"Gangnam Style" Reaches One Billion Views on YouTube

Category: Entertainment / Dec 21, 2012 3:22PM EDT
South Korean rap star Psy's music video "Gangnam Style" on Friday (December 21) became the first video on YouTube to get one billion views. The counter attached to the music video on the website passed the one billion mark around 1050 EST (1550 GMT), and was upgraded with an icon of the 34-year-old star dancing next to the 10 digits. An official countdown website was keeping real time track of the clicks on the popular music video that has spawned a horse-riding dance craze around the world. The one billion hit milestone came less than a month after Psy's music video became the most watched item on YouTube edging past Canadian teen star Justin Bieber's two-year-old video for his song "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 Korean. "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. The video 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. In the past five months Psy met with U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, performed for U.S. President Barack Obama at a Christmas celebration, and taught Britney Spears his signature moves on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."