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Has Gangnam Style Brought The World Closer? - Facts & Infographic

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Gangnam Style – The Sensation

“Gangnam Style” is a Korean pop single by the South Korean rapper and musician Psy. Psy officially released the song on July 15, 2012, as the lead single of PSY 6, the singer's sixth album. Upon release the single opened to the number one slot on the national record chart of South Korea - Gaon Chart. On YouTube the song became a major hit and was viewed many million times. On November 24, 2012, it surpassed Justin Bieber’s Baby as the most viewed song in YouTube history. As of December 7, 2012, Gangnam Style has been viewed 901 million times on YouTube and Baby has been viewed 809 million times.


The phrase “Gangnam Style” is a Korean coinage that pertains to the lifestyle of the Gangnam District of Seoul. The district is spread over an area of 15.27 sq miles and is one of Seoul’s most affluent parts. Gangnam District houses the headquarters of some of Korea’s biggest corporations including Samsung, Hundai, and LG. Gangnam holds about 7% of Korea’s GDP and Psy’s song is a satirical look at the wealth disparity in Seoul.

The funny, flashy dance moves that Psy sports in the music video are its greatest attraction. Psy has performed these moves on numerous occasions since the launch. On the Ellen Show, in trying to teach Britney Spears the moves, Psy said “Dress Classy, Dance Cheesy”.


Worldwide Recognition

The song, “Gangnam Style” and the music video went viral in August 2012. The influence of the song on popular culture since then has been immense. “Gangnam Style” received rave reviews - the song's catchy beat and PSY's amusing dance moves took the world by storm. PSY has since the release been invited to live performances and award ceremonies across the world. He was invited to perform these dance moves on shows such as The Today Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The song also won PSY the New Media award at the American Music Awards.


On September 20, 2012, “Gangnam Style” was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most “liked” video in YouTube history – as of December 7, 2012, the video has 5,731,675 Likes. It comes as little wonder that PSY won four awards for the song at the Mnet Asian Music Awards held in Seoul, South Korea in November 2012. The video also was awarded Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards held in Frankfurt, Germany, in November 2012. In the US, the song has also stayed #2 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 for 7 consecutive weeks.

On October 27, 2012, South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the government's decision to award PSY the Okgwan Order, a 4th grade Order of Cultural Merit. In September, the Gangnam District of Seoul awarded PSY and named him an Honorary Ambassador. On October 24, 2012, PSY was recognized by the United Nations as an “International sensation.”


The YouTube 100 id a chart of the top music videos featured on the site in terms of the traffic they attract. At teh close of December 2012 Week 1, Psy's Gangnam Style was still on Number 1. Another Psy number, Hyuna had made it to number 4.


Famous People And Quotes About ‘Gangnam Style’


Who's Who


Barack Obama

President of the United States

“I think I can do that move. But I'm not sure that the inauguration ball is the appropriate time to break that out. Maybe do it privately for Michelle”

Jim Yong Kim

President of the World Bank

“I love Gangnam Style, my 3 year-old son dances around doing Gangnam Style all the time”

Song Sang-Hyun

President of the International Criminal Court

“I am afraid I could not stay within say, 10 minutes even if I were to speak in Gangnam Style”

Tara Sonenshine

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (USA)

Of course, we all know about Gangnam Style. Well, the man behind it, PSY, went to Boston University and the Berklee College of Music

Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister of Singapore

Posted a Singaporean parody of “Gangnam Style” produced for Children’s Day on his Facebook

Jackie Chan


PSY is a role model who proves that dreams do come true

Robbie Williams


P.S. Try watching this and not smiling I dare you

Justin Beiber


Heyyyy sexy laaady

Katy Perry


Help, I'm in a Gangnam Style K-hole

Britney Spears


I am LOVING this video – so fun!

Scooter Braun

Talent Manager

How did I not sign this guy!?


Parodies and Performances

The “Gangnam Style” song became a major source of parodies and reaction videos in 2012. A number of different groups, bands, and individuals have all performed to the snappy number. By early November 2012, the song reached the number one slot of record charts in more than 30 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

  • Australia - Big Brother Australia created a commercial with the housemates dancing to “Gangnam Style” to promote the 2012 series.

