/ 31 May 2014

Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ gallops into the record books

Psy performing 'Gangnam Style' at the MTV Europe Music Awards in November 2012.
Psy performing 'Gangnam Style' at the MTV Europe Music Awards in November 2012.

South Korean pop phenomenon Psy galloped into the record books on Saturday as his Gangnam Style mega hit smashed through the two billion mark on YouTube. It was a first at YouTube, where Baby by Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber in February became the only other video in the billion-view club.

Gangnam Style on the OfficialPsy channel has now had nearly twice the amount of viewers, according to figures from northern California-based YouTube.

The video became a global sensation and fuelled a South Korean “K-Pop” trend after it was uploaded to YouTube in July 2012.

“Two billion views; they are very honourable and very burdensome numbers,” Psy told YouTube on Friday. “With the appreciation, I will come back soon with more joyful contents.”

His follow-up song Gentleman set the record for the most YouTube views in a single day with 38-million on April 14 2013.

Psy’s horse riding-style dance moves in Gangnam Style have been parodied and mimicked in myriad videos uploaded to YouTube in various languages.

The Gangnam in the song’s title refers to Seoul’s wealthiest residential and shopping district, lined with luxury boutiques, top-end bars and restaurants frequented by celebrities.

Psy sings about being the “guy who downs boiling coffee in one shot” and who “goes completely crazy when the right time comes”.

The video, which satirises the area’s self-importance and ostentatious wealth, has Psy breezing through a world of speed boats, yoga classes and exclusive clubs while performing an eccentric horse riding dance.

Only 3% of Gangnam Style views on YouTube have been from South Korea. – AFP