Gotye's 'Somebody That I Used to Know' Roars to No. 1 on Hot 100
Fueled by a "Glee" remake and his appearance on "Saturday Night Live," Gotye scores his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his first entry on the songs chart, as "Somebody That I Used to Know," featuring Kimbra, lifts 2-1.
With the "Glee" cast having performed its version of the song on the Fox series' April 10 episode and Gotye and Kimbra having sung "Somebody" on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on April 14, the track sold 542,000 downloads in the April 9-15 tracking period, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The sum is the fourth-best since SoundScan began tracking digital sales in 2003. Here are the five highest weekly totals:
Total, Title, Artist(s), Chart Date
636,000, "Right Round," Flo Rida, Feb. 28, 2009
610,000, "TiK ToK," Ke$ha, Jan. 9, 2010
559,000, "Grenade," Bruno Mars, Jan. 8, 2011
542,000, "Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye featuring Kimbra, April 28, 2012
521,000, "Boyfriend," Justin Bieber, April 14, 2012
While aided by TV exposure, Gotye's "Somebody" nets the highest weekly digital sales total for a song not powered by debut week sales ("Right Round") or Christmas week consumer behavior ("TiK ToK," "Grenade"). (The "Glee" cast cover of "Somebody," meanwhile, sold 152,000 downloads and debuts on the Digital Songs chart at No. 10 and the Hot 100 at No. 26.)
In addition to its chart-topping rank on the Hot 100 (with the chart's top Digital Gainer award) and Digital Songs, "Somebody" leaps 12-8 on Radio Songs with 72 million all-format audience impressions (up 19%), according to Nielsen BDS. The track additionally takes over atop the On-Demand Songs chart with 1.28 million on-demand streams (up 23%), according to BDS, while its overall streaming increases by 21%.
The coronation of "Somebody" is also notable for Gotye's personal background and the song's rock lean.
How's this for trivia? Having been born in Belgium, Gotye (nee Wouter "Wally" De Backer) is the first native of the country to top the Hot 100 since the Singing Nun (aka, Souer Sourire (Sister Smile), or the late Jeanine Deckers) spent four weeks atop the chart in 1963 with "Dominique."
Having moved to Australia at age 2, Gotye is the first Australian-raised act to reign since Savage Garden led for four weeks in 2000 with "I Knew I Loved You." He's the first solo Australian to command the Hot 100 since Olivia Newton-John racked 10 weeks at No. 1 beginning in November 1981 with "Physical" and the first solo male from Down Under to rise up to the top spot since Rick Springfield led with "Jessie's Girl" that August 31 years ago.
(Australian-born Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" topped Radio Songs for a hefty 11 weeks in 1998 but, because it was not a commercially-available single at the time, it was not eligible for inclusion on the Hot 100 during its airplay reign. Thereby, it was denied a possible No. 1 Hot 100 ranking. By the time Billboard rules changed to allow non-commercially-available tracks on the Hot 100 that December, the song spent two weeks on the big chart at the wane of its popularity, peaking at No. 42.)
And, as "Somebody," which led Billboard's Rock Songs chart for four weeks, dethrones fun.'s "We Are Young," featuring Janelle Monae, after six weeks atop the Hot 100 (as "Young" conversely replaces "Somebody" at the Rock Songs summit), two rock-based tracks have reigned back-to-back on the Hot 100 for the first time since Matchbox Twenty's "Bent" succeeded Vertical Horizon's "Everything You Want" the week of July 22, 2000.
As "Somebody" and "Young" have also both topped the Alternative Songs chart, two Alternative Songs leaders have crowned the Hot 100 consecutively for the first time dating to the former list's Sept. 10, 1988, launch.
With the advance of "Somebody," "Young" falls 1-2 on the Hot 100, although it continues its record-setting sales streak. With 333,000 downloads sold (down 15%), "Young" links an unprecedented seventh straight week of 300,000 or more in digital sales. No song previously registered more than five weeks (consecutive or not) of such stratospheric download totals.
While slipping 1-2 on Digital Songs, "Young" crowns the Radio Songs chart for a second week (130 million, up 9%). It cedes the top rank on On-Demand Songs to "Somebody" after five weeks at No. 1 (dating to the chart's inception), although with a 2% uptick to 1.16 million on-demand streams and a gain of 1% in overall streaming.
Compared to the many notable achievements of the Hot 100's top two titles, the rest of the top 10 is far less headline-stealing, as no new songs enter the region.
The songs from Nos. 3 through 5, in fact, maintain their rankings from last week: the Wanted's "Glad You Came" (3-3); One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" (4-4); and Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" (5-5). Bieber's track, however, claims the Hot 100's top Streaming Gainer ribbon, bounding 35-10 on On-Demand Songs (576,000, up 101%).
Flo Rida's "Wild Ones," featuring Sia, rises 7-6 on the Hot 100 with top Airplay Gainer honors. The collaboration charges 9-6 on Radio Songs with a 24% increase to 84 million in audience.
Nicki Minaj's "Starships" decelerates 7-6 on the Hot 100, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" jumps 10-8, and two former No. 1s round out the chart's top tier: Kelly Clarkson's former three-week leader "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" (8-9) and Katy Perry's former one-week topper "Part of Me" (9-10).
Check billboard.com tomorrow (April 19), when all rankings, including the Hot 100 and On-Demand Songs in their entirety and Digital Songs and Radio Songs, will be refreshed, as they are each Thursday.