Rick Astley

Rick Astley

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About Rick Astley

An unassuming Brit with a massive baritone, Rick Astley blended soul and synth-pop on his biggest hits. Richard Paul Astley (born in 1966 in Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire) played drums with bands on the Northern club circuit as a teen. After stepping in for one of his groups’ vocalists, he was noticed by pop producer Pete Waterman and subsequently brought into the Stock Aitken Waterman fold. Astley’s solo breakthrough came with 1987’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” a brightly hued synth-soul cut that would, decades later, develop online notoriety. His debut full-length, Whenever You Need Somebody, followed that fall, and it contained the similarly spangled “Together Forever.” In 1988 he released Hold Me in Your Arms, and beginning with 1991’s Free, his music took a gentler, more adult-contemporary turn. Astley retired in 1994 but returned to performing in 2000, taking the online phenomenon of “rickrolling” in stride while steadily releasing albums and one-off covers that showcase his still-formidable voice.

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