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Psy is the stage name of South Korean pop singer and entertainer Jae-sang Park who is best known for his 2012 international hit single Gangnam Style. While Psy has been actively performing as a recording artist in South Korea for over a decade, he rose to international stardom in July 2012 following the release of the Gangnam Style music video, which became the first YouTube video to reach the milestone of one billion views in December that same year.
The song “Gangnam Style” was written, produced, and recorded as the lead single of PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1 the sixth studio album of South Korean singer and rapper PSY. The song was released on July 15th, 2012 along with the music video via PSY’s official YouTube channel.
Upon its release, the song took off on virtually all Korean billboard charts, portal search sites and online music stores, but it began garnering international attention after the music video went viral on YouTube during the third week of July 2012. The video continued gaining viral momentum at an average rate of more than nine million views per day in the span of two months, surpassing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” to reach the number one position on the YouTube Top 100 Music Videos chart during the last week of August. By mid-September, PSY’s “Gangnam Style” overtook LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” as the most liked video on the site with more than 1.6 million likes.
Spin-off Music Video
On August 14th, PSY released a spin-off version of the song and the music video starring Hyun-A, a member of the K-POP group 4Minute who appeared in the original music video as PSY’s muse in the subway. Titled “Oppa Is Just My Style,” the music video sets itself apart by putting the female pop singer on the center stage and removing the original chorus “Gangnam Style” altogether.
PSY Signs with Schoolboy Records
On September 3rd, PSY’s Seoul-based record label YG Entertainment announced on its official blog that the K-POP artist had signed a contract with Schoolboy Records after being approached by Scooter Braun, the manager of Justin Bieber. The press release was also confirmed by Braun in a video (shown below) uploaded to his YouTube channel. The announcement of PSY’s expansion into the United States, along with his scheduled U.S. debut appearance at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, was widely reported in the Korean news media.
PSY’s AMA on Reddit
On October 25th, 2012 at 5 p.m. (EST), Reddit hosted an AskMeAnything (AMA) event with PSY, which was met by more than 13,000 questions from the fans and reached the front page of the site.
PSY (@psy_oppa) October 24, 2012
During the hour-long Q&A event, the Korean singer managed to answer 48 questions ranging from his personal habits and musical preferences to his thoughts on the immense popularity of “Gangnam Style.” Some of the main highlights included:
Q: Why were you so mad at that girl’s ass?
* A: Because her ass was so mad.
Q: Who is your inspiration?
* A: Freddie Mercury.
Q: Do you have a favorite Gangnam Style “spoof” video?
* A: Ohio University marching band.
Q: Who is one celebrity you want to meet that you haven’t already?
* A: Tom Cruise.
Q: What’s something that people don’t know about you that you wish they did?
* A: I compose all my music myself.
Q: Is Gangnam style intended to be a social critique, or just supposed to be fun?
* A: GS is not a critique, just FUN!
Q: Can I come and hang out with you in Seoul?
* A: Call me maybe.
Q: If you could collaborate on a song with any one artist / band, who would that artist be?
* A: I love so many but if I had to choose one, Justin Bieber.
Q: How many times did it take to do the elevator portion of your video in Gangnam Style?
* A: That was ad libbed. Nong Chul is the name of the elevator guy and he is very famous comedian in Korea. That is a very popular dirty move he has been doing for six years and I asked him to do it in my video. if I am underneath, it would be dirtier! We only did 2-3 takes and everyone on the video set was crying from laughing. Definitely my favorite scene in the video.
Psy’s New Single “Gentleman”
On April 12th, 2013, Psy’s new electro-pop single “Gentleman” was released via his YouTube channel. Similar to “Gangnam Style,” the song contains several chorus hooks in English language, most notable lines being the mock-censored phrase “I’m a mother-father gentleman” and “wet Psy” in allusion to the gang-related catchphrase “west side.” On the following day, the music video for “Gentleman” debuted on YouTube, featuring Ga-In from the K-Pop girl group Brown Eyed Girls and the signature dance move from their 2009 dance pop song “Abracadabra” characterized by fast, hip-swinging movements.
Reaffirming his global fame earned from the success of “Gangnam Style,” Psy’s new music video racked up at least 22 million YouTube views in the first 24 hours, surpassing the previous one-day records set by One Direction’s “Kiss You” (10.4 million views) and Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat” (10.6 million views).
Cannes Film Festival Impersonator
On May 21st, 2013, British actress Naomie Harris tweeted a photograph of herself with a man she believed was the real Psy at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
<a href="https://twitter.com/psy_oppa">psy_oppa</a> at the @<a href="https://twitter.com/chopard">chopard</a> party in <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23Cannes">#Cannes</a>!! Xx <a href="http://t.co/uMFxT8W1cR" title="http://twitter.com/NaomieHarris/status/336942383189082112/photo/1">twitter.com/NaomieHarris/s…</a></p>— Naomie Harris(NaomieHarris) May 21, 2013
On the same day, the French YouTube channel RadioPrestige uploaded a video of host Dorian Rossini doing the “Gangnam Style” dance with the same man dressed as Psy (shown below).
On May 23rd, the New York Post published an article noting that the man was actually an impostor who had managed to convince many festival attendees that he was the South Korean pop star. On the same day, The Atlantic Wire published an article about the impersonator, which highlighted photos he had taken with actor Adrien Brody (shown below, far left) and Portland Trail Blazers basketball player Nicolas Batum (shown below, far right).
On May 25th, GQ published an interview with the impersonator, who was identified as 34-year-old South Korean business consultant Denis Carré. In the interview, Carré revealed that he had been impersonating Psy for the past year and that he hopes to meet the real Psy one day.
The Atlantic Wire – This Fake Psy Was the Most Successful Photobomb Prankster in Cannes History