Rick Astley took the world by storm in 1987 when he released the undisputed best song of all time, Never Gonna Give You Up. The song hit #1 in 25 countries. All the countries where the song didn’t hit number one were appropriately slapped by the gigantic hand of God and forced to endure the same ten plagues that smote Egypt back in Biblical times.
At the time of his stardom he was only 21 years old, but listening to his deep, soulful voice brought to mind a man much older and wiser. When I imagine the voice of God, Rick Astley comes to mind.
You can’t talk about Rick without discussing his dancing. A lifetime of dance training couldn’t get you to the level of dance Rick has achieved.
In his short career, Astley soared to great success in the UK with his first 8 singles being top 10 hits (a Guinness world record!), but besides a good run by his song Together Forever, he was unable to duplicate the success of Never Gonna Give You Up. With four albums to his credit, Rick retired in 1993 from music with an incredible 40 million records sold worldwide. If you thought he was a one-hit wonder you were wrong. Shame on you.
The question is, what ever happened to Rick Astley?
Retiring at the age of 27, Rick decided to live the family life with his wife, Lene Bausager, and raise his daughter, Emilie. For a few years only his daughter would hear his voice. Lullabies never sounded so good. Luckily, with a voice like that you knew he’d be back.
In 2002, Rick released the album Keep It Turned On and a Greatest Hits album. While the new album was never released outside of Europe, the Greatest Hits album remains your favorite album to this day. Look into your heart, you know this is true.
In 2005, Rick released another album, Portrait, where he covered/improved some classic songs. You might be asking why you haven’t heard of either this album or the 2002 album and the truth is that there must be a major conspiracy to prevent Rick Astley from reclaiming his stardom. This is only speculation, but world leaders must be terrified of the potential power of Rick Astley and are continually trying to squelch any chance of his imminent world domination.
In 2007, Rick Astley returned to the limelight because of an internet meme known as RickRolling. The idea behind RickRolling was to trick people into either seeing the music video, hearing the song, or reading the lyrics to Never Gonna Give You Up, at which point, you had been successfully RickRolled and, frankly, were better off for it. For example a headline might say, “Oprah Killed in Horrible Crash” and then provide a link which you’d assume is to the story, but would actually be a link to the Never Gonna Give You Up video. The genius behind this was that a whole new generation was exposed to Rick’s soothing voice.
At the peak of this Astley resurgence arguments came to a halt, children stopped being hungry, and guns stopped firing.
This spawned even more humorous and amazing Rick Astley memes such as the one below.
In 2008, Rick was named ‘Best Act Ever’ at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Most of the world’s population could be heard muttering, “It’s about bloody time.” Rick was not there to receive the award and I have no doubt the crowd departed as soon as they realized this. Due to this reward and the success of RickRolling, Never Gonna Give You Up returned to the UK charts more than two decades later, clawing it’s way to #73. The world just wasn’t ready give up on Rick just as he refused to give up on us. Together forever and never to part.
In June 2010, Rick released the single, Lights Out, which is the exact phrase people use to describe 100% of Astley’s performances. While the hit didn’t do very well commercially, there were reports of many hearts melting, couples reuniting, and frowns being turned upside-down. Rick then became a radio DJ in London causing immigration rates to soar.
For the last couple of years Rick has answered prayers everywhere by touring and the world is a better place because of it. For a list of upcoming shows, check out his website, Official Rick Astley.
Below is a picture of Rick with his ‘weekend’ band called The Luddites. From what I’ve seen on their Facebook page they cover songs and only play in the UK. Sounds like a great show if you’re in the area. Damn Rick, you still look good.
If you haven’t watched this yet, do yourself a favor:UPDATE!!!!!:
Fast forward to April 2016. Word of Rick Astley’s new song spread like a California wildfire. I didn’t believe it. I pinched myself. I dreamed of Rick’s return for years only to wake up in a cold sweat, salty tears Rick Rolling down my face, clutching Astley’s 1988 album Hold Me in Your Arms … in my arms.
This wasn’t a dream though. Eagerly, I opened up my browser, finger clicking madly on the Firefox icon, navigating to YouTube, and finally, after what seemed like a treasure hunt worthy of Lara Croft, I found my prize: Rick Astley, Keep Singing.
I don’t want to spoil the song (not possible) by over analyzing it. I will say this, for those yet to hear it, for those about to lose their Rick Astley virginity again…It’s fantastic. Life changing. It’s all the greatest pep talks and motivational speeches wrapped up in one song. Rick’s grown up, his sound has changed. But we’ve grown up too, right? Click here to listen!