|Single by Psy|
|from the album Psy 6 (Six Rules), Part 1|
|Released||July 15, 2012|
|Format||CD single, digital download|
|Label||YG, Universal Republic, School Boy|
|Writer(s)||Park Jae-Sang, Yoo Gun-hyung|
|Producer(s)||Park Jae-Sang, Yoo Gun-hyung, Yang Hyun-suk|
"Gangnam Style" (Korean: 강남스타일, IPA: ) is the 18th K-pop single by the South Korean musician Psy. The song was released in July 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 views. The song's music video has been viewed over 2.15 billion times on YouTube, and has been YouTube's most watched video since November 24, 2012, when it passed the music video for "Baby". On December 1, 2014, YouTube announced that the song had broken the YouTube counter at 2,147,483,647 views, prompting the company to rewrite its software to handle larger numbers.
The phrase "Gangnam Style" is a Korean made-up word 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 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.
Background and release 1
- K-pop and the Korean Wave 1.1
Critical reception 2.1
- South Korea and Japan 2.1.1
- Critical reception 2.1
- Music video 3
Live performances 4
- Asia 4.1
- Oceania 4.2
- Europe 4.3
- North America 4.4
- South America 4.5
Cultural impact 5
- Social 5.1
- Popular culture 5.2
- Political and environmental activism 5.3
- Other parodies and covers 5.4
- Increased interest in the Korean Wave 6.1
- South Korea 6.2
- Music industry 6.3
- Formats and track listings 7
- Credits and personnel 8
Accolades and records 9
- Awards and nominations 9.1
- Records attained 9.2
Year-end media picks 9.3
- Song 9.3.1
- Video 9.3.2
- Miscellaneous 9.4
Chart performance 10
- South Korea 10.1
- Oceania 10.2
- Europe 10.3
- North America 10.4
- Music video 10.5
Charts and certifications 11
- Weekly charts 11.1
- Sales and certifications 11.2
- Year-end charts 11.3
- Release history 12
- "Oppa Is Just My Style" 13
- See also 14
- Notes 15
- References 16
- External links 17
Background and release
"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 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 "오빤 강남 스타일 (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  being blocked in the country.
K-pop and the Korean Wave
According to the news agency Agence France-Presse, the success of "Gangnam Style" could be considered as part of the Korean Wave, a term coined by Chinese journalists to refer to the significant increase in the popularity of South Korean entertainment and culture since the late 1990s.
Korean popular music (K-pop), considered by some to be the most important aspect of the Korean Wave, is a music genre that relies on cultural technology to adapt to the tastes of foreign audiences and has now grown into a popular subculture among teenagers and young adults in many places around the world. Although it has spread to the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and parts of South America, its reception in the Western world has so far been lukewarm. However, social media networks such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have made it easier for K-pop musicians to reach a wider audience in the West. According to Mark James Russell from Foreign Policy, while the Korean Wave "may not (yet) turn heads in Los Angeles or London", this could soon change because of "Gangnam Style".
The song has received mixed to positive ratings from music critics. Billboard K-Town columnist Jeff Benjamin became one of the first music critics to review the song when he published an article and reported that "Gangnam Style" has gone viral on the Internet. In his article, Benjamin introduced the reader to a couple of popular K-pop songs and wrote that "Gangnam Style" in particular, plays all the right moves sonically while "borrowing from LMFAO along the way".
The next day, Hallie Sekoff of The Huffington Post quoted from the video's official YouTube video description that the song is characterized by its "strongly addictive beats", and wrote that this is not too far-fetched, considering "how obsessed we've found ourselves." London's mayor Boris Johnson considered the song to be the greatest cultural masterpiece of 2012.
Despite its popularity, a few music critics including Robert Copsey from Digital Spy criticized the song for being monotonous. Cospey wrote that "you could slap an LMFAO tag on the cover and few would know the difference" and Paul Lester of The Guardian similarly labelled it as "generic ravey Euro dance with guitars". Lester described the song as "Pump Up the Jam meets the Macarena with a dash of Cotton Eye Joe" while Robert Myers of The Village Voice dismissed "Gangnam Style" as an "inspired piece of silliness".
South Korea and Japan
Cha Woo-jin, a South Korean music critic, told The Chosun Ilbo that "Gangnam Style"'s sophisticated rendering and arrangement has made it very appealing to the general public. Choe Kwang-shik, the South Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, told reporters that "Gangnam Style" had played an important role in introducing the Korean culture, language, and lifestyle to the rest of the world. However, some have criticized the song for failing to accurately represent South Korean culture. Oh Young-Jin, managing editor of The Korea Times, wrote that the dance has more to do with Americans than Koreans.
In Japan, the song has met with considerable criticism. When "Gangnam Style" first appeared in Japanese TV shows in July, the reaction from viewers was negative. As a result, Psy's Japanese record label YGEX cancelled a previously planned Japanese language re-release of "Gangnam Style". According to The Dong-a Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, the song's lukewarm reception in Japan could have been caused by a diplomatic conflict between the two countries and the newspaper accused the Japanese media of keeping its people "in the dark". However, Jun Takaku of the Japanese daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun explained that "Gangnam Style" had caused "barely a ripple in Japan" because Psy does not conform to the image of other "traditionally polished" K-pop acts popular in Japan such as Girls' Generation and TVXQ. Erica Ho from Time magazine similarly noted that despite the K-pop musical genre being very popular in Japan, the country seemed to be "immune to PSY Mania" and she advised her readers who dislike the song to "pack your bags for Japan".
