A South Korean entertainer known as PSY will perform on the evening of December 9 at the White House despite a swirling controversy over lyrics in his songs that advocate the torture and murder of Americans. President Barack Obama and his family are scheduled to attend the holiday concert. South Korea is an ally of the U.S.
Born Park Jae-sang, PSY performs Gangnam style rap music that is extremely popular in his native country. On December 7, Pearl Harbor Day, PSY apologized for using "inflammatory and inappropriate language" in his songs of a decade ago. On a 2004 song for a South Korean band, PSY rapped: "Kill those f---ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives." His lyrics went on to say: "Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers."
PSY and others performed the songs while protesting the execution of a Korean missionary by terrorists demanding that South Korea not aid the U.S. in the Iraq war.
In a statement, PSY said the protests were part of a "deeply emotional" reaction to the war and the killing of two Korean girls. The rapper said he "will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words."
PSY's command performance at the White House will be taped and aired on December 21 on TNT. Also performing will be Diana Ross, Megan Hilty, Demi Lovato, Chris Mann and Scotty McCreery.
Obama traditionally attends the annual "Christmas in Washington" concert, which benefits the Children's National Medical Center. It will be hosted for a second year by comedian Conan O'Brien.