International K-Pop singer Psy has taken over the world one “Gangnam Style” gallop at a time. With all the attention he has received, it’s difficult not to recognize the vibrant suits, hipster glasses and bass pounding beats of this celebrity. Not to mention how tough it has become to resist breaking out in dance whenever the song is heard.
From Google executives to singer Ellie Goulding, everyone seems to be getting in on the “Gangnam Style” dance lessons. Here’s a look around the Web for this week’s biggest Psy related stories and covers.
This week Psy reached new heights as his single shot to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and it surpassed 300 million views on YouTube.
His music video for “Gangnam Style” is the most viewed K-pop clip on YouTube with over 398 million views and is currently the most “liked” video on the site. Although he seems to be an overnight success here in the states due to his rapid viral popularity, the hit single is off of Psy’s sixth album.
“Television appearances of this caliber have helped Psy build his audience at an incredible rate. For the fifth week in a row he’s experienced double digit follower acquisition growth, with a 20% rate of increase bringing in a whopping 180,000 Facebook fans and 104,000 Twitter followers,” Billboard reports. “The now-famous video still gains an incredible 39 million views in just this past week.”
— PSY (@psy_oppa) September 28, 2012
And with his growing popularity come the cover songs. Take this Bill Nye “Science Style” video.
Or this Star Trek parody.
Psy has been releasing music in his home country of South Korea since 2001 and has won about 15 music awards including the Best Album of 2011 at the 20th High-1 Seoul Music Awards. However, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding his music. After releasing his first album, “PSY from the PSYcho World!,” he was fined for his blunt lyrics.
Psy’s luck didn’t change much with the release of his second album, “Sa 2.” Many civic groups feared that his music would have a bad influence on younger generations and had the record banned from being sold to minors.
When he stopped by 92.3 NOW/New York Psy said that although he was on shaky ground with his country before international stardom, he is honored to be representing his country in a positive manneras the first K-Pop artist to reach such fame in the U.S.
It seems that Korea isn’t too upset with Psy anymore. Earlier this month, the Gangnam District in Seoul, South Korea named PSY an honorary ambassador and presented him with a special plaque.
The Gangnam District (“Gangnam” translates to “south of the river”) is the most affluent area of the country and has come to symbolize wealth and financial inequality to local citizens. Many refer to the neighborhood as the ‘Beverly Hills’ of South Korea as it is home to both actors, and politicians. Corporate headquarters, banks and financial industries including the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center – the Korean World Trade Center Complex are located in the region. Entertainment venues and shopping hubs also surround the area.
Psy featured the typical Gangnam lifestyle both in the lyrics and music video of his single. And with any luck he’ll be reaping the benefits of affluence with his continued success.
Psy said Tuesday in a press conference in Seoul that he cried in disbelief when his song entered the Billboard 100 earlier this month. Later this week he promised to perform shirtless if he reaches No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. With portraits of Psy being made in espresso cups and countless parodies, Psy just may have to follow through on his promise.
-Maria Bonello, 92.3 NOW/New York