Immediately after its release, "Gangnam Style" was mentioned by various English-language websites providing coverage of Korean pop culture for international fans, including Allkpop and Soompi. Simon and Martina Stawski, a Canadian couple living in Seoul who were among the first to parody "Gangnam Style" in late July, wrote that the song has the potential to become "one of the biggest songs of the year". However, during an interview with Al Jazeera a few weeks later, Martina Stawski claimed that the worldwide popularity of "Gangnam Style" has been viewed negatively by some K-pop fans, because "they [the fans] didn't want K-pop being liked by other people who don't understand K-Pop". This view is also supported by the British journalist and K-pop fan Promi Ferdousi, who wrote that the song has managed to "find its way into our clubs" while the best K-pop songs are limited to niche groups on social media websites.
Following the release of "Gangnam Style", Psy made several performances on television and at concerts in Korea. Early performances included his appearance on the weekly South Korean music program, The Music Trend. Psy also performed at several concerts prior to his departure to the United States, including during "The Heumbbeok Show" and the Summer Stand Concert in Seoul. After returning to South Korea, Psy performed "Gangnam Style" during a free concert that he held outside the Seoul City Hall. More than 80,000 fans attended the event, leading to the closure of part of the city center and an increase in subway operations. While Psy was in the US, it was announced that he, as ambassador of the Formula One Korean Grand Prix, would perform "Gangnam Style" at the event during the 2012 edition. At the event Psy taught Formula One drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel how to perform the dance.
On November 28, Psy visited Thailand and held his concert "Gangnam Style Thailand Extra Live" at the SCG Stadium in Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok. At the show, a part of celebration for the 85th birthday of Thai's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, he performed the song along with his other hits. During the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards held in Hong Kong on November 30, he performed the song on stage, joined by the video's co-star Hyuna and Yoo Jae-Seok look-alikes in yellow suits. The track was one of three-song setlist on Psy's free showcase, held at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on December 1, 2012.
On February 11, 2013, Psy arrived at the Malaysian state of Penang and performed "Gangnam Style" at a concert in front of more than 100,000 guests, including the Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohd Najib Abdul Razak as well as other high-ranking politicians from the country's ruling Barisan Nasional party.
In early October 2012, Psy travelled to Sydney, Australia and performed "Gangnam Style" on The X Factor, a reality TV music competition; where he would be joined by Melanie Brown to perform the "horse dance" on stage. The following day, he performed on breakfast TV show Sunrise in Martin Place, Sydney.
Psy's first public performance in Europe was on November 5, 2012 in France, where he and 20,000 fans danced "Gangnam Style" in front of the NRJ Radio. Then, he travelled to Oxford and performed a short rendition of "Gangnam Style" with students from the Oxford Union, before moving on to the Yalding House in London where he danced "Gangnam Style" with the BBC's radio DJ Scott Mills. Shortly afterwards, Psy left for Cologne and met up with the German comedian and television host Stefan Raab during the popular late-night show TV total, where Psy gave an interview and performed "Gangnam Style" for Raab. During the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards held in Frankfurt on November 11, Psy delivered a performance of "Gangnam Style" which featured a David Hasselhoff appearance and backup dancing of Psy look-alikes.
In early 2013, Psy returned to France for the 2013 NRJ Music Awards at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, where he began performing "Gangnam Style" on the red carpet before finishing the rest of the choreography on stage and leaving the ceremony with 3 awards.
Following the viral success of his music video, Psy left for the United States and performed "Gangnam Style" in various locations. On August 20, Psy posted on Twitter "Bringing #GangnamStyle to the Dodgers–Giants game this evening". Dodger Stadium presented a segment called "Psy Dance Cam" where they showed clips of the music video, followed by live shots of baseball fans dancing, and then Psy, who waves and does the dance. Two days later, Psy appeared on VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live show, and taught television hosts Carrie Keagan and Jason Dundas how to dance "Gangnam Style".
On September 6, Psy appeared at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards performing his "Gangnam Style" dance alongside comedian Kevin Hart. After the event, he would make several more appearances on US TV programs. On September 10, he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in Burbank, California, introducing himself as "Psy from Korea", before teaching Britney Spears the dance. He described the dance as "pretending to bounce like riding on an invisible horse" and when Ellen told Britney she would have to remove her high-heeled shoes to perform the dance Psy protested that no, the point was, 'to dress classy, and dance cheesy.' On September 14, he appeared on NBC's morning program Today in New York City for its Toyota Concert Series, where he performed the song and also taught the anchors the dance. The September 15 season premiere episode of Saturday Night Live featured a sketch based on the song and its video. Bobby Moynihan portrayed Psy, but was joined mid-sketch by Psy himself. He also made his second appearance on The Ellen Show 's September 19 episode to perform the song along with his backup dancers. On September 22, Psy made an appearance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival to perform "Gangnam Style". Psy, dressed in a black jacket, blue pants, two-tone shoes and his signature shades, appeared on the US national TV show The View on October 25 and performed the song for Barbara Walters and the ladies of the show who donned sunglasses and got out of their seats.
On November 13, he joined the American singer-songwriter Madonna on stage during her concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City and they performed a mashup of the song and her 2008 hit "Give It 2 Me". Psy later told reporters that his gig with Madonna had "topped his list of accomplishments". On November 18, Psy, who rocked out in traditional Hammer pants, closed out the 40th American Music Awards show with a performance of "Gangnam Style", joined by surprise guest MC Hammer who brought in his own moves and Psy's horse-riding dance as the song mashed into his 1990s hit "2 Legit 2 Quit". Jason Lipshutz of Billboard commented that "Psy's feverish rendition of 'Gangnam Style' accomplished what so few award show performances can: a palpable sense of excitement. The combination of the K-pop star and MC Hammer...was a stroke of genius that very few could have seen coming", choosing it as the best performance of the night. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno did a special Thanksgiving broadcast with an all-military audience on November 22, and Psy dropped by as the musical guest. The singer sang the song and danced alongside the soldiers, going into the crowd for part of his performance.
