Gotye's inescapable "Somebody That I Used to Know" featuring Kimbra won the Grammy for record of the year. The song, released in mid-2011, peaked in 2012 and has sold more than 7 million downloads in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"Somebody That I Used to Know" introduced Gotye to American audiences, but the artist, whose real name is Wouter de Backer, has released several albums and had success in Australia before the release of his "Making Mirrors," the album on which "Somebody That I Used to Know" can be found.
"Somebody That I Used to Know" was up against No. 1 singles that include Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and Fun.'s "We Are Young" featuring Janelle Monáe. Also in consideration was Frank Ocean's low-key slow-burner "Thinkin Bout You." Rounding out the field was the Black Keys' "Lonely Boy" and Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," both of which peaked at No. 64 on the Hot 100.
In contrast to the song of the year, which recognizes songwriters, the record of the year is awarded to the performer, producer, engineer and mixer. Despite the emphasis on studio work, the category in recent years has focused primarily on more traditional songs rather than those that emphasize production.