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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Warning: We're about to give you a musical earwig fresh off the Internet. Not "Gangnam Style" - no, that is so 2012. This is from the video to a hit moving song called "One Pound Fish."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONE POUND FISH")

SHAHAID NAZIR: (Singing) Come on, ladies. Come on, ladies. One pound fish. Have a, have a look...

CORNISH: You heard that right, "One Pound Fish." It is now stuck in your head. This song has made an unlikely star of the 31-year-old Pakistani man who worked as a fishmonger in London's Upton Park.

He returned to Pakistan recently to a hero's welcome, as NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONE POUND FISH")

NAZIR: (Singing) Come on, ladies. Come on, ladies...

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: This is Pakistan's first brush with Internet fame. The man at the center of it all is Shahaid Nazir, and the song that got him there is a catchy little ditty he made up while working at a fish stall at the Queen's Street Market in London.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONE POUND FISH")

NAZIR: (Singing) Have a, have a look, one pound fish. Have a, have a look, one pound fish. Very, very good, one pound fish...

TEMPLE-RASTON: Nazir's virtually overnight fame is a testament to the powers of social media. He has never sung professionally before. But today, if you type One Pound into Google, the first result is Nazir's video. Warner Brothers has signed him to a contract, and now the song is available on iTunes in the U.K.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONE POUND FISH")

NAZIR: (Singing) One pound fish...

TEMPLE-RASTON: When Nazir returned to Pakistan, just before the New Year, he was greeted at the airport by hundreds of supporters. In his hometown of Pattoki, banners in the streets welcomed the local hero, calling him "The One Pound Fish Man." All of this grew out of a reticence to yell. Nazir's boss at the fish market told him he had to shout to get customers' attention.

Instead, Nazir said, God put another thought in his head.

NAZIR: God put the idea in my mind and I started on the spot: Come on ladies, come on ladies, one pound fish.

TEMPLE-RASTON: It had the desired effect, people started flocking to his stall.

NAZIR: Even the customers said, if you don't sing the song, we will not buy the fish.

TEMPLE-RASTON: A freelance web designer filmed Nazir's song and put it up on YouTube and the rest, as they say, is history. Nazir found out he was a YouTube sensation from a friend.

NAZIR: He said, Shahid where are you? I said I am at home. He said, You go to YouTube and just type One Pound Fish. I said what one pound fish? He said just type it. So I type it, so it's me. Within one week, 50,000 views on the YouTube.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Nazir had arrived in the U.K. to live what he called The London Dream. He got the job as a fishmonger and never expected to emerge as an entertainer. Over Christmas, he found himself up against the winner of the "X Factor" competition for the coveted Christmas number one spot. He got to number four. And now, the rapper Timbaland has done a "One Pound Fish" cover.

Not surprisingly, Nazir's four children, who have been living in Pakistan with their mother, have memorized the song, with various degrees of success.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD 1: (Singing) Come on, ladies. Come on, ladies, one pound fish.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD 2: (Singing) Have a, have a look, one pound fish. Very, very good, one pound fish.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD 3: (Singing) Very, very good and very, very cheap. Six for five, four...

TEMPLE-RASTON: Nazir is hoping to go to Paris for the song's French release soon. His video is almost exclusively on YouTube, so his fame at home is largely through word of mouth. That's because the Pakistani government started blocking YouTube four months ago, after an Egyptian-American posted an anti-Muslim film that sparked deadly riots here.

Soon after Nazir arrived home, Pakistani authorities lifted the ban. But when they discovered that the anti-Muslim film was still posted on the website, authorities shut it down again.

Dina Temple-Raston, NPR News, Islamabad.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONE POUND FISH")

NAZIR: (Singing) One pound fish. One pound fish. Come on, ladies. Come on, ladies, one pound fish. Come on, ladies. Come on, ladies, one pound fish. One pound fish. One pound fish. One pound fish.

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