Psy performed "Gangnam Style" during the second night of KIIS-FM Jingle Ball concert at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on December 3, 2012. He―wearing an all-red outfit including a sparkling, sequined top―sang the song at TNT's Christmas in Washington special, attended by the US President Barack Obama and his family, and held at the National Building Museum On December 9. On December 16, he performed the song at the halftime show of the NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks in Toronto. During the Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve event at Times Square in Manhattan on December 31, 2012, more than one million people witnessed a live "Gangnam Style" performance by Psy as he was joined on stage by characters (Yoo Jae-Seok, Noh Hong-chul) from the song's video for the first part of the performance, before MC Hammer appeared to perform a mash-up of the song and "2 Legit 2 Quit".
During the five-day Carnival in Rio attended by more than 5 million people, Psy performed "Gangnam Style" with singers Claudia Leitte and Gilberto Gil to mark the 50th anniversary of Korean immigration to Brazil.
After the release of "Gangnam Style", the American talent manager Scooter Braun, who discovered Justin Bieber on YouTube, asked on Twitter "How did I not sign this guy (Psy)". Soon afterwards, it was reported that Psy had left for Los Angeles to meet with representatives of Justin Bieber, to explore collaboration opportunities. On September 3, Braun made a public announcement that was later uploaded onto YouTube, saying that he and Psy have decided to "make some history together. [To] be the first Korean artist to break a big record in the United States." On September 4, it was confirmed that Psy was signed to Braun's School Boy Records.
The music video for the song has gone viral and is an Internet meme. Although Psy attributed the song's popularity to YouTube and his fans while at the same time insisted that he is not responsible for the song's success, the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recognized the singer for "increasing the world's interest in Korea" and announced its decision to award Psy with a 4th Class Order of Cultural Merit.
The phrase "Oppan Gangnam Style" was entered into The Yale Book of Quotations as one of the most famous quotes of 2012.
As the song's popularity continued to rise, it caused the share price of the song's music label YG Entertainment to gain as much as 50% on the Korea Exchange. DI Corporation, whose executive Chairman Park Won-Ho is Psy's father, saw its share price increase by 568.8% within a few months of the song's release despite making a year-over-year loss. Soon, "Gangnam Style" began to attract the attention of several business and political leaders, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who recognized the song as a "force for world peace". During his meeting with Psy at the United Nations Headquarters, he commented, "We have tough negotiations in the United Nations. In such a case I was also thinking of playing Gangnam Style-dance so that everybody would stop and dance. Maybe you can bring UN style."
Through social networks like Facebook, many small, unofficial fan-organized flash mobs have been held in universities and colleges throughout the world. The earliest flash mobs were held in Pasadena, California, and Sydney, Australia. On September 12, Times Square in Manhattan was filled with a dance mob dancing to the music of "Gangnam Style" during ABC's Good Morning America. Major flash mobs (those with more than 1,000 participants) were also held in Seoul (South Korea), South Sulawesi (Indonesia), Palermo (Italy), Milan (Italy), and Paris (France).
|October 6, 2012||Seoul||South Korea||15,000|
|October 14, 2012||Makassar, South Sulawesi||Indonesia||12,000|
|October 21, 2012||Piazza del Duomo, Milan||Italy||20,000|
|November 5, 2012||Jardins du Trocadéro, Paris||France||20,000|
|November 10, 2012||Piazza del Popolo, Rome||Italy||15,000|
The song has been tweeted by the United Nations, the United Nations Children's Fund, the American space agency NASA, mentioned by a reporter during a U.S. State Department briefing and referenced by the President of the International Criminal Court Song Sang-Hyun during his speech in front of the UN Security Council. On October 9, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson held a speech at the 2012 Conservative Party Conference where he told the audience that he and the British Prime Minister David Cameron have danced "Gangnam Style". A few days before the conference, they had performed the dance at Chequers Court in Buckinghamshire. During a Google Earnings call, Larry Page, the CEO and co-founder of Google, hailed the song as a glimpse of the future of worldwide distribution through YouTube.
The American Council on Exercise estimated that dancing "Gangnam Style" will burn 150–200 calories per half-hour and the song was used by Northampton General Hospital to promote hand washing as part of the 2012 Global Handwashing Day on October 15. Swype, an input method for Android operating systems, included "Gangnam Style" in its list of recognized words and phrases.
In November 2012, a Maori cultural group from Rotorua performed a version of the Gangnam Style dance mixed with a traditional Maori haka in Seoul, celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations between South Korea and New Zealand.
In Thailand, officials from the Dan Sai municipality in Loei Province shot a video of people wearing masks and performing "Gangnam Style" during the Phi Ta Khon "ghost" festival. According to the Thai newspaper The Nation, villagers and spiritual leaders from Loei province have felt "uneasy" and also "greatly offended" about this "Gangnam Style" performance which tarnishes the image of a 400 year-old tradition. Another controversial incident was sparked by a "Gangnam Style" parody by officers from the Royal Thai Navy, which was not well received by some high-ranking commanders. Although Vice Admiral Tharathorn Kajitsuwan from the Third Naval Area Command insisted that "we had no intention to insult or make fun of navy officers in uniform", some senior officers have called it "improper". Kajitsuwan claimed that his subordinates had the right to upload the video to YouTube, although he did not expect them to do so. On October 1, 2012, he issued an apology to his colleagues. Commander Surasak Rounroengrom believes an investigation is unnecessary because the video caused no damage to the Navy, but he admits that there was some impropriety about military officers doing their "fancy stepping in uniform".
