As if we didn’t need further evidence that mass audiences aren’t the most discerning. To drive home the point further, earlier this week Dato’ Seri Vida celebrated the 8.7 million views that her debut single I Am Me garnered since it was released. A spanking new video which includes a collection of costumes that the cast of To Wong Foo would claw her eyes out for, along with scenes of her submerged in a bathtub overflowing with RM100 bills, will surely guarantee further success of the single.
To be fair, the cosmetics magnate has been pretty upfront about her musical talents. Her goal, she has said openly, is to simply put a smile on your face. That it certainly does. And while she may face the wrath of ‘serious’ musicians, she is really just one of a whole host of ‘singers’ to have a big hit from the age-old of formula of combining meaningless lyrics with infectious melodies. If you disagree, take a look at our list of the most ridiculous songs to have become hits.
I am Too Sexy by Right Said Fred (1991):
Suitably a summer hit, I am Too Sexy parodied the gym guy who struts around in his barely there tank top, while stealing admiring side way glances at his own reflection. This was the premise of the debut single for British group Right Said Fred. It was a monster hit for the band but despite its success, it was a case of “always the bridesmaid but never the bride” for Right Said Fred. It stayed at the number two position for a total of six weeks, held off by Everything I do by Bryan Adams. It, however, hit the number one spot in six countries. It also received a couple of ‘accolades’ including being named no. 49 on The 50 Worst Songs Ever! Watch, Listen and Cringe! by Blender in 2011 and being voted the second spot on VH1’s 40 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 90s. Nonetheless, the boys have in their place in pop-culture history as the single is said to have been featured in the Taylor Swift single Look What You Made Me Do… Way to go ridiculous hit song!
Barbie Girl by Aqua (1997):
It was the third single from the Norwegian group that earned them international fame. It was apparently after visiting a kitsch exhibition on Barbie dolls that Søren Nystrøm Rasted, a member of the group, was prompted to write the song Barbie Doll that seemed to poke fun at the ‘plastic’ boys and girls that had started to dominate the media landscape in the late 90s. The ridiculous hit song was so successful in its jibes that it resulted in Mattel filing a lawsuit against MCA Records. Barbie Girl was a worldwide hit for Aqua. It stayed at number one in the UK for three weeks but only peaked at number seven in the US. The group had two others hits My Oh My and Doctor Jones but none were as successful as Barbie Girl. While it may seem they were a one hit wonder, they are in fact celebrating their 20th anniversary this with a concert and will be making their way to Singapore.
I Should Be So Lucky by Kylie Minogue (1988):
Kylie Minogue wasn’t always the diva-licious performer she is now. In fact, the single I Should Be So Lucky – now performed with greater finesse – was one of those annoying songs that your nine year old cousin insisted on singing to annoy you. Taking advantage of her popularity from the hit series Neighbours, Minogue launched her singing career moulded by pop-star ‘manufacturers’ Stock, Aitken and Waterman who also produced singles for the likes of Bananarama and Rick Astley. Needless to say it was a success in Australia but it also launched her music career in the UK. It stayed at the number one position for five weeks and stayed on the charts for a whopping 17 weeks. It also peaked at number one at the Billboard Hot 100. Minogue, of course, is no one-hit wonder.
Jo Le Taxi by Vanessa Paradis (1987):
Though Vanessa Paradis achieved cool status, becoming a spokesperson for Chanel, Mrs. Johnny Depp etc, to some she will always be the 14-year old who became famous for the supposedly haunting and mysterious tune Jo Le Taxi crafted around a taxi driver named Joe in Paris. The song topped the French charts and hit number three in the UK, which was unusual considering the song is in French. That success however was not seen when Paradis released her debut album in the UK. That was of little consequence to Paradis who went to achieve much success. One of her albums was even produced by Lenny Kravitz, whom she was dating at the time. She now commands many titles including singer, songwriter, actress and model.
Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus (1992):
Though he may have now reached icon status – partly due to is famous daughter – Billy Ray Cyrus, achieved fame through the annoying but endearing Achy Breaky Heart, which despite its cheesy lyrics has remained as his signature song. Part of the success of this ridiculous hit song could be due to the fact that it appealed to both a pop and country audience. It reached number on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot Country Songs chart. In fact, it was the first country single to be certified Platinum after Islands in the Stream by Kenny Roger and Dolly Parton. While it was Cyrus’s biggest hit, it has its fair share of haters. VH1 placed it at number two on its list of worst songs of all time. It also made Blender’s list of the 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever. To add insult to injury it has been accused of making line dancing popular.