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“Gangnam Style” as Format: When a Localized Korean Song Meets a Global Audience

  • Claire Seungeun Lee
  • Yasue Kuwahara

Abstract

K-pop refers to the current popular music of South Korea, but it expands its scope to include Korean popular music anywhere else in the world.1 K-pop stars that one can see abroad are either handsome or beautiful young people or excellent singers. Based on this criterion, one would not expect PSY to be a star because he is not particularly handsome. Neither does he have any exceptional vocal ability although he does have his own unique style. Thus, his rise to fame globally since his debut in 2001 could be described as accidental. He has both detractors who do not like him at all and fans who like him very much. His nicknames such as “grotesque and chubby ajussi (uncle)” or “a star-crossed guy who went to the army twice” tell us that he has been transformed from a Level B grotesque singer to an internationally known singer.2

Keywords

Television Format United Nations Educational Multiple Market Popular Song Korean Scholar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Yasue Kuwahara 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Seungeun Lee
  • Yasue Kuwahara

There are no affiliations available

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