Since September 2012, the dance has been performed by athletes in international competitions. These people include Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, Uruguayan footballer Edinson Cavani, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, and Jamaican cricketer Chris Gayle, who danced "Gangnam Style" twice during the West Indies' match against Ireland and then repeated the act during the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 match against England. Bangladesh national cricket team also celebrated their ODI series win against West Indies with "Gangnam Style" dance on December 8, 2012.
District3 and Rylan Clark, finalists of the British music competition The X Factor, lip-synced and danced to "Gangnam Style" in a promotion. On September 27, Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google was reported to have danced "Gangnam Style" when he visited the company's office in Seoul. Nick Carbone from Time described it as cringe-worthy because "It's the same reason why you'd never want to see your dad planking on top of the family car". The dance was also shown on the Argentine TV series Graduados, performed by the Argentine-Korean actor Chang Kim Sung. In Fall 2012, a cover version of the song was performed on the Fox TV show Glee in the episode "Thanksgiving".
In mid-September, the Brazilian singer Latino released the song "Despedida de solteiro" (The Bachelor's Party), which is supposed to be a cover of "Gangnam Style". Many felt offended by his disrespectful lyrics, and some have called it a plagiarized copy of "Gangnam Style". While Psy's original lyrics talk about the lifestyle of the Gangnam people, Latino's version is about a man that is enjoying his bachelor's party in a club, wanting (and having) sex with many women, so drunk that he says he does not know if he's really going to get married the next day. Latino had stated that it was an authorized version.
Political and environmental activism
On September 18, 2012, the 
In order to show his solidarity with Ai Weiwei and to advocate the Index on Censorship and Amnesty International. A few days before, the global grassroots network Students for a Free Tibet had uploaded a parody of "Gangnam Style" to show its support for the Tibetan independence movement. According to Max Fisher from The Washington Post, this parody of "Gangnam Style" was likely to be filmed in Dharamshala, the home of Tibet's government-in-exile in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
Songdo, a ubiquitous city 40 miles (65 km) west of Gangnam, was among five cities vying for the right to host the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a project developed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to channel $100 billion a year from developed countries to help developing countries combat climate change. During its campaign to win the right to host the GCF, the country's Presidential Committee on Green Growth produced a promotional video entitled "GCF Songdo Style by Psy" in which Psy recommends Songdo as the host city for the GCF. He announces that a "new paradigm" will begin at Songdo with the GCF and the video heralds "The beginning of Songdo Style" while "Gangnam Style" plays in the background. On October 20, 2012, the Board of the GCF announced that Songdo had won the right to host the fund.
In December 2012, the Department of Health in the Philippines launched a "Gangnam Style" dance campaign against the use of firecrackers to celebrate the New Year. Janine Tugonon, 2012 Miss Universe 1st runner-up, joined and danced on one of their campaign at Pandacan, Manila. According to the Department's Assistant Secretary, Dr. Eric Tayag, the popularity of the song will attract people especially children to use safer means of celebration such as dancing "Gangnam Style". In contrast, the Philippine National Police was confirming intelligence reports about a firecracker named "Gangnam bomb", which supposedly produced by illegal firecracker makers in Bocaue, Bulacan and apparently riding on the popularity of the song. According to Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, director of the Firearms and Explosives Office of the Philippine National Police, he did not know what the possibly dangerous "Gangnam bomb" looks like.
Muhammad Rahim al Afghani, a close associate of Osama bin Laden currently held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, had also used the song to demonstrate his ability to gain access to popular cultural trends despite being confined within a top secret prison. In a letter to his lawyer, Muhammad wrote, "I like this new song Gangnam Style. I want to do the dance for you but cannot because of my shackles."
Other parodies and covers
Reaction videos and parodies have been made for or with the music respectively. Some of these user generated videos have received international media recognition. "Gangnam Style"-related videos have also been uploaded by the CPDRC Dancing Inmates, Cody Simpson, Seungri, Latino, Fine Brothers, Barely Political, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders.
College campuses have spawned numerous parodies. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's version ("MIT Gangnam Style") featured Donald Sadoway, recognized in Time Magazine as one of 2012 "Top 100 Most Influential People in the World", Eric Lander, who is co-chairman of President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and linguistics pioneer Noam Chomsky. In addition, there are parodies from The Ohio University Marching 110, York University, McMaster University, Cornell University, University of Oregon, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Boston University, Dartmouth College, Stanford University Colegio de la Preciosa Sangre de Pichilemu, Eton College, and the University of Michigan.
The American space agency NASA uploaded an educational parody shot by its students at its Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas. The video features cameo appearances by astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Mike Massimino, Michael Coats, Ellen Ochoa, and the International Space Station's Expedition 15 flight engineer Clayton Anderson, who dances "Gangnam Style" halfway through the video. Shortly after its upload, the parody was re-tweeted by the European Space Agency and the SETI Institute.
The song was also parodied by cadets from the United States Military Academy, United States Merchant Marine Academy, United States Naval Academy, United States Air Force Academy, and the Royal Military College of Canada; soldiers from the 210th Fires Brigade, the 2nd Infantry Division, servicemembers from an undisclosed unit and location in Afghanistan, servicemembers from the China Coast Guard's Jiangsu division, 150 officers from the People's Liberation Army Air Force, as well as high-ranking officers from the Royal Thai Navy. CollegeHumor uploaded Mitt Romney Style; while What's Trending uploaded Obama Style. During the two weeks before August 7, nearly 1,000 videos with the word "Gangnam" in the title were uploaded onto YouTube.
