Psy's "Gangnam Style" makes YouTube history with 1 billion views

LOS ANGELES, Dec 21 (Reuters) - South Korean rapper Psy's

infectious viral hit song, "Gangnam Style," made history on

Friday as the first ever video on YouTube to reach 1 billion

views, adding yet another record to the song's juggernaut

journey into mainstream pop.

The song, first posted on YouTube on July 15, clocked the 1

billion milestone at 10:50 a.m. EST (1550 GMT) and YouTube

marked the occasion with a dancing Psy doodle next to their

logo.

The song also became YouTube's most watched video last

month, overtaking Justin Bieber's "Baby" video, which previously

held the title.

"I didn't even imagine 'Gangnam Style' would get 1 million

views, let alone 1 billion views! Is this the Tru-PSY show?" the

rapper said in a statement.

This has been a whirlwind year for rapper Psy, 34, who is

the first Korean pop (or K-pop) artist to achieve mainstream

success in the U.S. after "Gangnam Style," named after the

affluent Gangnam District in Seoul, captured viewers' attention.

The rapper recently performed for President Barack Obama,

met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and won the best

video award at the MTV Europe Music Awards in November.

The video shows the outlandishly dressed Psy rap in Korean

while performing an invisible horse-riding dance, which has

become a pop culture trend, spurring many copycat and parody

videos.

The popularity of the song has sparked growing international

interest in Asian pop music, throwing a spotlight on the K-pop

industry, which now aims to follow Psy into mainstream Western

pop music.

(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; editing by Patricia Reaney and

Sandra Maler)

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