South Korean pop phenomenon Psy galloped into the record books Saturday as his “Gangnam Style” mega hit smashed through the two-billion mark on YouTube. Also Read - YouTube to add new audio features in coming months: List of featuresAlso Read - YouTube to block and remove all anti-vaccine information
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” at the Official Psy channel has now had nearly twice the amount of viewers, according to figures from the northern California-based YouTube. Also Read - Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps stop working on these Android phones: Check the list, what to do now
The video became a global sensation and fueled a South Korean “K-Pop” trend after it was uploaded to YouTube in July 2012. “Two billion views; they are very honorable and very burdensome numbers,” Psy said in a statement YouTube shared with AFP 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, 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 satirizes 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 three percent of “Gangnam Style” views at YouTube have been from inside South Korea.