Friday, 20 April 2012
APRA wishes to congratulate Wally de Backer, better known as Gotye, on climbing to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 charts with his song ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’.
The break-up anthem, from Goyte’s third album Making Mirrors and featuring New Zealand-born Kimbra, has taken over the music world with success in 17 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Australia, Ireland and Denmark.
This makes Gotye the first Australian artist to reign on the Billboard chart since Savage Garden topped it with I Knew I Loved You in 2000,the first solo Australian to hit number one since Olivia Newton-John and her song Physical (1981), and the first solo male Australian artist since Rick Springfield reigned with Jesse’s Girl that same year.
Billboard reports that the song gained momentum in the US after it was covered on Fox’s hit television show Glee on April 10. The exposure for the song was also increased by his performances at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival and on NBC’s Saturday Night Live later that week.
The track has been recorded as having one of the highest ever weekly digital sales totals within the US, with 542,000 downloads sold between April 9 and April 15.
Somebody That I Used to Know was released in Australia in July last year and had remained top of the chart for eight weeks – the longest running hit since Savage Garden’s Truly, Madly, Deeply in 1997. The track has also won Triple J’s Hottest 100 poll, as well as six ARIA Awards including Single of the Year, Best Male Artist and Best Pop Release.
The song’s success has also given an unlikely boost to the estate of Brazillian musician Luiz Bonfa, best known for his track Manha de Carnaval (Morning of the Carnival) from the 1959 film Black Orpheus. A sample from his song Seville provides the song’s backbone, and according to De Backer, it also prompted the song’s opening line. And since he’s credited as a co-writer, this means royalties on over 4.5 million sales, 167 million YouTube views, and countless more radio and television broadcasts (source: The Age)
There are also numerous remixes and cover versions of the song, including one performed on hit TV series Glee, and a cover by Canada’s Walk Off The Earth that has been watched more than 90 million times and spawned an internet meme of its own.
Gotye will join fellow songwriter Adalita to lead an exclusive songwriting masterclass at Song Summit 2012, presented by triple j Unearthed. Click here for more information.
For more information on Gotye’s success on the Billboard Hot 100, head to billboard.com
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