Stage Name: PSY (싸이) Birth Name: Park Jae Sang (박재상) Birthday: December 31, 1977 Hometown: Seoul, South Korea Nationality: Korean Debut: January 12, 2001
PSY is a Kpop artist signed to YG Entertainment, and currently holds the world record for the most-watched YouTube video. Born Park Jae Sang, PSY was born to an affluent family in the Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul. PSY had originally intended to take over his father's corporation when he came of age, and thus traveled to the United States to study business administration at Boston University. However, PSY quickly lost interest in his studies and instead used his tuition money to buy instruments and electronic music equipment. After his first semester at BU, PSY dropped out and enrolled instead at Berklee College of Music.
PSY went on to drop out of Berklee in order to return to Korea and start his music career there. In January 2001, PSY released his debut album Psy from the Psycho World!, and was consequently fined by the Korean government for use of inappropriate content. With his subsequent releases, PSY gained notoriety for his blunt and often lewd lyrics, strange dance moves, and bizarre outfits. In 2002, PSY saw huge success with the title track "Champion" off of his third album 3 PSY, largely thanks to the fact that the FIFA World Cup coincided with the song's release.
In 2003, PSY was conscripted to the South Korean military but was excused from service due to his employment at a software development company, and there did work that served the national interest of the Republic of Korea. Later in 2007, state prosectors accused PSY of shirking his mandatory military duties at work, claiming that he held multiple concerts and appeared on television broadcasts during his conscription period at the software company. The court decided that PSY should be redrafted, and thus PSY re-entered the military in 2007, this time as a private in 52nd Army Infantry Division.
PSY was discharged from the army in 2009, but found it financially difficult to independently support his own music career. His wife thus encouraged him to join YG Entertainment, as the CEO and founder of the company Yang Hyun Suk was an old friend. PSY signed with the label in 2010 and released his fifth album the same year with the lead single, "Right Now". The single was banned from audiences aged 19 and under by the Korean government for obscene lyrics, but despite the ban PSY swept up multiple year-end awards for the release.
In 2012 with the release of his sixth album and its lead single "Gangnam Style", PSY began his ascent to pop culture superstardom. After quickly garnering the top spots on all of Korea's music and video charts, the music video for "Gangnam Style" became a worldwide phenomenon. Celebrities from all over the world took to their personal Twitter accounts to share the video, fanning the flames and eventually helping the "Gangnam Style" music video to become the most watched video of all time on YouTube. PSY ventured westward to perform on NBC's The Today Show and make an appearance on Saturday Night Live.
As his success abroad showed no signs of stopping, PSY signed on with Scooter Braun's Schoolboy Records label in the United States. "Gangnam Style" became the first video on YouTube to ever surpass 1 billion views, and remains the most-viewed video in the history of YouTube today. Today PSY is often credited with being one of Korea's greatest pop culture ambassadors to the world.
In 2013, PSY followed up "Gangnam Style" with a new single entitled "Gentleman". Though the song was in Korean, he promoted it in the United States as well, appearing on popular programs there like Kelly and Michael, American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars. In 2014 he collaborated with Snoop Dogg to release his next single "Hangover", and in 2015 PSY finally released his seventh album. The album contained two singles, "Daddy" featuring CL and "Napal Baji". PSY has maintained steady popularity following the release of "Gangnam Style" and is still considered one of the world's most fascinating pop culture phenomenons to date.
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