PSY is the 34-year-old South Korean rapper behind the viral music video "Gangnam Style," which has been seen by more than 150 million people on YouTube. He tells TODAY's Savannah Guthrie he never thought so many people would be fascinated with his music and dancing.
South Korean rapper PSY brought his unique style to the TODAY plaza Friday, teaching his signature horse dance to the show’s anchors.
The singer became a viral sensation when his “Gangnam Style” video garnered phenomenal attention within two short months.
From left, Al Roker, Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie join PSY and a backup dancer on stage.
“I didn’t expect that at all. I just unloaded this video only for the Korean viewers in YouTube and suddenly, within 60 days, I’m here,” PSY told Savannah Guthrie just minutes before taking to the stage for a performance that had the whole plaza jumping, not to mention Guthrie, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, and "Meet the Press" anchor David Gregory, whose vigorous dance moves soon lit up the Twitterverse.
David Gregory (right) shows off his "Gangham Style" to the TODAY anchors and PSY.
PSY, whose real name is Jae-Sang Park, has been well known in South Korea for more than a decade, but said he’ll have to work just as hard stateside to match that success.
“Thing is, I’m (a) rookie here now, so I got to do it all over again, like 12 years ago,” he said.
Gangnam is a posh neighborhood in the South Korean capital of Seoul. The song pokes fun at the area’s trendy style and residents.
Asked the inspiration for his "Gangham Style" dance, PSY said, "Honestly, it came from (a) horse."
“I describe it as noble at the daytime, and going crazy at the nighttime,” said PSY, who studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.
The "Gangnam Style" video is the most viewed K-pop (Korean pop) video on YouTube, with more than 167 million hits since its release. Its catchy hook has garnered high-profile fans, including Britney Spears, to whom PSY taught the dance recently on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” During that appearance, he explained the mindset of the dance: "Dress classy and dance cheesy.”
Psy, who shot the video in 32 locations in South Korea over the course of two days, sang an encore performance of “Gangnam Style” on TODAY.
Asked where he came up with the idea, PSY quipped: “Honestly, it came from (a) horse.”
Eun Kyung Kim is a contributor to TODAY.com. Some might say she grew up in the Gangnam neighborhood of Tucson, Ariz.