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PSY (Park Jae-Sang) is a South Korean rapper, singer, songwriter, and music producer who rose to international prominence because to his track “Gangnam Style.” The song went on to become one of the most popular songs on YouTube, with over a billion views. PSY has also released eight albums and appeared in numerous films and television shows. PSY, the son of a businessman, had no desire to follow in his father’s footsteps and was a popular ‘funny guy’ in high school. His fondness for making silly faces and dancing steps was evident in the music video for his megahit song ‘Gangnam Style,’ and the video’s eccentricity and crazy are the main reasons for it achieving cult status among people all over the world. PSY attended Berklee College of Music in Boston for a short time but dropped out before graduating. In 2000, he returned to South Korea and released his first album, ‘PSY from the Psycho World,’ which was released in 2001. According to Korean media, he had a distinct musical style that contained a lot of ‘vulgarity.’ The claims of obscenity put his reputation and job in jeopardy. He was also arrested for marijuana possession and consumption, making him a rather controversial character in the South Korean music scene. Then, in 2012, came ‘Gangnam Style,’ and PSY broke down national barriers to become a global celebrity.

Childhood and Adolescence

Park Jae-Sang was born on December 31, 1977, in Seoul, South Korea, to Kim Young-hee and Park Won-ho, members of a well-established business family. His father is the executive chairman of a major corporation, while his mother owns and controls a restaurant chain.

PSY’s musical journey began while he was still in high school. His passion for music blossomed while he attended Banpo Elementary School and subsequently Sehwa High School. He was known as the ‘class clown,’ annoying every teacher but, for some reason, everyone liked him because of the excitement he brought to the classroom.

He was introduced to American pop music when he was 15 years old, and he was instantly fascinated. He became interested in exploring new musical possibilities and chose to pursue a career as a musician. He credits ‘Queen’ as having had the greatest influence on him as a child.

PSY’s father, despite his enthusiasm for his music career, insisted that he pursue business administration at Boston University, which he did for a short time. He became tired with it and enrolled in the Berklee School of Music, where he studied the fundamentals of music production. He finally became disillusioned and returned to South Korea to begin his musical career.

Career of PSY

PSY’s music career got off to a rocky start when his first album, ‘PSY from a Psycho World,’ was penalized by the Korean government for having ‘inappropriate content.’ Regardless of how harshly he was chastised for his initial attempt, it was a decent success. In 2002, he followed up his debut album with two more short albums, ‘Sa 2’ and ‘3 PSY.’ PSY’s songs were criticized for being overly explicit and “not a positive impact” on Korean youth, but that didn’t stop him from winning awards at the Seoul Music Awards.

PSY completed the required military training, which is required of all South Korean men, in 2003 and was promptly released due to his employment description as a software programmer. PSY made a comeback in 2006 with the release of his next studio album, ‘Ssajib,’ which was both critically and commercially successful. The album won awards at the SBS Music Awards as well as the Asian Music Awards.

PSY was redrafted to continue his military duty in 2007 owing to job concerns, and he remained in the military for the next two years before being freed from his duties in July 2009. In 2010, he was signed to YG Entertainment, Korea’s largest entertainment label, and his fifth studio album, titled ‘PSY 5,’ was released the same year. However, his problems did not go away, and a song from the album called “Right Now” was partially prohibited in South Korea owing to the obscenity on display.

PSY’s concert was televised in Japan on Mezamashi TV, a Japanese network, and it was his first taste of international fame. PSY gained a new fan base in Japan after his dance movements mimicking Beyonce and Lady Gaga became popular.

PSY’s sixth studio album, ‘PSY 6 part 1’, was released in July 2012, and the album’s lead track, ‘Gangnam Style,’ began airing on TV and radio. It quickly became a sensation, and the song went on to become one of the most popular music videos in internet history. The song reached the top of the iTunes chart in August of that year. PSY was the first musician from South Korea to achieve the achievement.

Following the popularity of the song and album, PSY began traveling and spent the latter half of the year performing performances all over the world. PSY then produced another track, ‘Gentleman,’ which was favorably received but never achieved the same level of success as ‘Gangnam Style.’ PSY gained a household name in the United States after collaborating with Snoop Dogg on the song “Hangover.”

PSY released two ‘tongue in cheek’ style videos titled ‘Daddy’ and ‘Napal Baji’ from his next studio album, dubbed ‘PSY seventh album,’ in December 2015. Some of the most well-known American performers, including Black Eyed Peas and Will.i.am, made guest performances on the album.

PSY has become a household celebrity in South Korea and the United States thanks to appearances on popular series such as ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘Hello Counsellor,’ ‘Radio Star,’ and ‘Fantastic Duo.’

PSY is usually considered to be the first Korean pop singer to attain massive success in the United States. He’s also notable for being the first solo Korean musician to win the YouTube Silver Button for surpassing 10 million subscribers on his channel.

Controversies of PSY

PSY has remained a divisive figure in Korea, despite his meteoric rise, due to his frequent use of provocative lyrics and dance techniques in many of his songs. In 2001, he was arrested for marijuana possession and was sentenced to prison. He was imprisoned for 25 days.

Personal Experiences of PSY

PSY married his long-time girlfriend Yoo Hye-Yeon in 2006. They had met in college and dated for over four years before marrying, and the pair was soon rewarded with twin daughters.
PSY admitted to having a drinking problem in a TV interview, claiming that he drinks to the point of tiredness almost every day.

PSY once made United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon dance to the odd dances from ‘Gangnam Style.’
He admitted that creating the distinctive step for the song ‘Gangnam Style’ took him more than a month.

Estimated Net Worth

PSY’s net worth was estimated to be USD $60 Million.