Record breaking hit song 'Gangnam Style' turns 10 years old

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Friday marked 10 years since the release of "Gangnam Style," the song that took the world by storm in 2012 and was a must-have at every party.

South Korean singer, Psy, released the song on July 15, 2012, and it became an instant phenomenon. The song was so popular it became the first video posted on YouTube to reach 1 billion views and was the sole video to hold that honor for a whole year until Justin Bieber’s music video for "Baby" also hit 1 billion views.

Psy released "Gangnam Style" in July 2012 and it became an instant phenomenon and was the first video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. <span class="copyright">Reuters</span>
Psy released "Gangnam Style" in July 2012 and it became an instant phenomenon and was the first video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. Reuters

"Being the first artist to reach 1 billion views on YouTube was an extraordinary feeling 10 years ago, and it still is today," Psy said through a statement released by YouTube. "To have played a role in paving the way for music of all kinds to transcend borders is a true honor."

It took less than six months for the video to reach 1 billion views and currently sits at 4.47 billion views and is included in YouTube’s Top 5 most viewed videos list.

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According to YouTube, when the song was at its most popular it was hitting 14.8 million views in one day, and still boasts around 900,000 each day.

The song made Psy an overnight success, and soon he was appearing on all the late-night talk shows singing the song, and demonstrating the iconic dance in the video. The dance itself became just as popular as the song, with people everywhere trying to learn how to do it.

The popularity of "Gangam Style" led the way for bands like BTS and Blackpink to become popular in the U.S. <span class="copyright">Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy</span>
The popularity of "Gangam Style" led the way for bands like BTS and Blackpink to become popular in the U.S. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The popularity of "Gangnam Style" was the precursor to the K-Pop craze which has since hit the United States, as demonstrated by the success of bands like BTS and Blackpink.

Psy claims these artists were able to do what he wasn’t and remain relevant overseas after their initial breakthrough.

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"There are cases where the song increases in popularity and cases when the [artist] increases in popularity, and longevity is that much longer in the latter," Psy said during a press conference for his latest album. ""I feel very proud that I had a role in being that trigger. BTS have thanked me for that part several times, so I’m proud of it."

BTS has thanked Psy on several occasions for paving the way for Korean artists to breakthrough into mainstream American music. <span class="copyright">McDonalds / Getty images</span>
BTS has thanked Psy on several occasions for paving the way for Korean artists to breakthrough into mainstream American music. McDonalds / Getty images

While "Gangnam Style" was Psy’s biggest hit in the U.S., he has been able to find success as a musician in South Korea. He was already successful prior to the release of "Gangnam Style," and after releasing more music in 2015 and 2017, Psy founded his own record label called P Nation.

P Nation has since become one of South Korea’s most successful record labels. Some of the artists he represents include Hyuna, Dawn, Crush and Heize.