Everyone has this question in mind,
What happened to the Guy who sang the Gangnam Style?
It was in 2012 when Psy rose to international fame after releasing “Gangnam Style.” The single sold millions of copies and made him a household fixture. In the years to come, Psy whose real name is Park Jae-sang faded from the spotlight. So, what happened to the Psy?
1. Tourism Ambassador
After bringing such intense attention to South Korea, the country tapped him to be its tourism ambassador in 2013. In lieu of a hefty payday, the pop star accepted minimum payment. Psy’s appointment replaced, of all people, Kenny G, who oddly enough was the face of South Korean tourism in 2012.
At the time, Psy wasn’t a stranger to important duties, as he had held the same honorary title for Seoul’s Gangnam district in 2012. His appointment also opened doors for other business deals to come – most notably, his ambassadorship for Asiana Airlines for 2013.
2. YouTube Record Holder
Psy’s international single, “Gangnam Style”, earned him countless accolades, perhaps none more prestigious than creating the first music video to earn one billion views, according to the Guinness World Records. To date, it’s been viewed more than 2.8 billion times.
Shortly after, he picked up another recognition with his follow-up single, “Gentleman”, which became the highest-viewed video in a 24-hour period, with 38 million views. Both recognitions have cemented Psy’s name into pop-culture history, making him undoubtedly the very definition of “YouTube sensation”.
3. Anti-American Lyrics
Shortly after Psy’s 2012 climb to fame, a 2014 video surfaced of him performing the the song “Dear America”, by South Korean rock band N.ExT., which calls for the deaths of American soldiers.
In a statement, Psy claimed it was an emotional response to the death of two young Korean girls killed by a U.S. military vehicle, and profusely apologized for his language, saying,
I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world.
I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how those lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words.
4. Dark Side of Fame
While Psy enjoyed the spotlight, he was also battling a dark side. In 2013, he confessed to the Sunday Times that he was an alcoholic. His attitude about drinking proved to be shocking, in light of the constant positive press surrounding his name, saying,
If I’m happy, I’m drinking, if I’m sad, I’m drinking. If it’s raining, I’m drinking, if it’s sunny, I’m drinking.
4. Returning to Music
In December 2015, Psy released his seventh studio album. Aware it would be nearly impossible to top his previous record, Psy felt pressure to succeed, telling CNN,
I cannot beat Gangnam Style, I just want another hit, so that not one hit wonder.
Later he fell into depression, telling Entertainment weekly,
I’m not Adele. After ‘Gangnam Style,’ I was really happy but sometimes I was not happy, because that’s my lifetime biggest song and I’m not going to top that song forever.
For a while, I kind of felt a little bit of pressure, like, ‘How can I top that one?’ I thought about being me, not the ‘Gangnam’ guy, or whatever. I was focused on finding myself.