Psy is settling into life as a trans-Pacific pop star by buying a condo located about halfway between the eastern edge of UCLA and the western edge of Beverly Hills.
The luxury unit is located in Westwood’s Blair House highrise built in 1989 and located on Wilshire Boulevard about a mile east of Westwood Boulevard. The building offers a tennis court, a gym, a saltwater pool and a doorman. Psy’s unit, for which he paid $1.249 million, was last sold in 1999 for $950,000. Its two bedrooms come with 2.5 baths, a den, a balcony and a city view to share with wife Yoo Hye-yeon and their son.
Psy, aka Park Jae-sang, is still managed in Korea and Asia by Seoul-based YG Entertainment but signed early last September with US talent manager Scooter Braun and his Schoolboy Records — which also produces Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen — for the US and other international markets. Since then Psy, 34, has come to own the biggest online pop hit ever by logging over 1.2 billion views on his “Gangnam Style” YouTube video.
Psy made his debut in 2001 and built a modest following in S. Korea as a quirky and somewhat controversial rapper specializing in social satire and parody — especially of female K-pop stars — before taking a two-year hiatus in 2010. His return to the K-pop scene came last July 15 when Psy posted the self-produced ”Gangnam Style” music video on YouTube. Within a month it had gone viral thanks to its throbbing beat, satiric sight gags and high-energy horse-riding dance.
A series of high-profile appearances by Psy on every major US talk show helped the song shoot up the Billboard pop charts, bobbing between number 1 and 2 for about two months on the Hot 100 chart and staying even longer atop the Social 50. The song earned Psy a European Music Award and an American Music Award. Gangnam Style is also estimated to have earned Psy over $10 million to date in revenues from online banners, digital music downloads, product endorsement deals in S. Korea and merchandising.
Psy invaded American living rooms with performances on the Christmas in Washington and Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve specials. He will cement his status as an American pop icon by starring in a 30-second spot for Wonderful Pistachios set to air during the Super Bowl on February 3. Psy is rumored to have beat out YouTube star Ryan Higa to win the spot. He donned a sequined pistachio-green tux to shoot the commercial last week.
In terms of audience size Psy’s biggest coup will come a few days later when he performs on the Lunar New Year special for CCTV. The show is expected to draw an audience of 880 million.
Psy is slated to release a new half-Korea, half-English single in early February, possibly during the CCTV performance. That will be followed up by an international album in March.