The Portuguese public broadcaster RTP1 spoofed the song in its late-night show 5 Para A Meia-Noite as Gamar com Style, sung by the comedian Pedro "Pacheco" Fernandes, criticizing the Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, the European Union, the IMF and the 2010–13 Portuguese financial crisis.
There are many "Gangnam Style" parodies used for education, similar to "The Elements", a humorous song in which a man recites the elements on the periodic table to a well-known tune. One such parody includes "Conjugation Style", a parody used to teach students about the conjugation of -er verbs in the French language.
The success of "Gangnam Style" is a result of the build-up of South Korea's music industry that has been in the works for over 20 years, and it has led to other K-pop artists positioning themselves for a similar breakthrough in the U.S. music industry. Frances Moore, chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, brought up Gangnam Style as an example of how South Korea became one of the "most successful exporters of repertoire".
Increased interest in the Korean Wave
According to the news agency Agence France-Presse, the success of "Gangnam Style" has led to the further rise and spread of the Korean Wave to other countries. As the song continued to attract worldwide media attention, it also led to various broadcasting networks and national newspapers focusing its attention on K-pop and other aspects of Korean culture. For example, The Daily Telegraph published an article recommending its readers to try out everything from K-Pop to "K-Cars", "K-Phones" and "K-Cuisine". The British multinational grocery and retailer Tesco reported that its total sales of Korean food had more than doubled as a result of the popularity of "Gangnam Style". Kim Byoung-gi, the Korean Ambassador to Lebanon, wrote that "Gangnam Style" has helped bridge Lebanese and Korean cultures. The French-born political commentator Tim Soutphommasane, a Research fellow at Monash University, agrees that the Gangnam phenomenon is "something worth studying". According to Soutphommasane, the world is only beginning to appreciate Gangnam Style as "part of a broader hallyu cultural wave coming out of the country [South Korea]".
In 2012, the South Korean government announced that "Gangnam Style" had brought in $13.4 million to the country’s audio sector, and it subsequently launched a campaign to further expand the K-Pop music industry overseas. According to the Bank of Korea, the country's services account recorded a surplus of USD 2.3 billion in the first nine months of this year, compared to a deficit of USD 4.5 billion last year. This was mainly due to the growing influence and popularity of K-pop songs such as "Gangnam Style". However, the American journalist John Seabrook noted that by "satirizing standard K-pop tropes in Gangnam Style", Psy may have subverted the music genre's chances of making it big in the West.
Record executives in the music industry believe that music charts will increasingly be filled with YouTube-driven globalised acts from foreign countries. Sean Carey, a research fellow in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Roehampton, wrote that the flow of popular music will no longer be a single traffic route from North America and Europe to other parts of the globe, but will also move the other way as well. According to Adam Sherwin from The Independent, the global web demand for Gangnam Style had short-circuited the "traditional reluctance" of radio stations to play foreign-language songs. The song is also underlining a shift in how money is being made in the music business. Although Psy earned more than US$60,000 from music sales of "Gangnam Style" in South Korea alone, he and his music label YG Entertainment have raked in almost US$1 million from advertisements which appear on YouTube videos identified for using "Gangnam Style" in its content. The Harvard Business Review published an article written by Kevin Evers, who explained how "Gangnam Style" had changed Billboard's ranking methodology of its music charts. Instead of relying solely on radio plays and paid purchases, Billboard started to place a heavier emphasis on digital sales and YouTube views. As a result of the change, Gangnam Style moved up to the top position of Billboard's Hot Rap Songs music chart. According to the British Phonographic Industry's report based on Official Charts Company sales data, thanks to Psy's song and Carly Rae Jepsen’s "Call Me Maybe," pop became the UK’s favourite musical genre of the year, taking the lion’s share of the singles market (38.5%) in 2012.
Formats and track listings
|1.||"Gangnam Style"||Album version||3:39|
|German CD single (Enhanced)|
|1.||"Gangnam Style"||Album version||3:39|
|2.||"Gangnam Style (Video)"||4:13|
|Digital remix single|
|1.||"Gangnam Style / 2 Legit 2 Quit Mashup"||Remix featuring MC Hammer||3:57|
|"Remix Style" EP|
|1.||"Gangnam Style"||Diplo remix featuring 2 Chainz and Tyga||3:25|
|2.||"Gangnam Style"||Afrojack remix||6:05|
|3.||"Gangnam Style"||Diplo remix instrumental version||3:27|
|4.||"Gangnam Style"||Original instrumental version||3:40|
Credits and personnel
- Psy – vocals, producer, songwriter (lyrics and music)
- Yoo Gun-hyung – producer, songwriter (music), arrangement
Credits adapted from Psy 6 (Six Rules), Part 1 EP liner notes and YG Entertainment official website.
Accolades and records
Awards and nominations
|2012||Germany||Frankfurt||MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Video||Won|||
|United States||Los Angeles||American Music Awards||New Media Honoree||Won|||
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong||Mnet Asian Music Awards||Best Video||Won|||
|Song of the Year||Won|||
|United Kingdom||N/A||4Music Video Honours||Best Video||Nominated|||
|South Korea||Seoul||Melon Music Awards||Best Song||Won|||
|Brazil||N/A||Capricho Awards||Internet – Viral do ano (Viral of the Year)||Won|||
|2013||United States||Los Angeles||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Music Video||Nominated|||
|Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur||Golden Disk Awards||Digital Daesang (Grand Prize in Digital Releasing)||Won|||
|France||Cannes||NRJ Music Awards||Chanson Internationale de l'année (International Song of the Year)||Won|||
|Clip de l'année (Music Video of the Year)||Won|
|United Kingdom||London||NME Awards||Best Dancefloor Anthem||Nominated|||
|South Korea||Seoul||Korean Music Awards||Song of the Year||Won|||
|Best Dance & Electronic Song||Nominated|||
|United States||Los Angeles||Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Song||Nominated|||
|Las Vegas||Billboard Music Awards||Top Streaming Song (Video)||Won|||
|Top Rap Song||Nominated|||
|Top Dance Song||Nominated|||
|N/A||World Music Awards||World's Best Song||Pending|||
|N/A||World's Best Video||Pending|||
The song and its accompanying music video currently hold, or have attained, the following records:
- Most viewed K-pop video on YouTube – On September 1, 2012, it overtook "Gee" by the 9-member K-Pop idol-group Girls' Generation with 89 million views.
