Will Gotye Equal Green Day’s Record?

"Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra stands a very good chance of becoming only the second hit to win both the VMA for Music Video of the Year and the Grammy for Record of the Year. The first was Green Day's "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams." We'll find out in two stages, first on Thursday, when the 29th annual VMAs are presented at Staples Center, and then on Feb. 10, when the 55th annual Grammy Awards are handed out in the same venue.

Winning both awards is quite a feat, because the VMAs and Grammys have different sensibilities and audiences. Fans who vote for the VMAs are much more comfortable with hip-hop than Grammy voters are. Grammy voters lean more to adult-oriented pop and rock. In some years, it almost seems like parents are filling out the Grammy ballots while their kids are texting in their votes to the VMAs. Case in point: 2008, when a track from a rootsy Robert Plant/Alison Krauss album won the top Grammy, while Britney Spears' "Piece Of Me" took the top VMA award.

"Somebody That I Used To Know" and "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" appeal to both sensibilities. "Somebody…," which crossed over from alternative to pop and many other formats, carries echoes of Sting's hits of the 1980s and 1990s. It's a classy record and an inventive video. "Boulevard…." is a power ballad which marries a poignant melody to a lean, muscular track.

It helps that "Somebody…" has been such a towering hit. The song topped the Hot 100 for eight weeks and became the first song in digital history to sell 6 million copies in a calendar year. "Boulevard…" wasn't as gargantuan a hit, but it spent five weeks at #2 and 14 weeks in the top 10. It has sold 2,150,000 digital copies to date.

"Somebody…" is drawn from Gotye's third album (and U.S. breakthrough), Making Mirrors. "Boulevard…" was from Green Day's seventh studio album, American Idiot.

Three times, the Grammy winner for Record of the Year and the VMA winner for Music Video of the Year have competed head-to-head in the two competitions, with different winners crowned on each show. In 1985, USA for Africa's "We Are The World" won the Grammy, while Don Henley's "The Boys Of Summer" took the VMA. In 2007, Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" won the Grammy, while "Umbrella" by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z won the VMA. Last year, Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" won the Grammy, while Katy Perry's "Firework" won the VMA.

Eight other times, the VMA winner for Music Video of the Year has been nominated for the top Grammy: Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing," Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer," Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U," R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion," TLC's "Waterfalls," Madonna's "Ray Of Light," Eminem's "Without Me" and OutKast's "Hey Ya!."

There have been just two other times where the Grammy winner for Record of the Year was nominated for the VMA for Music Video of the Year. Steve Winwood's "Higher Love" and U2's "Beautiful Day."


is the only artist to win the VMA for Music Video of the Year twice. He won in 2000 for "The Real Slim Shady" and in 2002 for "Without Me." Since 1984, Eric Clapton, U2 and Norah Jones have all won the Grammy for Record of the Year twice.

Three of the Grammy Record of the Year winners in this period failed to crack the Hot 100 (though all three "bubbled under" the chart): U2's "Walk On," Ray Charles with Norah Jones' "Here We Go Again" and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss' "Please Read The Letter." Two of the songs that were the basis for VMA's Music Video of the Year failed to chart: Neil Young's "This Note's For You" and Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity."

"Somebody That I Used To Know" is competing for Music Video of the Year with Katy Perry's "Wide Awake," M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls" and a pair of collaborations involving Rihanna: Drake's "Take Care," on which she is featured, and her own "We Found Love," which features Calvin Harris.

The Grammy nominations will be announced on Dec. 5.

Here's a side-by-side list showing the winners of these two awards. As a bonus, I tell you where each song peaked on the Hot 100.

1984: Grammy: Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It" (#1). VMA: The Cars' "You Might Think" (#7).

1985: Grammy: USA for Africa's "We Are The World" (#1). VMA: Don Henley's "The Boys Of Summer" (#5).

1986: Grammy: Steve Winwood's "Higher Love" (#1). VMA: Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" (#1).

1987: Grammy: Paul Simon's "Graceland" (#81). VMA: Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" (#1).

1988: Grammy: Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy" (#1). VMA: INXS's "Need You Tonight"/"Mediate" (#1).

1989: Grammy: Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" (#1). VMA: Neil Young's "This Note's For You" (didn't chart).

1990: Grammy: Phil Collins' "Another Day In Paradise" (#1). VMA: Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" (#1).

1991: Grammy: Natalie Cole with Nat "King" Cole's "Unforgettable" (#14). VMA: R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" (#4).

1992: Grammy: Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven" (#2). VMA: Van Halen's "Right Now" (#55).

1993: Grammy: Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" (#1). VMA: Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" (#70).

1994: Grammy: Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do" (#2). VMA: Aerosmith's "Cryin'" (#12).

1995: Grammy: Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" (#1). VMA: TLC's "Waterfalls" (#1).

1996: Grammy: Eric Clapton's "Change The World" (#5). VMA: Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight" (#36).

1997: Grammy: Shawn Colvin's "Sunny Came Home" (#10). VMA: Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity" (didn't chart).

1998: Grammy: Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From 'Titanic')" (#1). VMA: Madonna's "Ray Of Light" (#5).

1999: Grammy: Santana featuring Rob Thomas' "Smooth" (#1). VMA: Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" (#1).

2000: Grammy: U2's "Beautiful Day" (#21). VMA: Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" (#4).

2001: Grammy: U2's "Walk On" (#118). VMA: Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya and P!nk's "Lady Marmalade" (#1).

2002: Grammy: Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why" (#30). VMA: Eminem's "Without Me" (#2).

2003: Grammy: Coldplay's "Clocks" (#29). VMA: Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott's "Work It" (#2).

2004: Grammy: Ray Charles with Norah Jones' "Here We Go Again" (#113). VMA: OutKast's "Hey Ya!" (#1).

2005: Grammy and VMA: Green Day's "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" (#2).

2006: Grammy: Dixie Chicks' Not Ready To Make Nice" (#4). VMA: Panic at the Disco's "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" (#7).

2007: Grammy: Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" (#9). VMA: Rihanna featuring Jay-Z's "Umbrella" (#1).

2008: Grammy: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss' "Please Read The Letter" (#120). VMA: Britney Spears' "Piece Of Me" (#18).

2009: Grammy: Kings Of Leon's "Use Somebody" (#4). VMA: Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" (#1).

2010: Grammy: Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (#2). VMA: Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" (#2).

2011: Grammy: Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" (#1). VMA: Katy Perry's "Firework" #1).

2012: Grammy and VMA: Gotye featuring Kimbra's "Somebody That I Used To Know" (#1). (These are both projections. We'll find out soon enough if I'm right.)