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Gangnam Style


Park Jae-sang (Hangul: ???; born December 31, 1977) is a South Korean singer-songwriter, rapper, dance musician and record producer. Better known by his stage name, Psy (Hangul: ??, often stylized as PSY), he is popular for his humorous videos and stage performances, and has appeared on numerous television programs, including The Ellen Degeneres Show, Extra, Good Sunday: X-Man, The Golden Fishery, and Saturday Night Live.

His “Gangnam Style” music video is the most viewed K-pop video on YouTube. Still growing rapidly, the video surpassed 230 million views on September 21, 2012.

Park was born in South Korea on December 31, 1977 and later attended Banpo(??) Elementary School, Banpo Middle School, and Sehwa(??) High School. Park went on to attend both Boston University and Berklee College of Music. He describes himself as not following the K-pop mold.

Psy debuted in January 2001 with his full-length album titled PSY… From the Psycho World!, for which he later had to pay a fine due to accusations that the album contained “inappropriate content”. He was a rookie hip-hop singer that stirred up the Korean pop music scene with very blunt lyrics, peculiar dance moves and an unconventional appearance. Because of his unique style he was nicknamed the ‘Bizarre Singer’.

He released his second album titled Ssa 2 in the following year. However, the release sparked complaints from various civic groups about the potentially negative influence his album would have on the younger generation. Since then, Psy has been thought of as a controversial artist, and Ssa 2 was banned in 2002 from being sold to those under the age of 19. Later in September, Psy released his third album 3 PSY through releasing his music on the Internet. The album’s title song, “Champion”, saw great success partly due to the hype from the World Cup games held in Seoul.

Gangnam Style” (Korean: ?????, IPA: [ka?nam s?t?ail]) is a 2012 Korean pop single by the South Korean rapper PSY. It is praised by some for its humor, catchy rhythm as well as PSY‘s unusual dance moves. The song was released on July 15, 2012, when it debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart. The music video has been viewed over 229 million times as of September 21, 2012, making it YouTube’s most watched K-Pop video.

It has been shared on the internet by celebrities including T-Pain and Katy Perry, covered by others such as Nelly Furtado and Maroon 5, and has also been featured in international media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and CNN International.

Around early September, “Gangnam Style” flash mobs started to appear in various capitals of the world, and “Gangnam Style” has become the source of parodies and reaction videos by, among others, The Oregon Duck, midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy and the North Korean government. Psy has brought the “Gangnam Style” dance to various locations including Dodger Stadium, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Samsung commercials (see Impact).

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