South Korean rap star Psy's music video "Gangnam Style" on
Saturday became the most watched item on YouTube with over
800 million views, edging past Canadian teen star Justin
Bieber's two-year-old video for his song "Baby."
The milestone was the latest pop culture victory for Psy, 34,
a portly rap singer known for his slicked-back hair and comic
dance style who has become one of the most unlikely global
stars of 2012.
Psy succeeded with a video that spawned countless parodies
and became a media sensation, and in the process he gained
more fame outside his native country than many of the more
polished singers in South Korea's so-called K-Pop style who
have sought to win over international audiences.
YouTube, in a post on its Trends blog, said "Gangnam Style"
on Saturday surpassed the site's previous record holder,
Bieber's 2010 music video "Baby," and by mid-day "Gangnam
Style" had reached 805 million views compared to 803 million
"Gangnam Style" was first posted to YouTube in July, and by
the following month it began to show huge popularity on
YouTube with audiences outside of South Korea.
"It's been a massive hit at a global level unlike anything
we've ever seen before," said the YouTube blog.
The blog also said the "velocity" of the video's popularity
has been unprecedented for YouTube, and that users from all
over the world search the site for the words "Psy" and
Fans of Psy celebrated his victory, noting in the comments
section of YouTube that it took just four months for his
video to rocket to over 800 million views, compared to two
years for Bieber's "Baby."
In his "Gangnam Style" video, named after the affluent
Gangnam District of Seoul, the outlandishly dressed Psy
dances in the style of someone riding a horse and raps in
Earlier this month, Psy closed out the American Music Awards
with a rousing performance of the song as he was joined on
stage by MC Hammer, an American rapper whose hit single "U
Can't Touch This" made him a pop culture sensation in 1990.