How can you be a rock superstar and a one-hit-wonder at the same time? When you leave your successful group for a solo career…and it doesn’t work out.
There was a slew of “boy bands” in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. The one teeny bopper from the era who is still a major force in music today: Justin Timberlake from ’NSYNC. Lots of singers from lots of other groups made a go of it, including Nick Lachey from 98 Degrees. He stayed in the spotlight for a while because of his marriage to pop singer Jessica Simpson, documented on a hit reality show called Newlyweds. They divorced after four years together in 2006, the same year Lachey released a ballad that might have been about the dissolution of the marriage called “What’s Left of Me.” It hit #6 on the pop chart…the first and last big hit for Lachey.
Cochrane was and is a superstar in his native Canada as part of the popular rock band Red Rider. They had a string of minor hits in the U.S. in the early ‘80s like “Human Race” and “Lunatic Fringe.” He took a break from the group for a solo career, and by himself, he had the biggest American hit of his career: “Life is a Highway,” which hit #6 and is still a staple of classic rock radio. It’s still the only hit single (in America) for Cochrane.
ABBA is one of the most successful groups in the history of pop music. Their chirpy, catchy songs made them the second-best-selling worldwide group of all time (after the Beatles), and two members went on to write successful musicals like Chess and Mamma Mia!, which is built around ABBA hits like “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me.” One of the group’s two female singers, Anni-Frid Lyndstad, also known as Frida, looked to have a huge solo career in front of her when ABBA split in the early ‘80s. But oddly, she’s only had one breakout song: The ABBA-esque 1982 top 20 hit “I Know There’s Something Going On.”
Hall has one of the most soulful and instantly recognizable voices in music. As the dominant half of the duo Hall and Oates, he wrote, sang, and played keyboards on a ton of well-known hits like “Maneater,” “Private Eyes,” “Rich Girl,” and “Sara Smile.” Usually all his partner, John Oates, did was play a little guitar and sang backup. That’s why it’s surprising that went Hall dropped Oates completely, he wasn’t all that successful. His first and only solo hit was “Dreamtime,” a top 5 hit in 1986.