- Most liked video on YouTube – On September 13, 2012, it overtook "Party Rock Anthem" by the American electro recording duo LMFAO upon receiving 1.57 million "likes", and subsequently won its first Guinness World Record one week later.
- First K-pop song to top the UK Singles Chart – On October 6, 2012, the song reached number one of the UK singles chart and Psy became the first South Korean musician to achieve that feat.
- Most viewed video on YouTube – On November 24, 2012, it overtook "Baby" by the Canadian singer-songwriter Justin Bieber after receiving more than 803 million views.
- First video in Internet history to be viewed more than a billion times – On December 21, 2012, it acquired its billionth view at around 15:50 UTC.
- First video in Internet history to be viewed more than two billion times
Year-end media picks
"Gangnam Style" was ranked No. 25 on the Rolling Stone 's 50 best songs of 2012 list and No. 8 on SPIN 's 40 best songs of the year. The song also took the No. 8 spot on the 2012 Billboard 20 best K-Pop songs list by Jeff Benjamin and Jessica Oak, who commented "[the song] stands out not only for its slick, electronic production but also for its deeper critique on high-class society." According to MTV's list of the 2012 best songs, the song was ranked No. 8 with MTV news staff James Montgomery's comment: "'Gangnam' is either the track we, as a culture needed right now, or the track we, as a culture, deserved". TIME magazine chose it as the second best song of 2012 after Usher's "Climax", writing "The YouTube meme, a good-natured, mind-bendingly catchy lampoon [...] turned into a global obsession". The song was one of the best songs of the year on The New York Times pop critics' list and E! Online 's No. 1 pick on the top 10 pop songs of 2012 list. Digital Spy ranked the song No. 20 among the 20 best singles of the year. It was voted the 12th best single of 2012 by The Village Voice 's 40th annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll. Music critic Robert Christgau placed "Gangnam Style" as the No. 2 single on his 2012 Dean's List.
The music video for "Gangnam Style" was chosen as the best music video of 2012 by TIME. Melissa Locker of the magazine wrote "The catchy song paired with social satire and tongue-in-cheek vibe has spread so quickly it reminds us why videos are called viral. The video has sparked an International dance craze and catapulted Psy to international super stardom." Rolling Stone also ranked the video No. 1 on its "The Best Music Videos of 2012" list, saying "The Korean auteur[Psy] conquered the world with his 'dress classy, dance cheesy' aesthetic, blurring the line between parody and celebration." The video took No. 4 position on the Digital Spy's list of 10 top pop music videos of the year.
The music video came in first with 21% rating in the 2012 Billboard.com's readers poll, beating "Where Have You Been" by Rihanna (19%) and "Beauty and a Beat" by Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj (11%). The song was the most popular song played on New Year's Eve and the most sung song on the day, leaving "Auld Lang Syne" in second place for the first time since 2005, on karaoke company Lucky Voice's online service in the United Kingdom. CNN readers picked "Gangnam Style" as the eighth best song of 2012. The Week (US edition) ranked the song's global popularity at No. 6 with the strapline "'Gangnam Style' takes over the world" on the 13 biggest pop culture moments of the year list. The phenomenon of the song and the video was also picked as one of the 2012's most viral moments in music by Wendy Geller of Yahoo! Music, and No. 2 on the 2012 top 20 music moments list after Whitney Houston's passing by Billboard, being written "If there's one meme, song and face that has been truly inescapable in the second half of 2012, it's South Korean rapper Psy and his outrageous 'Gangnam Style'."
On December 1, 2014 YouTube announced that "Gangnam Style" had exceeded the number of views that are possible to store using a 32-bit signed integer, that being 2,147,483,647 (two billion). As a result YouTube have been forced to upgrade to using 64-bit integers to store view numbers, with a maximum vale of 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (nine quintillion). "We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer (=2,147,483,647 views), but that was before we met PSY," stated YouTube.
Upon its release, "Gangnam Style" was an enormous hit. The song went straight to number one on the Gaon Singles Chart on the fourth week of July, 2012, with 816,868 digital downloads, and spent five consecutive weeks at the top position of the chart, tying it with IU's "Good Day" for the most weeks at number one single in the chart's history. In addition, the song became the first place winner on various weekly chart shows such as M! Countdown (three straight weeks) and Music Bank (a total of 16 weeks including a record 10-consecutive-week). According to the Korea Music Content Industry Association, "Gangnam Style" became the best selling song of 2012 in South Korea with 3,842,109 download sales.
The song debuted at number six on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 for the week of July 28, 2012. It then topped the chart the week after and remained at the summit for five consecutive weeks, tying IU's record with "You and I" for the longest running number one song on the chart. The record, however, was broken by Lee Seung-gi's "Return" earned six weeks at the top spot from December 2012 to January 2013. "Gangnam Style" took number one spot on the 2012 Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 year-end chart.
