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Psy on Why President Obama Stopped Doing 'Gangnam Style'
By Shirley Halperin ,  The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter -- This story first appeared in the Jan. 10, 2013, issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

How does it feel to become an international pop star with a No. 1 hit practically overnight? To launch a dance craze embraced by toddlers and grandparents, presidents and talk-show hosts alike? To near 1 billion YouTube views, making it the most-watched video ever?

For  Gangnam Style star Psy (real name: Jaesang Park), he can sum up 2012 in two words:  Totally exhausted.

PHOTOS: 2012's Biggest Rule Breakers: 'Walking Dead,' Psy, Quentin Tarantino and 7 Others Who Rocked the Status Quo

Since July, when the 34-year-old South Korean sensation debuted his zeitgeisty video mocking the trendy Seoul neighborhood and featuring an infectious galloping dance (he declined to perform it at THR s shoot) with only one line in English (you know it:  Hey, sexy lady! ), Psy has been making daily appearances in cities around the world -- be it a performance at the Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong, an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres show in Los Angeles, or the White House s annual Christmas in Washington benefit.

 The applause gets louder on every stage, says Psy, who was signed to Justin Bieber manager Scooter Braun s Schoolboy Records label.  Before, they just sang, &lsquoOppan Gangnam Style. They re now starting to catch some Korean words. Seeing that change, it feeds me.

PHOTOS: MTV European Music Awards: Taylor Swift Wins Big, Psy Performs, and Other Moments

But with every career high -- and he s had plenty during the 12 years before  Gangnam mania -- comes controversies, including a recent British tabloid report of a man who died doing the  Gangnam Style dance and political outlets that in December disseminated concert footage from 2002 and 2004 of Psy (who briefly studied at Boston University) seemingly denouncing U.S. military practices in Iraq.

The singer issued an apology  for any pain caused and two days later was shaking hands with President Obama. The topic of conversation? Nothing of a diplomatic nature. Says Psy,  He told me he s good at &lsquoGangnam Style but that the ladies at his house are embarrassed when he s dancing so he s not doing it.

And with that comes Psy s most surreal moment of 2012 adding to a daily life that he calls  really unrealistic. But he s also able to look outside himself at the bigger, global picture and ahead to 2013.  A phenomenon is made by people, not made by Psy, he says.  A dance move; it's not mine, it's their own. So what I have to do next is do me.

Now, the married father of twins is focusing on a full-length album. Says Psy,  I want everybody s attention.

Click here to read the full list of THR's 2012 Rule Breakers

See an info-graphic of Psy's YouTube ascent below:

Related article on

Justin Bieber, Psy Added to Ryan Seacrest's 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' Lineup

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Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Dec 19, 2012 8:19PM
How can this story first appear Jan 10, 2013.. We are still in 2012

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