Even as the Gangnam Style craze seems to be subsiding in the US, Psy’s trademark YouTube video is approaching the same number of views as the population of China where he continues making big bucks performing his viral hit.
Psy’s biggest China coup to date is his scheduled appearance on the upcoming CCTV Chinese Near Year gala which will air on the evening of February 9th to an audience estimated to include about 90% of all TV viewers in China. That’s about 800 million people, making it consistently the world’s most popular show since it debuted in 1983.
This is the first year in which foreign performers have been invited on the show. Psy will be one of several, including Canadian diva Celine Dion and Taiwanese American singer/songwriter Leehom Wang. But unlike the others Psy’s performance won’t be live. He taped a performance of Gangnam Style and his horse-riding dance with Taiwanese supermodel Lin Chih-ling on Friday.
Earlier that day Psy had performed his trademark song and dance routine at a Shanghai bar for the hefty fee of 3 million yuan ($481,000).
On Saturday Psy went to Nanjing to perform in his first major concert in China wearing a white tux jacket, black shirt and sunglasses.
The highlight of Psy’s China tour will be his live performance at the Shanghai Spring Festival TV Gala on Dragon TV set to begin at 7:30 pm local time Sunday evening.
“This is my first public appearance on TV in China,” Psy told reporters before Tuesday’s rehearsal. “I’m looking forward to showing the best of my performances to the audiences here, and I promise there’ll be surprises. This is my 12th year in the entertainment industry. In the past, only handsome guys got the attention, but tastes seem to have changed.”
“It took 15 members of our team around a month to choreograph the horse-riding dance,” he revealed. “We didn’t expect it to be such a hit. The popularity of the video has put us under pressure to come up with a more creative and energetic dance move in my new album, set to be released in April.”
The April date for the album’s release appears to be a postponement of the original March date he had mentioned in December.
Dragon TV is determined to keep Psy’s upcoming performance a surprise but did reveal that he will be making his entrance via helicopter. He will then be joined by dancing robots for a performance of Gangnam Style.
Psy will earn a 1.5 million yuan ($240,000) fee for his Shanghai Dragon TV performance. That’s not bad though it is said to be lower than the amount paid to Hong Kong singing stars Andy Lau and Jacky Cheung. On a per-song basis, however, Psy is likely to be the world’s highest paid performer.