PSY is a South Korean singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer.
Let’s fun facts about him!
1. Park Jae-sang was born December 31, 1977.
2. He was born to an affluent family in the Gangnam District of Seoul, South Korea.
3. His father, Park Won-Ho, is the executive chairman of DI Corporation, a manufacturer of semiconductor manufacturing equipment listed on the Korea Exchange.
4. His mother, Kim Young-hee, owns several restaurants in Gangnam.
5. Park attended Banpo (반포) Elementary and Middle Schools and Sehwa (세화) High School.
6. He disliked school and was known as the class clown. In an interview on South Korea’s Seoul Broadcasting System, a former teacher of Park said: “I remember Psy making a lot of sexual jokes during class. He had such a big influence that he would drive the entire class to his jokes. I disliked him at the time, but looking back, I see that he added a great energy to the class.”
7. Park told CNN’s Alina Cho that when he was 15 years old, he watched a Korean TV programme that introduced foreign pop music. One particular episode showed a concert at Wembley Stadium held by the British rock band Queen where they performed their 1975 hit single “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Park said it was this concert footage that sparked his love for music.
8. As part of preparations to take over DI Corporation from his father, Park had originally planned to study business administration at Boston University in 1996. However, upon his arrival in the United States, he lost interest in his studies, spending his remaining tuition funds on musical instruments and entertainment equipment, including a computer, an electric keyboard, and a MIDI interface.
9. After attending an English-language summer course and studying for one semester, Park dropped out of Boston University and applied to study at Berklee College of Music instead.
10. During his time at Berklee, Park took core curriculum lessons in ear training, contemporary writing and music synthesis, but he soon dropped out and returned to South Korea to pursue a career as a singer, without having attained a degree from either Boston University or Berklee.
11. In South Korea, Psy made his first appearance on Korean national television in 2000 after his dancing caught the eye of a TV producer.
12. In January 2001, Psy debuted his full-length album Psy from the Psycho World!, for which he was fined by South Korean government authorities due to his album’s “inappropriate content”.
13. Psy was a rookie hip hop singer that stirred up the Korean pop music scene with very blunt lyrics, peculiar dance moves and an unconventional appearance that earned him the nickname “The Bizarre Singer”.
14. His second album Sa 2 also created controversy upon its release in 2002, earning complaints from civil groups due to the potentially negative influence his album would have on children and teenagers.
15. Since then, Psy has been thought of as a controversial artist, and Sa 2 was banned in 2002 from being sold to the under-19 set.
16. In September of the same year, Psy released his third album 3 Psy. The album’s title song, “Champion”, saw great success partly due to the hype from the World Cup games held in Seoul.
17. Despite the significant amount of controversy surrounding his music, Psy was awarded songwriting accolades at the annual Seoul Music Awards, marking his breakthrough in the South Korean music industry.
18. In 2003, Psy was conscripted into the South Korean military as part of mandatory military service imposed on all South Korean men aged 18 to 35. Psy was excused from military duty due to working at a software development company (the South Korean government grants exemptions to those with technical expertise work in companies that serve the national interest).
19. He was expected to be released from duties in 2005.
20. In 2006, Psy released his fourth album Ssajib, which won honors at the 2006 SBS Music Awards and Hong Kong’s Mnet Asian Music Awards.
21. In 2007, state prosecutors accused Psy of “neglecting” his work, holding concerts and appearing on local television networks during his period of prior employment.
22. On October 12, 2007, the Seoul Administrative Court decided that Psy must be redrafted, rejecting a lawsuit filed by Psy against the Military Manpower Administration (MMA) in August.
23. Two months later, Psy was re-drafted into the military where he had held the rank of Private First Class and served as a signalman in the 52nd Army Infantry Division, before being released from duties in July 2009.
24. Psy is known domestically for his humorous videos and stage performances, and internationally for his hit single “Gangnam Style”.
25. The song’s refrain was entered into The Yale Book of Quotations as one of the most famous quotations of 2012.
26. On October 23, 2012, Psy met United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Headquarters where Ban expressed his desire to work with the singer because of his “unlimited global reach”.
27. On December 21, 2012, his music video for “Gangnam Style” exceeded one billion views on YouTube, becoming the first video to do so in the website’s history.
28. Psy was subsequently recognized by the media as the “King of YouTube”.
29. On May 31, 2014, the video for Psy’s Gangnam Style hit two billion views. As of July 2017, it is the second most viewed video on YouTube, with over 2.89 billion views.
30. In December 2012, MTV noted Psy’s rise from being little known outside South Korea, to being hailed as the “Viral Star of 2012”.
31. On December 31, 2012, Psy performed in a globally televised New Year’s Eve celebration with American rapper MC Hammer on-stage in front of a live audience of over a million people in Times Square, New York City.
32. On October 14, 2006, Psy married Yoo Hye-yeon, a cello major at Yonsei University and his girlfriend of three and a half years. According to the Korean Broadcasting System, the couple were introduced by a mutual acquaintance. They have twin daughters.
33. In a July 2013 interview with The Sunday Times, Psy stated that he has a drinking problem, noting that the only time he isn’t drinking alcohol is when he is hung over.
34. Psy considers “Gangnam Style” to be the greatest achievement of his life.
35. Psy finalized the purchase of a condominium unit in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, US in November 2012. One media report anticipated that Psy made the purchase to relocate to Los Angeles following his signing with US-based music manager Scooter Braun.
36. In late 2001, Psy was arrested for smoking and possessing marijuana and was sentenced 25 days in jail and as a result, was unable to be at his grandfather’s deathbed as he lost his battle with cancer, or attend his funeral. During an interview, Psy revealed “I was very close to him. I was not there at the funeral: I will regret this for the rest of my life, because my grandpa loved me so much, and I couldn’t be there for him on his deathbed.”
37. Psy was also fined in January 2002 for the marijuana incident.
38. In the early 2010s, South Korea’s Sunshine Policy towards North Korea was abolished as tensions between the two countries continued to increase. As a result, Psy was questioned by the media on several occasions regarding his views on North Korea.
39. On April 13, 2013, Psy attended a press conference where he expressed regret about his country’s conflict with North Korea and described the situation as a “tragedy”. He also expressed hope that North Koreans would one day be able to enjoy his music before elaborating that his job is to make everyone, including North Koreans, laugh.
40. Right before the start of a concert in Seoul, Psy added: “Tonight me and 50,000 Korean people… we are going to sing out loud. We are going to shout out loud and we are really close to them, so they [the North Koreans] can hear.”
41. In an interview with The Daily Beast (an American news website), Psy was asked to give his take on Kim Jong-un’s recent threats against South Korea and the United States, to which he replied: “Well, as an entertainer, I don’t want to talk about politics. As a Korean citizen, I want peace. That’s all I can say. I want permanent peace.”