In Oceania, "Gangnam Style" was a huge success. The single made its chart debut on the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 21 on September 3, 2012. After two weeks, the song reached in the top ten and the following week topped the chart, becoming the first K-pop song and the first foreign language song in three decades to achieve that feat since German band Nena's "99 Luftballons" hit the top spot in March 1982. The song remained atop the chart for two consecutive weeks before being deposed of the top spot by One Direction's "Live While We're Young". After one week of the band's reign, "Gangnam Style" regained its number one position and stayed at the top spot for a further four weeks, tallying a total of six non-consecutive weeks atop the chart. The track was ranked in the top ten of the chart for 17 consecutive weeks before it fell to number 11 on the January 14, 2013 chart. The song has been certified 4× Platinum with sales exceeding 60,000 by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). "Gangnam Style" was the second biggest-selling single of 2012 in the country behind Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe".
In Australia, the song debuted at number seven on the ARIA Singles Chart on September 17, 2012, becoming the highest debut for the week. It reached number one on the chart just three weeks after its release, overtaking "Battle Scars" by Guy Sebastian featuring Lupe Fiasco, and spent six consecutive weeks at the summit, making it the second longest running chart-topper for 2012 behind Flo Rida's "Whistle" remained at the pole position for seven weeks. As a result, Psy became the first artist to reach number one on the chart with a foreign language song since Las Ketchup topped the chart with "The Ketchup Song" in September 2002, and the eighth overall. In addition, "Gangnam Style" was the first Korean song to enter the chart and to climb to the top spot in Australian chart history. After the single spent the first fourteen weeks in the top ten of the chart since its chart debut, it dropped to number eleven in its 15th week. The song, however, rebounded from the position to number three on the issue date of December 31, 2012. It descended to number 14 in its 18th week, ending a 16-week in the top ten, and out of the top 20 the following week, placed at number 23. It has been certified 10× Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), with sales exceeding 700,000 copies. "Gangnam Style" was placed at number two on the 2012 ARIA Singles year-end chart behind Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe". The song is currently the fourth best-selling single in Australian music history.
In European region, the song made a massive success as well, topping the charts in almost all countries. "Gangnam Style" made its first European chart appearance, entering the Danish Singles Chart at number 40 on August 3, 2012. It reached the top ten in its fifth week, and climbed to number four in its sixth. For the issue dated September 14, 2012, the song became Psy's first number one on the chart, ending the one-week reign of the Danish rock band Nephew's "Hjertestarter". The song remained at the top position for seven consecutive weeks, tying it with "Somebody That I Used to Know" performed by Gotye featuring Kimbra for the longest running number one single on the chart for 2012. In its 24th week, it climbed back to the top, making a 8th week run on the position. The single spent 22 straight weeks in the top ten of the chart. In January 2013, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI Denmark) certified the single 2× Platinum, denoting sales of 60,000 copies.
The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 196 on September 1, 2012, and in its fourth week broke into the top 40 at number 37. In its fifth week, the song reached the top five on the chart and eventually peaked at number one on the week of October 6, becoming the first ever K-pop song to achieve that feat. While the track only remained atop the chart for one week before being overtaken by Rihanna's "Diamonds", it spent a further 17 consecutive weeks in the top ten of the chart before it fell to number twelve on the January 26, 2013 chart. The song was the sixth biggest selling single of 2012 with 878,000 sales, and ranked at number 24 among the top 40 most streamed tracks of the year in the United Kingdom. According to Official Charts Company sales data, Gangnam Style has become not only the 129th track to sell over a million copies in the history of the UK’s Official Singles Chart, but also the first million seller by an Asian music star. On April 9, 2013, the song became 13th most downloaded single of all time in the UK.
Elsewhere in Europe, the song also peaked at number one on the German Singles Chart for two non-consecutive weeks in 2012. For the week of January 11, 2013, it returned to the summit, ending the ten-consecutive-week reign of "Diamonds" by Rihanna, and spent a week at the top. Psy's song has remained in the top ten on the chart for a 19 straight week including fifteen in the top three position since October 2012. It has been certified Gold by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI), denoting sales of 150,000 copies. In addition, the single has remained number one in Austria for four non-consecutive weeks, Belgium (Flanders) for five consecutive weeks, Belgium (Wallonia) for seven straight weeks, Czech Republic for one week, Finland for four consecutive weeks, France for six non-consecutive weeks, Italy for a week, the Netherlands for two consecutive weeks, Norway for four straight weeks, Scotland for a week, Spain for twelve consecutive weeks, and Switzerland for three non-consecutive weeks. It has additionally placed top five positions in Iceland, Ireland and Sweden, and top ten in Hungary and Slovakia.
In the United States, "Gangnam Style" debuted at number 64 the Billboard Hot 100 in the week of September 22, 2012, with 61,000 downloads sold, more than the total number of previous weeks (57,000), becoming the second K-pop song to enter the chart behind the Wonder Girls' "Nobody", which spent a week at No. 76 on the Oct. 31, 2009, chart. The following week, the song rocketed to number eleven on the chart with 188,000 downloads, seeing a sales increase of 210% after Psy appeared on various TV shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show and NBC's Today. In its third week, it rose to number two on the chart, topping the Hot Digital Songs chart with a 60% increase to 301,000 downloads sold and climbing to number nine on On-Demand Songs chart. Since then, the song has peaked at the runner-up spot for seven consecutive weeks behind Maroon 5's "One More Night", failing to gain in enough radio audience to ascend to the summit, although it ruled Hot Digital Songs for a fourth week and On-Demand Songs for a fifth week during that period. While "One More Night" dominated the Radio Songs chart for eight weeks, "Gangnam Style" peaked at just number twelve on the chart.
