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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 joined the cast of the Korean televised talent competition Superstar K as judge. His fame reached international status in summer 2012 with the release of the album PSY's Best 6th Part 1, propelled by the single "Gangnam Style," which he immortalized in a video with campy choreography that simulated riding a horse. Within a month of its release, the video racked up over 28 million hits on YouTube and inspired parody clips from all corners of the globe.
Biography entry by Chrysta Cherrie
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