Psy gallops off with four awards at Asian music show
Gangnam Style, the rap phenomenon's global hit, named song of the year
Global sensation Psy stormed Hong Kong yesterday, sweeping four awards to become the biggest winner at the Mnet Asian Music Awards, or Mama.
The 34-year-old South Korean rapper's Gangnam Style song, the most watched video in YouTube's history, was named song of the year at the star-studded show at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.
Psy - who is competing with US President Barack Obama to become Time magazine's Person of the Year - was also crowned global favourite artist. His song also earned him awards for the best music video and best dance performance (solo).
"Thank you very much - 2012, I can't forget this year," Psy said while receiving one of the awards on stage. "My video has some 850 million views on YouTube - keep clicking my music videos please."
"PSY performs Gangnam Style at MAMA" Video by Hedy Bok
The show reached a climax when he performed Gangnam Style, as thousands in the audience chanted along and performed the horse-riding dance.
"It's very nice. I can feel the support," said Psy, with his trademark slicked-back hair and sunglasses. At a press conference later the singer said: "It won't be easy to break the record of 850 million views, even if I get naked."
He revealed that his hectic travel schedule was taking its toll on his health. But he is planning to hit the mainland market and has started by opening a weibo, or microblog, account to communicate with fans.
"China is the biggest market in the universe and I gotta be there," he said.
His only setback was that label mate Bigbang scooped the artist of the year award. The five-member idol band also won the best male group and guardian angel worldwide performer awards. Its leader G-dragon clinched the best male artist award.
Before the ceremony started, about 100 people were still hunting for scalpers' tickets for the event, which sold out in one morning last month. One held up a sign saying, "Mama tickets wanted. At whatever price".
A fan from Beijing, said she had offered to buy a HK$880 ticket for 3,000 yuan, but the scalper ran out of tickets. "A person bought a ticket for 9,000 yuan yesterday," she said. "A press pass for backstage was reported sold for 5,500 yuan."
This is the first year Mama has been held in Hong Kong. It was held in Macau in 2010, as the organiser, the Korean company CJ Entertainment, envisioned it as an Asian music awards show that travels from city to city. Mama grew out of the Mnet KM Music Festival, a celebration of Korean music that started in 1999.
The show was broadcast live to 16 countries and will be aired in 69 countries. It was expected to reach 2.3 billion viewers globally.