Did Obama go ‘Gangnam?’
(CNN) — Anyone hoping to see President Barack Obama launch into this year’s dance fad will have to keep waiting.
When the commander-in-chief met Korean pop star PSY at Sunday’s “Christmas in Washington” charity concert, the pair exchanged a handshake and a greeting – but not a boogie.
PSY, who performed his hit “Gangnam Style” wearing festive red sequins, has been at the center of controversy this week after video surfaced of him spouting anti-American lyrics in 2004.
The lyrics of the song, titled “Dear America,” were written by the South Korean rock band N.E.X.T., and PSY was one of three performers rapping out the lyrics on stage.
CNN was able to translate the lyrics as saying,” Kill those f–ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives and those who ordered them to torture,” and going on to say, “Kill them all slowly and painfully,” as well as “daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers.”
In an apology, PSY said his performance had been emotionally charged and was a response to events in the war in Iraq.
“I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world,” he said in a statement.
He said the song “was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall anti-war sentiment shared by others around the world at that time.”
The girls were struck and killed by a U.S. military vehicle.
PSY continued: “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.”
The concert Sunday also featured Motown legend Diana Ross and Broadway singer Megan Hilty. The event raised money for the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, and airs on CNN’s sister station TNT Saturday, December 21 at 8 p.m. ET.
In short remarks at the end of the concert, Obama mentioned Ross, as well as the event’s host Conan O’Brien, but did not refer to PSY by name. He said the concert was a “chance to get in the Christmas spirit; to spread some joy and sing along with artists who have much better voices than we do.”
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