It was the shot heard around the music world. A catchy tune and a horse dance launched a worldwide craze and more than a half-billion views on YouTube. South Korean rapper PSY’s take on the high life in an expensive Seoul neighborhood counts fans on all continents, including celebrities asking for lessons. Here’s how a song became a hit:
July 15, 2012: South Korean rapper PSY uploads the video “Gangnam Style” to YouTube. The single is the first from his sixth album, “PSY6 (Six Rules, Part 1).” The video receives 500,000 hits on the first day.
July 29: Rapper T-Pain tweets a link with “Words cannot even describe how amazing this video is.” In the ensuing days, Robbie Williams, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Tom Cruise and Joseph Gordon-Levitt tweet links to the song.
Aug. 21: Katy Perry tweets: “Help, I’m in a gangnam style k hole” to her 25 million followers. PSY responds “Hi…I’m the very ‘PSY’ of the video. k k. This is a H~~~uge pleasure to be introduced by U~!!! Please follow me if Possible~! kk”
Sept. 10: Britney Spears receives a one-on-one lesson from PSY on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
Sept. 14: PSY performs on “The Today Show” and teaches the morning crew and “Meet the Press” host David Gregory how to “Gangnam.”
Sept. 27: While visiting South Korea to promote Google’s Nexus 7, CEO Eric Schmidt boogies down with PSY. The same day “Gangnam Style” makes YouTube history (and a Guiness Guinness world record) for having the most likes.
Oct. 14: During the media day at the Korean Grand Prix, the rapper tutors the Red Bull Formula One team drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
Oct. 16: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine gets the lesson from PSY.
Oct. 18: Dwight Howard video blogs his moves backstage on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” “Gangnam style has helped me strengthen my core and lower back,” Howard said. “I’ve got a great PT program, but this dance has taken me to the next level.”
Oct. 23: PSY brings “Gangnam Style” to the United Nations, where Secretary General Ban Ki-moon jokes: “I’m a bit jealous. Until two days ago someone told me I am the most famous Korean in the world. Now I have to relinquish. I have no regrets.” Ban rode the invisible pony with PSY.