For the week of November 24, the song dropped to number five on the Hot 100, despite leading in sales with 188,000 downloads. In its 12th week, the single rebounded from number seven to number five with top Digital Gainer accolades, spurred by Psy's show-closing performance of the song with MC Hammer at the AMA. The track returned for a sixth week atop Hot Digital Songs with 229,000 downloads sold including 41,000 stemmed from the duet version, which mixed in Hammer's 1992 No. 5 Hot 100 hit "2 Legit 2 Quit." It was the first song to spend six weeks at number one on the Digital Songs chart without reaching the top spot on the Hot 100 since Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." in 2009. After the song stayed in the top ten of the Hot 100 for 11 consecutive weeks, it dropped out of the top ten on the December 22, 2012 chart, falling from number ten to number eleven. The following week, "Gangnam Style" descended to number 18 on the chart but achieved the milestone of 3 million downloads sold in the country, becoming the first and only K-pop song to reach the mark. For the week of January 12, 2013, powered by consumers purchasing some of 2012's most buzzworthy hits and radio airplay recounting the same in year-end retrospectives, the song resurged from number 19 to number six with its best weekly total 400,000 downloads sold, returning to the Hot 100's top ten after three weeks out of the top ten. The track dropped to number 14 in its 18th week, ending a 12-week in the top 10, and number 22 in its 19th week, despite staying in the top ten of Digital Songs chart with 192,000 and 105,000 copies sold, respectively. On February 20, 2013, Billboard and Nielsen announced the addition of U.S. YouTube video streaming data to its platforms, which includes an update to the methodology for the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Thanks to the change to reflect online video activity, "Gangnam Style" rebounded from number 48 to number 26 on the Hot 100 for the week of March 2, 2013.
On October 11, 2012, Billboard unveiled new methodology for the Hot Rap Songs chart, including digital download sales and streaming data for the first time, along with radio airplay audience impressions as measured by Nielsen BDS. Due to this, "Gangnam Style" soared from number 20 to number one on the October 20, 2012 chart. The song spent eight consecutive weeks atop the chart before being overtaken by Flo Rida's "I Cry". After four weeks of his reign, "Gangnam Style" regained its number one position in the week of January 12, 2013. The track also peaked at number three on the Hot Dance/Club Play Songs chart in the week of November 17, 2012. The song was certified 4× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on April 19, 2013, denoting digital download sales of 4,000,000. According to Nielsen SoundScan, "Gangnam Style" became the 9th best selling song of 2012 in the United States with 3,592,000 download sales. In late January 2013, the song topped the 4 million mark in digital sales, becoming the third comic/novelty song to reach the mark, following LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" and Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You!".
In Canada, "Gangnam Style" was a big hit just like the rest of the world. The song entered the Canadian Hot 100 chart at number 71 on the week of September 8, 2012. In its fourth week, it reached in the top ten of the chart, climbing to number three, and the following week hit the pole position. The single spent seven consecutive weeks atop the chart, making it the second longest running number one song of 2012 behind Maroon 5's "Payphone" remained at the top for eight straight weeks. On the week of September 12, 2012, the song debuted at number seven on the Top 20 Digital Tracks chart, based on Nielsen SoundScan data. The following week it topped the chart and spent four weeks at the top spot before giving the summit to "I Knew You Were Trouble" by Taylor Swift. "Gangnam Style", however, was back on top of the chart for the week of October 24, and grabbed the number one position for another four straight weeks, tallying a total of eight non-consecutive weeks atop the chart. On November 16, 2012, the track was certified 4× Platinum by Music Canada, and as of January 2013 has sold over 476,000 copies in the country.
On August 21, 2012, "Gangnam Style" charted number one on the iTunes Music Video Charts, overtaking Justin Bieber's "As Long as You Love Me" and Katy Perry's "Wide Awake"; this feat is the first for any South Korean artist. From September 8, 2012 to February 23, 2013, the song has also peaked and stayed at number one on Billboard's YouTube Chart for 22 weeks, until being surpassed by "Stay" by Rihanna for one week; It has since reclaimed its top position for a 30th week as of April, 2013.
Charts and certifications
Sales and certifications
|US (Billboard Hot 100)||55|
|South Korea||July 15, 2012||Digital download||YG Entertainment|
|Argentina||September 4, 2012||Schoolboy / Universal Republic Records|
|United States||September 6, 2012|
|Germany||October 15, 2012||CD single (enhanced)|
|United States||November 19, 2012||Digital remix single||Universal Republic Records|
"Oppa Is Just My Style"
|"Oppa Is Just My Style"|
|Single by Hyuna and Psy|
|Released||August 14, 2012|
|Label||YG, Universal Republic|
|Writer(s)||Yoo Gun Hyung, Psy|
|Hyuna single chronology|
|Oppa Is Just My Style|
|Hangul||오빤 딱 내 스타일|
|Revised Romanization||Oppan Ttag Nae Seutail|
|McCune–Reischauer||Oppan Ttak Nae Sŭt’ail|
"Gangnam Style" was officially re-released on August 14, 2012, as "Oppa Is Just My Style" (Korean: 오빤 딱 내 스타일), featuring additional vocals provided by Korean singer and 4Minute member Hyuna. Mallika Rao of The Huffington Post wrote that the video was "apparently retrofitted here to work from a woman's point of view, but the main difference we're spotting is less invisible horse riding and more sultry side-eyeing." As of February 2014, the accompanying music video has garnered over 525 million views on YouTube.
- "Gangnam Style" in popular culture
- List of best-selling singles
- List of best-selling singles in South Korea
- List of best-selling singles in the United States
- List of million-selling singles in the United Kingdom
- List of top hit singles (Youtube 100)
- Psy, the main person who is featured in the music video.
- The Chinese characters are a homonym for a vulgar slur.
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The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits:
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