Psy to rap for Obama despite anti-US concert anger

Psy with fans in Bangkok. Photo/AP
Psy with fans in Bangkok. Photo/AP

Gangnam Style rapper Psy will perform a Christmas concert attended by US President Barack Obama despite controversy over his participation in a pair of anti-American concerts.

The South Korean rapper came under fire after it was found he had smashed a model US tank on stage during a 2002 protest concert.

Two years later, he rapped the song Dear American by heavy metal band N.E.X.T at another anti-US rally.

Its lyrics include the lines: "Kill those Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives... Kill them slowly and painfully."

The 34-year-old star has apologised over the incidents, saying he was caught up in the anti-war sentiment of the time.

Despite that, US conservatives have called for him to be cut from the annual Christmas in Washington concert attended by President Obama.

Broadcaster TNT is resisting the pressure, saying no changes are being made to the concert bill.

Psy has not pulled out of the show and is still scheduled to perform alongside artists Diana Ross and Demi Lovato.

The event will be hosted by Conan O'Brien and will feature a succession of carols and songs, with proceeds going the the Children's National Medical Center.

President Obama has confirmed he will attend with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Psy launched to international acclaim when the video for his song Gangnam Style went viral.

It became YouTube's most watched video with more than a billion views, making the rapper a millionaire who freely crossed cultural boundaries around the world.

Much of that success has happened in the US, where he has managed to weave himself into pop culture.

He recently appeared on the American Music Awards, dancing alongside MC Hammer in a melding of memorable dance moves that book-end the last two decades.

- additional reporting AP

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