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Hamilton-born Kimbra Lee Johnson was singing in public by age 10. At 12, she featured as a wannabe pop star on kids' TV show What Now. Two years later she came second in the Rockquest school music contest. After winning Juice TV's Breakthrough Video Award in 2007, she was signed by an Australian management company. In 2011 Kimbra sang on Gotye's global hit 'Somebody I Used to Know'. After winning six gongs at the 2012 NZ Music Awards for debut album Vows, she relocated to Los Angeles for The Golden Echo and 2018's Primal Heart. In 2019 she acted in movie musical Daffodils; in 2021 she presented and judged on Popstars.