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Excel 2019: One Hit Wonders with UNIQUE

September 23, 2019 - by Bill Jelen

Excel One Hit Wonders with UNIQUE. Photo Credit: Eric Nopanen at

For me, I can't imagine why I would ever need a list of items that have been sold exactly once. My only example is the One-Hit Wonders segment on Casey Kasem's American Top 40 radio show.

To get a list of artists who had exactly one hit, use =UNIQUE(B4:B6132..True). In the figure below, the UNIQUE function is wrapped in a SORT function so the resulting list is alphabetical.

By using TRUE for the Occurs_Once argument in UNIQUE, you can find the artists who only appeared once in the original database. Sort those alphabetically using =SORT(UNIQUE(B4:B6132,False,True)).

To get the titles in column J, a VLOOKUP uses an array as the first argument. This is pretty wild - one VLOOKUP formula is actually doing over 1000 lookups and returning all 1000 results.

To get the title next to the artist, use =VLOOKUP(I5#,B4:C6132,2,False). You know that these one-hit-wonder artists only appear once in the database, so VLOOKUP works.

Another approach is to use a FILTER function combined with IFERROR and MATCH.

Use =FILTER(A4:D6132,IFERROR(MATCH(B4:B6132,UNIQUE(B4:B6132,False,True),0),False)) to return all four columns from the table.

Title Photo: Eric Nopanen at

Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
Microsoft Excel 2019 Inside Out

Dive into Microsoft Excel 2019–and really put your spreadsheet expertise to work. This supremely organized reference packs hundreds of timesaving solutions, tips, and workarounds–all you need to make the most of Excel’s most powerful tools for analyzing data and making better decisions.