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Tag Archives: Billboard Hot 100

“Somebody That I Used to Know” is the Most Unlikely Pop Hit Ever

11 Mar

If you asked for an unlikely pop hit, I would probably suggest something slow, acoustic, with weird instruments, and not from an American artist. Yet, “Somebody That I Used to Know” appears to have broken all the rules and propelled Australian-Belgian singer Gotye to international stardom.

Gotye enjoyed a devoted following in Australia, but had not achieved any substantial international acclaim for his acoustic, thoughtful songs. Then, inspiration struck him in the middle of the night in his parents’ barn. He quickly penned the lyrics and laid down the track “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

After finding a female vocalist to enhance the story, the 21-year-old New Zealander Kimbra in this case, Gotye released the song as a single from his upcoming album, Making Mirrors. It took off.

At present, the song has topped the charts in fifteen countries around the world. It sits atop the American iTunes charts and lies at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Australia has been very kind to the song. It has been at #1 for 8 weeks there (2nd best all-time) and has been certified as 8X platinum. That’s nothing on Poland, though. In the Northern European country, “Somebody That I Used to Love” has been at #1 for an all-time high of 18 weeks. It’s the all-time most popular song there.

Gotye’s ballad has also topped the charts in Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Ireland among other places.

It’s also been a hit song on social media. The music video has more than 106 million views on YouTube and a cover version by Walk Off the Earth has more than 66 million views.

There’s also an incredibly popular a capella version of the song by Pentatonix.

Must be good to be Gotye these days.

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Highly Popular, Rated-R Music Scene

27 Feb

In case you don’t follow the music world as closely as I do, I’d like to draw your attention to two songs that made it into the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10 this week. Somehow I don’t think either of these songs would have been so successful, even 10 years ago.

1) Cee Lo Green— “Fuck You” or “F*** You” or “Forget You”

Now it probably won’t rise next week, but Green’s song has the chance to become the first-ever chart-topper with such an explicit word in it’s title. This song has had incredible staying power. Time Magazine named it the number one song of 2010, but it just reached its peak position on the charts last week. Helped by a Grammy Performance, it hit number 2 on last week’s chart, blocked from the top position by Lady Gaga. Green first released a graphic video for the song, which went viral last summer. Even cynics of pop music have to admit, “this is a big f***ing song.”

2) Rihanna— “S&M”

Yep, this song about particularly kinky sex has been dominating the radio over the past couple of weeks. Just last week it hit number 7 on the chart, and it could be poised for greater heights this week. The music video has been banned by 11 countries because of its explicit content, and features Perez Hilton being walked by Rihanna. Many feared that Rihanna was done, but this sounds like her pop best. Just don’t let people hear you singing the chorus:

‘Cause I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But chains and whips excite me.