Kimbra's on top of the pops

TOP OF THE POPS: Kiwi singer Kimbra is featuring on US charts No 1 hit Somebody That I Used to Know.
TOP OF THE POPS: Kiwi singer Kimbra is featuring on US charts No 1 hit Somebody That I Used to Know.

Kiwi singer Kimbra, featuring on Gotye's single Somebody That I Used To Know, has made it to the top of the Billboard top 100.

It is the first time a New Zealand singer has captured the top-spot of the US charts since OMC's smash hit How Bizarre in 1997.

Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know rocketed up to number one overnight and recorded one of the highest ever weekly digital sales totals in the country.

The song by singer/songwriter Gotye, real name Wally De Backer, jumped from number two to one in the all-important Billboard Hot 100 chart, after already claiming glory in 17 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Ireland and Denmark.

Billboard said the duet with Kiwi Kimbra, gained momentum in the US when it was covered on the hit television show Glee on April 10, while just days later Gotye (pronounced "gore-ti-yeah") and Kimbra performed Somebody on NBC's Saturday Night Live.

Although Kimbra didn't write the smash hit and won't benefit hugely financially, it was still a massive boost for her profile.

The track sold 542,000 downloads between April 9 and April 15 in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

That figure is the fourth highest since SoundScan began tracking digital sales in 2003.

In Glee, the break-up song was transformed into a tune about sibling rivalry between characters Blaine Anderson, played by Darren Criss, and his older brother Cooper, played by Matt Bomer.

The song was also covered on the US version of the television talent contest The Voice, while Gotye performed at the US music festival Coachella last weekend and is set to play again this Sunday on the closing night of the two-weekend festival.

On the Billboard chart, Gotye dethroned US indie pop band Fun's We Are Young, which slipped to number two.

Somebody That I Used to Know is taken from Gotye's third album, Making Mirrors, which he recorded entirely at his parent's farm on the Mornington Peninsula.

Despite the song's runaway success, Gotye said he nearly didn't finish the song.

It was one of the final two songs that he penned for the album in November 2010, and Kimbra was not his first choice for the duet.

Another high-profile Australian female singer reportedly walked out in the middle of a recording session.

"At times I was thinking I wouldn't be able to finish it, or that I wasn't going to find a singer like Kimbra to really make the female part something special," De Backer told The Age last year.

"But there was always something about the song that made me think, 'This one's got something worth sticking it out for'."

-with The Age