" Gangnam Style" is a K-pop single by South Korean musician PSY. The song was released on July 15, 2012, as the lead single of his sixth studio album PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1. "Gangnam Style" debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart, the national record chart of South Korea. As of December 12, 2012, the music video has been viewed over 939 million times on YouTube, and is the site's most watched video after surpassing Justin Bieber's single "Baby “.
The phrase " Gangnam Style " is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The song and its accompanying music video went viral in August 2012 and have influenced popular culture since then. "Gangnam Style" received mixed to positive reviews, with praise going to its catchy beat and PSY's amusing dance moves in the music video and during live performances in various locations such as Madison Square Garden, The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Samsung commercials. On September 20, 2012, "Gangnam Style" was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most "liked" video in YouTube history. It subsequently won Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards held later that year.
It became a source of parodies and reaction videos by many different groups, organizations, and individuals, including The Oregon Duck, midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy, and the North Korean government.By the end of 2012, the song had reached the number one position in more than 30 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Although the song's reception in Japan remained lukewarm, the song topped China's Baidu 500 download list and was labelled by state-controlled media as having a "divine melody."
As the song continued to rapidly gain popularity and ubiquity, its signature dance moves were performed by many business and political leaders such as Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who hailed the song as a "force for world peace". The song's influence on political activism was exemplified by the film Gangnam for Freedom. It was produced by the British sculptor Anish Kapoor to advocate the freedom of expression and had subsequently won the support of various human rights organisations including Index on Censorship and Amnesty International. According to the United Nations' news division, PSY has become an "international sensation" through his song "Gangnam Style."