  • Australia - George Christensen, Representative for the seat of Dawson danced to Gangnam Style in Mackay, Queensland.

  • Singapore - Lim Swee Say, a minister in Prime Minister's Office did his own Gangnam Style jig at Marina Bay, Singapore

  • USA - Midshipmen from the US Naval Academy came up with one of the best known parodies of the song. A spokesman from the United States Naval Academy said that “The video is creative and humorous, but it also took a lot of planning and teamwork”

  • USA - An Obama Gangnam Style parody was released by Barack Obama impersonator Reggie Brown and was well received by the web audience.

  • USA - Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations performed the song moves at the United Nations Headquarters in October this year.

  • USA - In a recent Asian business trip to promote the Nexus 7, Google's Executive Chairmaan Eric Schmidt danced to Gangnam style with Psy.

  • India - Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan from India performed the moves to Gangnam Style live on the popular game show KBC - India

  • Sri Lanka - After the West Indies won the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Cup, the whole team celebrated with a mid-pitch “Gangnam Style” dance and Chris Gayle danced to the number many times during the tournament.

  • UK - David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, danced to the tune of Gangnam Style at Chequers Court, Buckinghamshire in October.

  • Saudi Arabia - The Saudi Gangnam Style video went live it was criticized for featuring Saudi Arabian young men dressed in Keffiyeh but leaving out any women. The parody was shot in the city of Riyadh and attracted over three million view. Douglas Ernst of The Washington Times wrote, “Now we can add “Gangnam Style” dancing to the list of things the ladies miss out on while the men have all the fun”

  • Egypt - Disalata: Hobba Egyptian Style, a parody video was shot at various places in Egypt showcasing many important centers such as the Great Pyramid of Giza and has over a million views.

  • Turkey - Mangal Style by “Hayrettin” was widely and was also featured in CNN Türk.

  • Russia - In the Siberian region of Kemerovo, people dressed like Bigfoot and danced “Gangnam Style” to celebrate the birthday of Bigfoot. The television channel, Russia Today, called the celebrations “Yeti-style”

  • Philippines - During the presentation of the beauty pageant Miss Earth 2012, some contestants such as Miss Czech Republic, Miss Brazil, and Miss Philippines danced “Gangnam Style”

  • China - “Transfer Style” an anti-scam parody was produced by Shanghai to raise awareness of telecom swindlers. The Shanghai Daily wrote, “The whole story is reenacted in a humorous manner, similar to South Korean phenomenon Psy's global hit”.

According to CNN, however, the best Gangnam Style Parody is the one called Mitt Romney Style. By December 7, 2012 the parody by CollegeHumor had over 26 million views on YouTube.


Uniting The World – Gangnam Style

With this one number, 34-year-old Psyis set to become a millionaire. Earnings from YouTube ads, iTunes downloads, and television commercials come pouring in. Psy and his team are likely to earn at least $8.1 million this year, according to estimates. Only about $60,000, however, is likely to come in from South Korea. Psy’s song has had an unprecedented effect in uniting the world.


Psy was recognized by the United Nations as an “International sensation” on October 24, 2012. According to news reports from Reuters, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met Psy and discussed the power of music to overcome intolerance and great differences. On October 23, 2012, when the UN secretary General met Psy at the United Nations Headquarters, he expressed his desire to work with the singer. He observed that the South Korean musician has an “unlimited global reach” and said, “I hope that we can work together using your global reach.” Shortly afterwards, PSY was appointed as the goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).


U.S. Ambassador to Korea Sung Kim wrote about Psy and the hit song “Gangnam Style” as the “perfect example of the growing ties between the U.S. and Korea.” In his blog, the ambassador also said that the singer “is probably the most famous person on earth right now.” The American embassy gave Psy an “O” visa reserved for people “who possess extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.”


There are no languages required in the musical world. That is the power of music, that is the power of the heart. In this era of instability and intolerance we need to promote better understanding through the power of music”. - Ban Ki-moon

Has Gangnam Style Brought The World Closer.

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