South Korean singer and rapper PSY became an international sensation with the outrageously silly video for his 2012 hit "Gangnam Style." The artist, born Park Jae-Sang, is a graduate of Boston University and Berklee College of Music and began his music career in 2001 with the album PSY from the PSYcho World!
The album's in-your-face lyrics connected with Korean teens but concerned civil groups, causing PSY to pay fines and restrict sales to adults only. He capitalized on the controversy by releasing two more albums, Sa 2 and 3 PSY, a year later, which earned songwriting accolades at the 2004 SBS and Seoul Music Awards. Third album Sa Jib (Sa House) followed in 2006, along with more honors from the SBS Music Awards and M.net KM Music Festival. Aside from his regular recording and performing duties, PSY became a familiar face with appearances on Korean game shows like X-Man and talk shows like Golden Fishery, bringing his flashy style and offbeat charm to the masses. Fifth album PSY Five arrived in 2010 as the artist signed to YG Entertainment, one of Korea's largest talent agencies and record labels, and took home trophies from the Melon, Seoul, and M.net Asian Music Awards ceremonies. PSY kicked off 2011 with Best Album honors from the 20th High1 Seoul Music Festival and by the following spring, he'd joined the cast of the Korean televised talent competition Superstar K as a judge. His fame reached international status in summer 2012 with the release of the album 6 Gab, Pt. 1, propelled by the single "Gangnam Style," which he immortalized in a video with campy choreography that simulated riding a horse. The video racked up over 2.4 billion views on YouTube and inspired parody clips from all corners of the globe. He released a second single, "Gentleman," with an accompanying video and dance. Despite never reaching the same pop culture zeitgeist as "Gangnam," PSY spent the following year riding the Gangnam-wave with live performances and a collaboration with Snoop Dogg on "Hangover." In December 2015, he released two characteristically tongue-in-cheek videos from his seventh album -- the appropriately titled PSY 7th Album ("Chiljip Psy-da") -- "Daddy" and "Napal Baji." The album included guest appearances by popular Korean singers CL (2NE1), R&B singer Zion.T, XIA (JYJ), rocker Jun In Kwon, and Black Eyed Pea, will.i.am. The entertainer returned with his eighth effort, 4X2=8, in the spring of 2017. The album featured the singles "I LUV IT" and "New Face," as well as guests like Big Bang's G-Dragon and Taeyang and IKON's B.I. and Bobby Kim on "Bomb." ~ Chrysta Cherrie & Neil Z. Yeung