LOS ANGELES, Nov 24 (Reuters) - South Korean rap star Psy's
music video "Gangnam Style" on Saturday became the most watched
item on YouTube with over 800 million views, edging past
Canadian teen star Justin Bieber's two-year-old video for his
The milestone was the latest pop culture victory for Psy,
34, a portly rap singer known for his slicked-back hair and
comic dance style who has become one of the most unlikely global
stars of 2012.
Psy succeeded with a video that 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.
YouTube, in a post on its Trends blog, said "Gangnam Style"
on Saturday surpassed the site's previous record holder,
Bieber's 2010 music video "Baby," and by mid-day "Gangnam Style"
had reached 805 million views compared to 803 million for
"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.
"It's been a massive hit at a global level unlike anything
we've ever seen before," said the YouTube blog.
The blog also said the "velocity" of the video's popularity
has been unprecedented for YouTube, and that users from all over
the world search the site for the words "Psy" and "Gangnam
Fans of Psy celebrated his victory, noting in the comments
section of YouTube on Saturday that it took just four months for
his video to rocket to over 800 million views, compared to two
years for Bieber's "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.
Earlier this month, Psy closed out the American Music Awards
with a rousing performance of the song as he was joined on stage
by MC Hammer, an American rapper whose hit single "U Can't Touch
This" made him a pop culture sensation in 1990.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Vicki Allen)