Name at birth: Park Jae-sang
Psy is the energetic and off-kilter singer and rapper whose 2012 hit "Gangnam Style" became the most-viewed YouTube video ever. He was born Park Jae-sang in the affluent Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul in 1977. He enrolled in Boston University in 1996, but found himself drawn to music and switched to Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music. He dropped out of Berklee to focus on his career, and his 2001 album PSY... From the Psycho World made his name in Korea. For the next decade he was well-known in his home country, if nowhere else, as a pop star with spangled clothes and a nutty, hyper-energetic style. His third album, 3 Psy, was releasedin 2002 and included the hit single "Champion." He ran foul of South Korean authorities after skipping out on his first two-year compulsory military service, and ended up being recalled for a second term, which he finished in 2010. In 2012 he released Psy's Best 6th Part 1, which included the hit single "Gangnam Style." The video for the song, with Psy galloping, dancing and wriggling through his old neighborhood, went viral in a colossal way, and by the end of 2012 it had surpassed one billion YouTube views. The song made PSY a global phenomenon: the New York Post reported that he was "earning about $60,000 per gig to sing and do his trademark dance at Las Vegas hot spots."
Psy is short for “psycho”… Psy told The New York Times in 2012: “My lifetime role model and hero is Freddie Mercury of Queen. His songwriting skills, I cannot even approach, but his showmanship, I learned it from videos.”