Psy apologises for anti-American tirade
Gangnam style singer says he will 'forever be sorry' after calling for American soldiers to be killed at a 2004 concert
Psy, South Korean hip-hop artist, has apologised for past anti-American lyrics Photograph: Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters
The South Korean rapper Psy, whose Gangnam Style video became a viral sensation, has apologised for past anti-American tirades ahead of a charity concert in which he will perform in front of Barack Obama and his family.
The 34-year-old rapper, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, was forced to apologise after reports emerged that he had rapped lyrics calling for American soldiers to be killed at a 2004 concert held to oppose the US-led invasion of Iraq.
In a statement, the singer said he regretted using such violent language, but said the comments were made at a time when emotions were running high over the Iraq war and the deaths of the two South Korean schoolgirls who were run over by a US military vehicle.
"As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world," he said.
"While I'm grateful for the freedom to express one's self, I've learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words."
In Dear American, a song written by the South Korean rock band N.EX.T, he sang about "slowly and painfully" killing US soldiers and their families.
The lyrics reportedly included the lines: "Kill those fucking Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives; Kill those fucking Yankees who ordered them to torture; Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers; Kill them all slowly and painfully."
In another outburst the same year, he protested the deaths of the teenage girls; in 2002, he reportedly smashed a model of a US tank on stage.
About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea, which sent about 3,600 soldiers to Iraq in 2004 but later scaled down the deployment amid strong public opposition at home.
Gangnam Style is the most-watched video ever on YouTube, attracting more than 900 million hits so far. The song is expected to earn Psy as much as $8 million this year alone.
It remains to be seen whether the revelations will affect the his popularity in the US, where he has appeared on Saturday Night Live, Today and Ellen, and inspired Gangnam Style parodies by, among others, US military cadets .
US media reported that an online petition to ban the rapper from the Christmas in Washington concert on 21 December had quickly fizzled out.
Concert organisers said Psy's appearance would go ahed as scheduled. The White House confirmed that Obama would be attending the fund-raising event with his family, as is customary for sitting US presidents.