamar Hawk, better known by his stage name Silentó, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is best known for his debut single "Watch Me", which reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Recently, he is also known for murdering his cousin and is currently in prison.

His song Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 & became a trend for the early 2010's, making it his only song to do so. He's a 1 hit wonder for all those reasons. Though he's not a hit anymore after he killed his cousin (yet got arrested for it).

22 Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine is a rap metal band formed in Los Angeles, California. The band consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk.
23 Tokio Hotel Tokio Hotel are a pop rock band from Magdeburg, Germany, consisting of Bill Kaulitz (singer), Tom Kaulitz (guitar), Gustav Schäfer (drums) and Georg Listing (keyboards, bass) that formed in 2001. more.
24 JoJo

Her debut single Leave (Get Out) peaked on top of the U.S. Billboard Pop Songs chart while she was 13, making her the youngest to ever achieve that.

25 Samantha Mumba Samantha Tamania Anne Cecilia Mumba is an Irish singer and actress. She shot to fame in 2000 with the release of her debut single "Gotta Tell You", which reached the Top 10 in Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States.
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