PSY was born Park Jae Sang on December 31, 1977 in Gangnam District, Seoul, South Korea into a prosperous family. As a young teenager, PSY was less interested in studying at school and more inclined to make his peers laugh. Although he wasn't the studious type, PSY aimed at studying business administration at Boston University to eventually take over his father's company, DI Corporation. Once arriving in the U.S., however, PSY quickly abandoned his plans and applied to Berklee College of Music, where he studied contemporary writing, music synthesis and ear training. He soon returned home to further pursue his music career without obtaining a single degree.
In January 2001, PSY released his debut album PSY from the PSYcho World! and was immediately dubbed "The Bizarre Singer" in the Korean pop scene for his explicit lyrics, unusual dance style and atypical appearance. The following year, PSY released his second questionable album Sa 2 (2002) in which many civil groups deemed as a negative influence on young adults and banned individuals under the age of 19 to purchase the album. Despite the overwhelming negative response, the album's title song "Champion" became a huge hit during the 2002 World Cup and led him to win a songwriting award at the Seoul Music Awards, ultimately establishing his official break-through into the South Korea music industry.
Due to mandatory military service legislated by the South Korean government, PSY was drafted in 2003, but found a loophole in which he would be exempt from actual deployment on behalf of the government's exception for those with national interest-based jobs. PSY was scheduled to be release in 2005, however, after releasing his third album Sa Jib in 2006, state prosecutors claimed PSY dismissed his work to selfishly advance his music career and re-drafted him into the military in late 2007. On October 14, 2006, PSY married his girlfriend of more than 3 years, Yoo Hye-yeon, and later had twin daughters.
In 2010, PSY released his fifth album PSY Five and despite the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family's mission to ban the albums' hit single "Right Now" for being too offensive; he went on to win multiple awards at the 2011 Melon Music Awards and Mnet Asian Music Awards.
PSY reached stardom in July 2012 with his sixth album PSY's Best 6th Part 1 and his overnight hit sensation "Gangnam Style." On August 14, "Gangnam Style" was ranked no. 1 on YouTube's "Most Viewed Videos" chart with over 600 million hits. Later that month, the hit single reached #1 on the iTunes Music Video Charts, surpassing Justin Bieber's "As Long as You Love Me," and reaching new heights for a South Korean artist. The music video became a YouTube phenomenon, with fans around the world and even celebrities, parodying the video and PSY's distinctive dance moves. On September 14, PSY was a guest on NBC's The Today Show but acted more like a dance teacher, giving the hosts "Gangnam Style" dance lessons.
Most recently, PSY signed with Schoolboy Records; named an honorary ambassador by the Gangnam district; named an "International Sensation" by the United Nations on October 24, 2012; appointed as United Nations Children's Fund's (UNICEP) ambassador; and awarded with the Okgwan Order by South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, despite many complaints that pop singers shouldn't receive such an honor.