South Korean pop sensation PSY, aka Park Jae-sang, might have won over Americans with his infectious breakthrough single, “Gangnam Style,” but has America won him over? The singer will be forced to face those kinds of questions as several anti-American protest performances from his past have begun to surface.
At a 2002 concert staged in opposition to 37,000 U.S. troops stationed on the Korean Peninsula, Mediaite reports, PSY took to the stage in gold-face paint and a glittery red outfit, then lifted a model U.S. tank over his head before smashing it to pieces on the ground. The performance was a response to the death of two Korean schoolgirls killed in an accident with an American military vehicle, according to Korean website BusanHaps.com.
Then, two years later, a South Korean missionary was executed in Iraq — a revenge killing for the country’s support of the U.S. war in Iraq. During a protest concert, PSY rapped on the song “Dear American,” “Kill those f—ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/Kill those f—ing Yankees who ordered them to torture/Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully.”
PSY has appeared on Ellen and the Today show in support of his smash hit song, which has been downloaded 3 million times on iTunes. It is the most-viewed video in YouTube history and has earned him more than $8 million, according to some estimates.
Watch PSY perform “Gangnam Style” on the Today show below: