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'Gangnam Style' Is No Longer The King Of YouTube Views

Jul 11, 2017

Park Jae-sang, better known as PSY, is no longer the king of YouTube ... views, that is. Five years after the video for "Gangnam Style" was posted, and four-and-a-half years after that video was the first on the site to be viewed 1 billion times, the Korean pop star has been ousted from the top of the mountain by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's "See You Again," a song commissioned in memory of Paul Walker, the Fast and Furious actor who died in November, 2013.

At the time of this writing, "See You Again" had inched ahead of "Gangnam Style" by some 1 million views. Each is approaching the new high-watermark of 3 billion total views — but Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" video (approximately 2.5 billion views) may end up surpassing both by the end of the year.

The song was, according to The Los Angeles Times, the result of a Frankenstein-ish process that saw Puth and 50 other songwriters submitting their work for Furious 7's planned Walker tribute before putting through an obstacle course of production:

The song then went through an extensive note-giving and production process — there's a Middle Eastern-flavored sample and other flourishes--and months went by, as beats were added, dropped, and added again, all atop Puth's simple melody. By the end, Knobloch and his team had a song they liked, and director James Wan and producer Neal Moritz had threaded "See You Again" around and through the poignant final scene.

"Gangnam Style," for its part, was apparently a soft satire of South Korean credit card debt.

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