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'Gangnam Style' sets world record: Gallops to 1 billion video views

December 21, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • Psy in "Gangnam Style."
Psy in "Gangnam Style." (YouTube )

Psy stands for "psycho", but today it should stand for "psyched"!

On Thursday morning, "Gangnam Style" hit 1 billion views on YouTube -- becoming the first video ever to hit that milestone. To celebrate, YouTube has a little dancing Psy doing horsey moves next to his view count.

Fun! 

The trend watchers at YouTube thought "Gangnam Sytle" might hit the 1 billion mark by late Friday evening or early Saturday morning. But the unstoppable power of "Gangnam Style" has surprised everyone -- including Psy -- each step of the way.

"Honestly, when I made this video I didn't even expect 1 million views, because this is off my sixth album in Korea, so I just hoped it would be huge there," the singer told MTV

Psy's video took off in South Korea as soon as he uploaded it to YouTube in July. A few weeks later, it started to zoom around the world -- as celebrities such as T-Payne and Justin Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, tweeted about it to their millions of followers.

Part of the video's success is its international appeal -- you don't need to understand what Psy is talking about to enjoy his smooth dance moves and his goofy sense of humor. Also, it's the kind of video most of us want to watch over and over. One guy in London has to play it every time he feeds his baby or the baby won't eat. That's a lot of views right there!

Then, of course, came the hundreds of thousands of parodies -- some of which have been viewed tens of millions of times on their own.

YouTube trend manager Kevin Allocca wrote that tributes to "Gangnam Style" are now being viewed 20 million times every single day. 

Here are our favorites in case you've missed them:

1. A Psy look-alike gallops around NASA's Johnson Space Center in "NASA Johnson Style."

2. Noam Chomsky makes an appearance in MIT's take, "MIT Gangnam Style." Oppa Chomsky Style!

3. Totally surreal tribute of "Gangnam Style" by the a capella group Pentatonix, winners of the third season of "The Sing Off." 

4. And oldie but a goodie. Watch the Oregon Duck take you on a dance-filled tour of the University of Oregon. 

5. A B-Boy and his mom show their moves to "Gangnam Style." He writes, "My mom will battle your mom."

And if you want to watch the original just one more time -- and who doesn't? -- I've embedded it below.

ALSO:

Evolution of the "Gangnam Style" phenomenon [Video]

Psy the baby whisperer? Babies love "Gangnam Style" too

Psy's "Gangnam Style" YouTube party is just getting started

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