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Park Jae-Sang, popularly known as Psy is the most popular South Korean singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer whose name is renowned globally. His tracks such as ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘Gentleman’ have successfully reached the billion club. With the release of these two songs, the K-Pop industry reached a new height. The meteoric rise of Psy in 2012 was at an astonishing rate! His billion views on these two YouTube videos made him the ‘King of YouTube’ and MTV also claimed him to be the ‘Viral Star of 2012’.

Now, let’s dive into Psy’s two tracks that have crossed the billion club, i.e, ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘Gentleman’!

Gangnam Style

‘Gangnam Style’ was the first-ever music video to create a record of one billion views in the history of YouTube. Released on July 15, 2012, by YG Entertainment as the lead single of Psy’s sixth studio album, ‘Psy 6 (Six Rules)’, Part 1 the track hit the billion mark on December 21, 2012. On August 14, 2012, the track ranked first on YouTube’s ‘Most Viewed Videos’ monthly chart. Psy created the first-ever feat as a South Korean artist on August 21, 2012, by beating other top artists internationally, and ‘Gangnam Style’ officially entered the iTunes Music Video Charts at No. 1 position. Its refrain was entered in ‘The Yale Book of Quotations’ as the most famous quotation from 2012. The song was number one on South Korea’s Gaon Chart. In September 2012, ‘Gangnam Style’ was recognised as the most liked video on YouTube by Guinness World Records. 

Since its release, Psy has received a lot of acclamations and awards. He got to meet United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Headquarters on October 23, 2012, where Ban expressed his desire to work with the singer to overcome intolerance through his “unlimited global reach”, and the next day he was recognised by the UN as an “international sensation.” The Korean singer was also rewarded with a plaque and named as an honorary ambassador by the Gangnam district, Seoul, South Korea. Later on, Psy was appointed as the goodwill ambassador of UNICEF and also held a speech at the Oxford Union, England on November 7, 2012. 

On November 12, 2012, Psy became the second South Korean artist to appear at MTV Europe Music Awards, and not only that, he performed on ‘Gangnam Style’ and even won the ‘Best Video Awards’. After that, he won four awards at the Mnet Asian Music Awards, Hong Kong on November 30, 2012. He was also selected as ‘Singer of the Year’ in the 2012 public survey conducted by Gallup Korea. In the United States, ‘Gangnam Style’ was at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. By the end of 2012, the track had topped the music charts of more than 30 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

For his contribution towards enhancing Korea’s national image, Psy was awarded the ‘Korea Image Stepping Stone Award’ in January 2013. Barack Obama cited the success of ‘Gangnam Style’ as an example of how people around the world are being “swept up” by the Korean Wave of culture, when he had a bilateral meeting with South Korea’s President Park Geun-Hye at the White House on May 7, 2013. On May 31, 2014, it reached 2 billion views. Currently, the music video holds 4.1 billion views and 21 million likes. 

Watch ‘Gangnam Style’ here:

Gentleman

Psy’s ‘Gentleman’ was released on April 13, 2013, and presently it has 1.4 billion views and 6.9 million likes. It was his 19th single, serving as the follow-up to his worldwide hit track ‘Gangnam Style’.  Straight after its release, in the third week, the song debuted to number one position in South Korea’s Gaon Singles Chart. Around April 27, 2013, it popped on Korea’s Billboard K-Pop Hot 100. Other than South Korea, it also reached number one on charts in Luxembourg, and the United States, and topped iTunes charts in 40 countries. 

Upon its release, ‘Gentleman’ reached 18.9 million views on YouTube, which broke the previous single-day viewership record for music videos set by Justin Bieber’s ‘Beauty and a Beat’ at 10.6 million views. It’s claimed that the music video set the record for the most views ever in a single day with over 38 million views which were achieved on April 14, 2013, setting a Guinness World Record. Within four days after its release, i.e, April 17, 2013, the track set the fastest record to reach 100 million views. It became the fastest video to reach 200 million views, 300 million views in 613 hours (25.5 days), 400 million views in 55 days, and 500 million views on July 31, 2013, i.e, 110 days after its release.

You can watch ‘Gentleman’ here:

Psy broke records after records and set new ones with his back-to-back double hits from 2012 to 2013.  He proved to the world his worth as an outstanding K-Pop artist. We used to listen to his peppy track even before we knew that it’s of the K-Pop genre. Psy is definitely the backbone and was the first rising face of Korean music with his quirky and eccentric ways. Whether it’s the lyrics, choreography, music, etc. everything is so catchy! Both ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘Gentleman’ were directed by Cho Soo-Hyun.