Psy arrives at the 40th American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 18. Psy's music video "Gangnam Style" became the most watched item on YouTube on Saturday, with over 800 million views. / Reuters-Yonhap
By Chung Ah-young
Rapper/singer Psy's "Gangnam Style" set the record for YouTube's most-watched video of all time with more than 805 million views as of Saturday. It has broken the record in just over four months set by Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber's "Baby" in 33 months.
YouTube said the video has "been a massive hit at a global level unlike anything we've ever seen before."
"Each day, Gangnam Style is still being watched between 7 and 10 million times," YouTube trend manager Kevin Allocca said in a blog post Saturday. "The velocity of popularity for PSY's outlandish video is unprecedented."
The viewer count for the video registered 10 million views on Aug. 2, 100 million on Sept. 4, 200 million on Sept. 18, 300 million on Sept. 28, 400 million on Oct. 8, 600 million on Oct. 31 and 700 million on Nov. 11.
"The views have been evenly spread across various regions from North America, South America, and Europe to Asia," YG Entertainment said.
The video, in which Psy performs his now trademark horse-riding dance, became a worldwide sensation right after its release in July through YouTube.
"Gangnam Style" set the Guinness World Record of "The most liked video" on YouTube by receiving 2,295,231 likes from viewers on Sept. 20.
Psy's song has also topped charts from Britain to Australia. It won Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards and a New Media prize at the American Music Awards. "Gangnam Style" has been nominated for Favorite Music Video by the People's Choice Awards 2013 which will be held on Jan. 9 in the United States.
The video has created international fandom in which tens of thousands joined giant flashmob performances of Psy's horse-riding dance in cities like Paris and Rome.
The K-pop star, whose real name is Park Jae-Sang, was also awarded one of Korea's highest cultural honors, the Okgwan Order of Cultural Merit this month.
His popularity continues as he performed a mash-up of "Gangnam Style" with pop icon Madonna during her concert at New York's Madison Square Garden this month.
Korea has welcomed the rapper's sensational success as a hopeful sign that "hallyu" (the Korean cultural wave), now supported by the government, will see continued popularity abroad.