Obama takes in ‘Gangnam Style’ rapper PSY at charity concert

In November, PSY’s video surpassed Justin Bieber’s “Baby” to become the most watched video in YouTube history.
Wire
Dec 9, 2012

 

President Barack Obama and his family saw “Gangnam Style” rapper PSY perform at a charity concert Sunday night, days after the South Korean pop star and Internet sensation apologized for a song in 2004 that called for killing “Yankees” in Iraq.

Park Jae-sang, who performs as PSY, issued a statement Friday saying he was “deeply sorry” after reports surfaced that he had performed a song eight years ago during protests against the war in Iraq that called for killing “Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives.”

PSY’s “Gangnam Style” music video, with its distinctive horse trot dance move, exploded in popularity after it was posted online last July, launching the obscure rapper to international stardom in five months. In November, PSY’s video surpassed Justin Bieber’s “Baby” to become the most watched video in YouTube history, with more than 900 million hits.

Before becoming a global celebrity, PSY was active in his country’s antiwar movement, which chiefly protested the large U.S. military presence in South Korea.

At a concert in 2004, he performed “Dear American,” a song written by the South Korean rock band N.E.X.T. that calls for killing Yankees involved in torture. The rapper added, “Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers, kill them all slowly and painfully.”

PSY, 34, said he deeply regrets the “inflammatory and inappropriate language” that he used, and he said it was part of a “deeply emotional” reaction to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He has recently performed in front of U.S. service members and has praised their sacrifice.

“I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words,” he wrote. “While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self, I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted.”

PSY said he hoped Americans would accept his apology.

“In my music, I try to give people a release, a reason to smile,” he wrote. “I have learned that through music, our universal language, we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.”

White House spokesman Brandon Lepow said earlier Sunday that the president had not changed his plans to attend the annual charity event, called Christmas in Washington, despite the controversy.

The concert, which was filmed to be broadcast on TNT Dec. 21, raises money for the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington. It was the fourth time the Obama family has attended the benefit.

At the end of the performance, Obama made a brief speech to the crowd about the holiday season and the charity. He did not mention PSY.

Obama called the concert “the chance to share with some very brave people. … And it gives them hope, not just through the holiday, but all year round.”

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By Brian Bennett - Tribune Washington Bureau (MCT)

©2012 Tribune Co.

Visit Tribune Co. at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

sorryhog

Send him back where he belongs.
While you are at it, send Jane Fonda with him!

Cliff Cannon

@sorryhog: Amen

Contango

"You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him."

- "Nineteen-Eighty Four"

Estrella Damm

BHO & PSY, two guys that hate the American way of life.

jamie9700

If it wasn't for the U.S. PSY wouldn't be South Korean. He'd be Korean, as in Communist Korean. That would end his glittery career right away. Now that he has a chance to put on a show for BHO suddenly he's sorry...

Dr. Information

Well just look at this. Our nation is about to go over the cliff and here is our president AGAIN at a fundraiser with celebs. He could care less about you or I, he loves the media and being surrounded by famous people to pump up his ego.

Hats off to you Obama. You have 51% of the nation fooled.

hit the road jack

No he didn't,they just stole the votes!