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Unlikely Korean pop star conquers the US - Gangnam Style

Published on Sep 13, 2012 10:45 AM

SEOUL (AFP) - A chubby thirty-something with wacky dance moves, Park Jae Sang falls far short of the prettified, teenage ideal embodied by the stars of South Korea's phenomenally successful K-pop industry.

But Park, known as Psy, has succeeded where the industry-manufactured girl and boy bands have tried and failed, making a huge splash on the mainstream United States (US) music scene thanks to a viral video and a rare sense of irony.

Since being posted on YouTube in July, Psy's video for Gangnam Style - the title song of his sixth album - has racked up more than 150 million views and spawned a host of admiring parodies.

The accompanying worldwide publicity has earned him a US contract with Justin Bieber's management agency, a guest appearance at last week's MTV awards in Los Angeles and a spot on NBC's flagship Today show.

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