Gangnam Style

Psy bumps JLo to No 3 on YouTube hit list

K-pop sensation moves up to No 2 in YouTube most-watched list – now he’s after Justin Bieber

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 November, 2012, 3:56am

He's a pudgy, slightly awkward 8K-pop star. She's a Latino sex symbol with a Hollywood career.

But South Korean singer Psy has just ousted Jennifer Lopez's On The Floor from second place on YouTube's most-watched list with his video Gangnam Style.

After winning celebrity fans from Britney Spears to UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon, the video has garnered nearly 620 million hits. While it still trails US teenage heartthrob Justin Bieber's Baby, which has 790 million hits, analysts expect Psy to smash that record soon.

The singer, 34, whose real name is Park Jae-Sang, rocketed to international fame after Gangnam Style became a worldwide hit following its debut in July.

The video went viral with its goofy signature horse-riding dance. In it, Psy parodies South Koreans' adulation of the lifestyle in areas of Seoul south of the Han river, where people are seen as rich and trendy.

John Hirai, head of music at YouTube's Korea-Japan branch, expects Psy to pass Bieber on its most-watched list in about a month. "I've been in the music business for 25-plus years and I've never seen anything like this," he said. "I never imagined anything like this would come out of Asia. It's unbelievable."

Gangnam Style is both the first and second most downloaded video on iTunes Hong Kong, though the song has now been overtaken by Adele's Skyfall.

Psy remained at No.2 in the US Billboard Hot 100 for a sixth straight week after topping charts in countries including Britain and Australia.

In Hong Kong, a parody called Red Army Shina Style, mocking mainland Chinese, has gone viral with over a million views on YouTube within 12 days. The video likens mainland visitors to 8locusts, lambasting them for consuming the city's resources.

The video has so far elicited nearly 7,000 comments - some offensive - and has been criticised for using the word "shina", which was a derogatory term used by the Japanese during the second world war.

Next week Psy, who already has six albums under his belt, begins a tour of Europe which includes a speech at the Oxford Union and an appearance at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Germany. He will be in Hong Kong on November 30 for the Mnet Asian Music Awards.