I am the one and only: one-hit wonders

Did Chesney Hawkes know, when he was singing his mega-hit song The One and Only, that it would be his one and only hit? Doubtful. As they say, hindsight is always 20/20 vision, or hindsight is an exact science.

What is it about some people that allows them to have a sustainable long-term career in music, and others a flash in the pan one? Is it luck? Is it circumstance? Is it the fact that some take advantage of a situation, while others take less advantage of it? Someone once said that the difference between Madonna and Cindy Lauper is that Madonna kept on evolving, whereas Cindy did not.
The world’s stage is littered with artists who have had one hit, and then faded.

Mind you, fame itself is such a fleeting thing, and everyone’s star eventually fades. Elvis was a shadow of his former self when he died at 42, as was Michael Jackson at 50. Some people scoff at Madonna on the road to 60 and make fun of her for trying to remain relevant when according to some, she is ‘way past it.’ But in the Western world, we live in a society that says that age is against us, and that once we are of a certain age range we need to sit back in a corner and die. That is a social idealism and boundary I will never agree with.

In my mind’s eye, this is tortoise and hare stuff. It’s like Tina Turner once said about a slow burner – a song that doesn’t ignite and become a hit – it simply carries on, and it lasts much longer. And better a one-hit wonder that never a hit at all. Likewise, it’s better to be one who tries than one who is too scared to try. At the end of it all, we must all live lives that we know gave us purpose, gave us meaning, and helped us leave the world a better place.

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About the author


Blogger Rob Rodell is a singer-songwriter, performing music artist, music business lecturer and singing teacher. Rodell was nominated for a South African Music Award (SAMA) for his album A Cappella Christmas. Between 2009 and 2011 he was the head of music business education at the Soul Candi Institute of Music, which is linked to the Soul Candi record label. His hit House track Could This Be Love done in conjunction with DJ Shimza and Cuebur, received extensive airplay on both YFM and Metro FM, and was released through Soul Candi on various compilation albums, selling in excess of 10,000 copies and giving it ‘gold’ status as a single. Rodell completed his licentiate in singing through Rockschool and passed it with distinction, becoming the first person in the world to do the qualification. He is currently busy with his Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree.

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