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Counterpoint: Could Psy, The Gangnam Style Guy, Be The Next Madonna?

His video has nearly 500 million YouTube views. Flash mobs around the world pay tribute to him. But amazingly, he’s being called the most detestable name an artist with a top-selling song could be labeled with.

One-hit wonder.

From what we’re seeing, Park Jae-Sang (a.k.a. Psy), the 34-year-old South Korean creator of the “Gangnam Style” phenomenon, has reached a critical juncture.

Psy could join artists like Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Chumbawumba or Right Said Fred, who soared to the top of the charts then never scored a second hit. Or maybe, just maybe – he could become an entertainer who thrills fans for decades.

What will it take to achieve the latter? There are only a handful who have sustained success across the last several decades, so let’s take a look at one of the most revered: Madonna.

The Queen of Reinvention has rarely sat still since her self-titled debut album produced hits like “Lucky Star.” Her looks have ranged from vagabond to Vogue cover girl. The onetime dancer, who would go on to become the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century, has done it by experimenting with a wide range of musical styles. She’s kept everyone guessing while making movies, selling books, embracing Kabbalah, and courting controversy again and again.

So, we’d advise Psy to embrace change. Don’t even attempt to create “Gangnam Style II,” or else you’ll go the way of the Baja Men. Start by taking stock: Think about the business you’re really in – and the special contribution you’re capable of making.

From shots of adoring fans, we know Psy is already a beloved figure in the Korean-American community. With around 1.7 million members, that’s a serious base. Decades ago, Hawaiian singer Don Ho produced a top 10 single – but always had a loyal fan base to fall back on at home. His success spanned five decades.

Now, the key is taking that popularity back home and showing the rest of the world what makes him so appealing. It’s difficult, sure – but in 2012, in a world where globalism is spreading more each day, it’s also never been easier.

This past summer Psy told CNNGo: “I just wanted to make something that was purely comedic – something that could make people laugh like crazy even in the midst of all this global economic slowdown.” Clearly an entertainer who doesn’t take himself too seriously.

As he has shown on “Ellen,” “Saturday Night Live” and “The Today Show” among others, Park Jae-Sang is a likeable guy. And if he seizes this dare-to-be-great opportunity and builds a winning strategy, we just may see a lot more of him in the years to come.


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