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Korean pop star PSY dances his hit single Gangnam Style.

Korean pop star PSY dances his hit single Gangnam Style.

Photo by Courtesy of Google Images

Photo by Courtesy of Google Images

Korean pop star PSY dances his hit single Gangnam Style.

Sirene Blair, Staff Writer

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As you flip through radio stations to avoid overplayed songs and commercials, a catchy phrase suddenly catches your attention. “Aaayyee! Sexy Lady!” pumps from your speakers as you mumble along with Gangnam Style. This music single by the Korean pop artist PSY (taken from the word psycho) was released July 15, 2012. The kpop hit hasn’t failed to go Double Platinum by selling over 2.1 million copies in the United States alone. Still remaining number one on the United States iTunes chart, Gangnam Style has been dominating the top spot in over 31 countries.

Thus far, Gangnam Style has secured the win of “Best Video” for the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards. The song has also been nominated for the Mnet Asian Music Awards “2012 Song of the Year,” “2012 Best Video,” and 2013 People’s Choice Award “Favorite Music Video.”

YouTube has greatly contributed to Gangnam Style fame. With over 770 million views and over 5.3 million likes, the Guinness World Records officially recognized Gangnam Style as the most “liked” video in YouTube history. About 47% of the views came from the United States, 7% from the United Kingdom, 6.8% from Canada, and only 4% from South Korea.

This worldwide phenomenon obviously draws people in with upbeat music and unusual dance moves. “Looking at the music video, it reminds me of horses, roping, and galloping,” said Selina Reynoso, a horse owner and senior at Bingham.

The galloping horse moves seen in the music video have ridden the pony of popularity. Appearing on several U.S. tv shows, such as The Ellen Show, PSY demonstrated his “dress classy and dance cheesy” motto.

To help with language barriers, the song title of Gangnam Style derived its name from the district of Gangnam located in Seoul, South Korea. Gangnam District is commonly referred to as the ‘Hollywood of Korea’ or the ‘Miami of Korea.’ The word obba or oppa tacked onto the front of Gangnam Style is an expression used by females to refer to an older male friend or older brother. Basically, the song shows that the people (ladies in particular) of Gangnam can act the role of a refined, wealthy person, while at night they know how to get wild.

“This song reminds me of Katy Perry’s California Girls,” said Sarina Martinez, a senior at Bingham. “Gangnam Style’s music video flaunts pretty girls, dancing, and has a catchy tune.”
Parodies and covers ran rampant all over the internet; including over 1,000 videos uploaded to YouTube with the word “Gangnam” in the title. In fact, Bingham’s very own Dance Company and Bryce Rodabough performed a parody of this hit at the Pep Assembly held on November 7th.

British musicians are also making their mark through the United States. Musicians and bands such as Adele, Ellie Goulding, Alex Clare, Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Mumford & Sons, and Florence + the Machine are increasing in popularity.

Hailing from Tottenham, England, 24 year old Adele Adkins gained fame through her second album 21, released in early 2011. The album surpassed all expectations, earning her six Grammy Awards in 2012; equaling the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night. 21 has sold over 25 million copies worldwide. The top known songs from this album are “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” and “Set Fire to the Rain.” Following a throat microsurgery, many thought that Adele’s road to success would stop due to any possible voice changes. Although Adele has confirmed a short hiatus in producing her next album, she has recently come out with the song “Skyfall”, which sold 261,000 copies in the United States upon its first three days of release.

A second English singer-songwriter continuing her rise in fame is Ellie Goulding, a 25 year old from Lyonshall, England. With Goulding’s debut studio single “Lights”, released in March 2011, the single was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA.) Goulding’s second album Halcyon was released October 2012. The lead single “Anything Could Happen” reached the top five in the UK and was last seen at 49th on the iTunes Top Songs Chart.

From Halifax, England, 21 year old Ed Sheeran captured American hearts with his breakthrough song The A Team (currently number 28 on the iTunes Top Songs Chart.)

Another fangirl heart throb is the English-Irish boy band One Direction. These five boys were put together at the 2010 X Factor tv show. Upon the conclusion of the show and finishing in third place, the boy band career was launched. The hits What Makes You Beautiful, One Thing, Live While We’re Young, and Up All Night have captured people’s attention all over the world.

Mumford & Sons are an English folk rock band consisting of Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, “Country” Winston Marshall, and Ted Dwane. Their debut album Sigh No More was released February 2010 in the U.S. Their sudden leap in fame came with a second studio album Babel. Released in September 2012, the album debuted at number one and became the biggest selling debut in the U.S. The lead single “I Will Wait” currently stands at 38th on iTunes Top Songs Chart and remains a hit on several radio stations.

Alex Clare, 27 year old from Southwark, England has quickly become popular upon release of his debut album, the Lateness of the Hour. Clare’s Too Close ranks 25th on the iTunes Top Songs Chart.

Artists like Alex Clare have helped dubstep become mainstream in America. Dubstep was first introduced in South London, England during the 1990s as a type of electronic dance music. American artists such as Skrillex gained their dubstep inspiration from Warp, a British Record Label.

In the television industry, British shows are capturing the interest of Americans everywhere. Doctor Who is a British science fiction show produced by BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). The show depicts adventures of a time traveling lord known as the Doctor. First airing in 1963, eleven different actors have headlined as The Doctor. In connection with the time period, the Doctor travels in a blue British phone booth.

“I just love the intense characterization, the suspenseful plots, and the whole adventurous feel of this show. It’s fantastic!” said Emily Acton, sophomore at Bingham.

Another British show taking the country by storm, is BBC’s Sherlock. This British television crime and drama show presents a contemporary twist of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Benedict Comberbatch plays the infamous Sherlock and Martin Freeman partners with Sherlock as Doctor John Watson. The TV show is unique because each season only has three episodes, and each episode is over an hour and a half long. It’s like watching a movie every episode; providing details and depth that a regular half hour show could not.

The contemporary theme of updating previous Sherlock Holmes stories has become so popular, that CBS has released a new show called Elementary. This show is the replica of BBC Sherlock, minus the male Doctor Watson and British accents. Jonny Lee Miller stars as Sherlock and Lucy Liu stars as a female Watson.

With new Sherlocks, sexy ladies, and British pop stars flooding your entertainment, what else can this world come up with? Prepare for an onslaught of <insert whichever country and dance moves you see in the future.>

 

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