South Korean singer and rapper PSY is known for catchy songs and funny videos—most notably his 2012 global smash “Gangnam Style.” He’s also courted controversy; he’s been fined, and his music has been banned, for “inappropriate content.”
• PSY has released seven albums since 2001, after turning away from a planned career in business and dropping out of college to pursue music.
• Crafting his own beats with a computer and keyboard, he quickly established a reputation for eccentricity with his libidinous lyrics and unconventional dance moves that prompted the Korean press to dub him “the bizarre singer.”
• His first album, PSY from the Psycho World!, came out in 2001 and immediately earned him fines from the South Korean government for the racy song “I Love Sex.” Citing “defiant and obscene lyrics” on his second album, 2002’s Ssa2, government censors prohibited the sale of the album to minors younger than 19.
• PSY’s breakthrough in South Korea came on his fourth album, 2006’s Ssajib, which hit No. 1 on the weekly album chart.
• His international break came in 2012 with “Gangnam Style,” a riotous dance-pop song about a trendy neighbourhood in Seoul. The song was a massive hit, topping the charts in more than 30 countries, including South Korea. (It reached No. 2 in the US.)
• The “Gangnam Style” music video, featuring PSY’s “invisible horse” dance move, was the first YouTube video to exceed one billion views. It eventually surpassed 3.5 billion views.
BORNDecember 31, 1977