Rick Astley

Rick Astley

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About Rick Astley

With his rich baritone voice and memorable hooks, singer Rick Astley was a pop sensation in the late 1980s and, thanks to the internet prank known as “rickrolling,” a cultural phenomenon in the 2000s. • Astley first sang in the choir of a local church as a kid and began playing drums as a teen in the band FBI, which also featured guitarist David Morris, a future member of the English Parliament. • He was 21 when he released his first solo single, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” in August 1987. The song was a massive hit, topping the charts in 25 countries, including the US and the UK. • Astley’s fourth single, “Together Forever” (also from his first album, Whenever You Need Somebody), reached No. 1 in the US. Kylie Minogue’s “I Should Be So Lucky” blocked Astley from the top spot in the UK. • He released four albums between 1987 and 1993 before “retiring”—at age 27—to focus on his family life. • Astley returned to music with the 2001 single “Sleeping” and a new album, Keep It Turned On, that he released only in Germany. He released his 2005 album Portrait worldwide. • In 2007, Astley was the focal point of “rickrolling,” an online prank in which unsuspecting targets are directed to the singer’s video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” by clicking on seemingly unrelated links. It’s still funny. • Astley’s 2016 album 50 was his first in more than a decade. He followed it with Beautiful Life in 2018.

Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, England
February 6, 1966
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