K-Pop star Psy’s global hit Gangnam Style has surpassed one billion views worldwide on YouTube. The popularity of the song and its dance were already sky high and it has officially become the most watched video on Google’s video sharing site ever.
The catchy Korean song with its trademark horse dance was first uploaded on YouTube on July 15 and became a viral sensation instantly, with parody videos from all over the world cropping up. In just a matter of five months, Gangnam Style has surpassed YouTube hits such as Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ that has 813.5 million views currently, Jennifer Lopez’s ‘On the Floor’ that has 632.7 million views and the viral ‘Charlie bit my finger’ that has 502.9 million views currently.
Horse-dancing his way to the records
In just a couple of months post its upload, Gangnam Style had already become a hit enough to gain a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest number of likes on a YouTube video ever, with 2.2 million of them. The song overtook competitor LMFAO’s ‘Party Rock Anthem’ to win this record. As of today, the likes stand at well over six million, and YouTube has celebrated the one billion views with a small, animated figure of Psy doing the trademark horse dance besides the number of views.
Gangnam Style became a popular celebratory style with celebrities and athletes alike dancing like Psy on the song. Arguably, one of the most popular celebrations was when the entire West Indian team danced on Gangnam Style post winning the T20 World Cup in India.
It’s worth noting that the track is completely in Korean, about a small suburb in the heart of Seoul, South Korea. The track is pretty much indecipherable to most listeners and stands as a testament to the power of technology, feel observers. No doubt the quirkiness of the song has helped it reach the heights it is at today, but the phenomenon of videos going viral is something that deserves to be observed. The technological word of mouth is strong enough to propel a four minute song in a language spoken exclusively in one part of the world to something everyone around the world knows and understands.
And if the record-smashing billion views weren’t enough, ‘Gangnam Style’ has been picked by Collins Dictionary as one of the word of the year and is to be added in to it. CollinsDictionary.com chose one word per month in 2012 to signify the current affairs of that month, and Gangnam Style became the word for November after smashing many records.
Last week, YouTube too released the list of most watched videos on the site and not surprisingly, Gangnam Style was on top of the charts the world over. In India, the horse dance track came second only to homegrown Punjabi Rapper Yo! Yo! Honey Singh’s Brown Rang.
Despite the fact that YouTube has seen many viral videos – some of them music videos, some real-life pranks and even rick-rolls – it’s going to be a while before we can have one video that surpasses the heights Gangnam Style has touched. But, knowing the nature of technology and its accessibility, it is inevitable that a new viral video will be found.