"Gangnam Style" is the 18th K-pop single by the South Korean musician Psy. The song was released on July 15, 2012, as the lead single of his sixth studio album Psy 6 (Six Rules), Part 1, and debuted at number one on South Korea's Gaon Chart. On December 21, 2012, "Gangnam Style" became the first YouTube video to reach one billion and two billion views. The song's music video has been viewed over 3 billion times on YouTube, and was the most viewed video on YouTube from November 24, 2012, when it surpassed the music video for "Baby" by Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris, to July 10, 2017, when it was surpassed by the music video for "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth. Link to this video: https://youtu.be/Ixitsd0arnw
The phrase "Gangnam Style" is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The song and its accompanying music video went viral in August 2012 and have influenced popular culture worldwide since then. "Gangnam Style" received mixed to positive reviews, with praise going to its catchy beat and Psy's amusing dance moves (which themselves have become a phenomenon) in the music video and during live performances in various locations around the world. In September 2012, "Gangnam Style" was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most "liked" video on YouTube. It subsequently won Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards held later that year. It became a source of parodies and reaction videos by many different individuals, groups and organizations.
By the end of 2012, the song had topped the music charts of more than 30 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. As the song continued to rapidly gain popularity and ubiquity, its signature dance moves were attempted by many notable political leaders such as the British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. President Barack Obama, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who hailed it as a "force for world peace". On May 7, 2013, at a bilateral meeting with South Korea's President Park Geun-hye at the White House, U.S. President 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.
"Gangnam Style" is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul, where people are trendy, hip and exude a certain supposed "class". The term was listed in Time's weekly vocabulary list as a manner associated with lavish lifestyles in Seoul's Gangnam district. Psy likened the Gangnam District to Beverly Hills, California, and said in an interview that he intended in a twisted sense of humor by claiming himself to be "Gangnam Style" when everything about the song, dance, looks, and the music video is far from being such a high class:
People who are actually from Gangnam never proclaim that they are—it's only the posers [sic] and wannabes that put on these airs and say that they are "Gangnam Style"—so this song is actually poking fun at those kinds of people who are trying very hard to be something that they're not.
The song talks about "the perfect girlfriend who knows when to be refined and when to get wild". The song's refrain "(Oppan Gangnam style)" has been translated as "Big brother is Gangnam style", with Psy referring to himself. During an interview with The New York Times, Psy revealed that the Korean fans have huge expectations about his dancing, so he felt a lot of pressure. In order to keep up with expectations, he studied hard to find something new and stayed up late for about 30 nights to come up with the "Gangnam Style" dance. Along the way, he had tested various "cheesy" animal-inspired dance moves with his choreographer, including panda and kangaroo moves, before settling for the horse trot, which involves pretending to ride a horse, alternately holding the reins and spinning a lasso, and moving into a legs-shuffling side gallop.
During an interview with Reuters, Psy said that "Gangnam Style" was originally produced only for local K-pop fans. On July 11, Psy and his music label YG Entertainment started releasing several promotional teasers for "Gangnam Style" to their subscribers on YouTube. On July 15, 2012, the full music video of "Gangnam Style" was uploaded onto YouTube and was immediately a sensation, receiving about 500,000 views on its first day. However, at the time of its release in Germany, a dispute between YouTube and the GEMA (the country's performance rights organization) regarding copyright issues has led to thousands of music videos including "Gangnam Style" being blocked in the country.
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