'Gangnam Style' becomes first YouTube video to reach 1 billion views


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The Independent Culture

Korean pop star Psy's "Gangnam Style" video has become the first YouTube video to surpass a billion views.

The achievement came just 27 days after it broke Justin Bieber's record of 803 million views for hit single "Baby".

That means "Gangnam Style" had an average of 6.5 million views per day for nearly four weeks.

"In 2012, I experienced so many things; it's been a tremendous year, but to accomplish this, it's really something that stands out," Psy told MTV.

"Because it all began with YouTube, and to have [the video] reach 1 billion views ... I don't think even I can break that record!"

"Gangnam Style" has spawned a litany of video imitations, notably by schoolboys at Eton and dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. It has even been performed by UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon.

Last week it was named YouTube's top viral video of the year. Second and third place went to "A Dramatic Surprise On a Quiet Square" and Britain's Got Talent's "Opera Duo Charlotte & Jonathan" audition.

Bieber's "Baby" is expected to cross the 1 billion mark in 2014 according to Next Big Sound projections.

In November YouTube said in a posting on its Trends blog that the "velocity of popularity for Psy's outlandish video is unprecedented".

PSY's video featuring his horse-riding dance was posted on YouTube in July, while "Baby" was uploaded in February 2010.

Psy said: "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."