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Kimbra first Kiwi to top US charts in 35 years

Published: 11:47AM Thursday April 19, 2012 Source: AAP / ONE News

Kiwi singer Kimbra has hit the big time in the United States, gaining number one in the Billboard charts.

It is the first time a New Zealander has topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts since 1977, when Chris Thompson was lead singer of Manfred Mann's Earthband.

The Hamilton-born songstress paired together with Australian music star Gotye to create the duet Somebody That I Used To Know.

The single steadily climbed the Hot 100 over an impressive three months, and is currently sitting at top position.

It has now been number one in 18 countries, including New Zealand and Britain.

Written by Belgian-Australian Gotye, Somebody That I Used to Know also peaked at number one on the Billboard's Top Rock, YouTube and MySpace charts.

Its popularity was helped to the top by a Glee tribute to the song that aired on TV in America last week, an appearance on Saturday Night Live on April 14 and a performance at the Coachella music festival in California on April 15.

Singer/songwriter Gotye, whose real name is Wouter De Backer, sold 542,000 downloads of the hit in the past week to land the fourth-best sales period since SoundScan began tracking digital sales in 2003.

He also becomes the first Australian act to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 since Savage Garden hit number one with I Knew I Loved You in 2000.

The single had an incredible eight-week run at the summit of the ARIA singles chart last year.

Somebody That I Used To Know has received more than 160 million views on YouTube and has sold 4.5 million copies.