Richard Paul Astley; born 6 February 1966 is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and radio personality. His 1987 song, “Never Gonna Give You Up” was a No. 1 hit single in 25 countries. By the time of his retirement in 1993, Astley had sold approximately 40 million records worldwide.
Astley made a comeback in 2007, becoming an Internet phenomenon when his video “Never Gonna Give You Up” became integral to the meme known as “rickrolling”. Astley was voted “Best Act Ever” by Internet users at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008.
His first single was the little-known “When You Gonna”, released as a collaboration with Lisa Carter, with little promotion. It did not chart. His first solo offering was “Never Gonna Give You Up”, recorded on New Year’s Day 1987, and released eight months later, in August. Astley’s distinctive rich, deep voice combined with dance-pop, made the song an immediate success, spending five weeks at the top of the British charts and becoming the year’s highest-selling single. The song was also a worldwide number one hit, topping the charts in 24 other countries, including the U.S., Australia, and Germany. It would become the first of 13 (worldwide) top 30 hit singles for him. “Never Gonna Give You Up” won Best British single at the 1988 BPI awards (now called the BRIT Awards), and he performed the hit in front of a global audience of 100 million.
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