If you haven’t seen the video for Gangnam Style, you’re one of an increasingly small group of people. The viral video, which has blasted its way to hundreds of millions of views on YouTube since its July 15, 2012 release, has popularized the distinctive “horse dance” and cast Korean rapper-singer Psy into the international spotlight.
Before Gangnam Style
Born Park Jae-sang in South Korea on December 31, 1977, Psy spent his early life in the Gangnam District of Seoul, the area of the city parodied in the Gangnam Style video. He graduated from high school in his home country, but attended college in the U.S., studying at Boston University and Berklee College of Music.
Despite his seemingly overnight success, Psy has been hard at work in Korea for more than a decade. His first album “PSY… From the Psycho World!” was released in 2001, and immediately earned Psy a reputation of going against the K-pop mold, a reputation that Psy embraces.
His second album was banned for sale to consumers under the age of 19, after complaints that his lyrics and unusual behavior could have a negative influence on young people. This prompted Psy to take to the Internet with his third album, releasing his songs directly to consumers.
Three subsequent album releases and songwriting provided Psy with enough success to stay in the business, but it wasn’t until his sixth album and the release of “Gangnam Style” in the summer of 2012 that Psy became a world-wide sensation.
Gangnam Style isn’t just any other viral video. Psy’s hit is an undisputed Internet smash. The popularity of the video has been largely credited to social networking sites, such as Twitter, where celebrities like Katy Perry and T-Pain, shared and praised Psy’s video to their followers. On September 20, 2012, Gangnam Style became a Guinness World Record holder as the most liked video in the history of YouTube.
Anyone who has listened to Gangnam Style has likely become a victim of its catchy, stick-in-your-head melody. It’s the song’s video, though, that got people talking. Featuring Psy at a number of locations meant to represent the Gangnam District, including a hot tub and a merry-go-round, the video also has a number of Korean celebrity cameos. Celebrities who appear in the video include:
- K-pop girl group 4Minute’s Hyuna as the video Psy’s love interest
- 5-year-old Hwang Min-woo, a dance contestant on Korea’s Got Talent, as the kid with the wicked moves in the beginning sequence of the video
- Comedian Yoo Jae-Suk as the yellow-suited other half of Psy’s parking garage dance-off.
After Gangnam Style
With such a global hit on his hands, it’s no surprise since the release of Gangnam Style, Psy has become recognizable everywhere in the world. On a whirlwind trip to the U.S., Psy expanded on his international success with a number of scheduled media appearances. Even his less-publicized public appearances ended up making headlines.
When he was spotted taking in a Dodgers game in Los Angeles in August, Psy was shown on the stadium’s big screen and the announcers encouraged the crowd to dance the Gangnam Style horse dance. As the crowd joined in on the dancing, Psy performed his signature dance for the crowd on the big screen in return.
Later, his trip through the States would take him onto the sets of The Today Show, Saturday Night Live, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, on which he taught Ellen and guest Britney Spears the steps of the horse dance that made him famous.
Now back in Korea, Psy has begun work on his seventh album, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. His return home has also reunited Psy with his family. He has been married to his wife, Yoo Hye-yeon since 2006, and is the father of twin girls.
PSY – GANGNAM STYLE
Psy – Screen Cap From Video
Gangnam Style Official Cover – Wikipedia – Fair Use
Feature Image – Screen Cap From Video
Guest Author Bio
Hannah is a 22 year old Western Washington University graduate, specializing in technology, adventure, and all things marketing. She is a writer for FrontierBundles.com and loves exploring the newest social media sites to find the best possibilities for customer interaction. Follow her on twitter at @hongryhannah, and thanks for reading!