Richard Paul "Rick" Astley (born 6 February 1966, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside) is an English singer-songwriter and musician. Astley is married to producer Lene Bausager and has one daughter. Astley has released or appeared on recordings that have sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. He is best known for his 1987 hit single in 16 countries, "Never Gonna Give You Up"
After 2 successful dance-pop studio albums Whenever You Need Somebody (1987) and Hold Me in Your Arms (1988) helmed by Stock, Aitken, and Waterman, Astley changed his sound with his third album Free (1991), preferring to focus on ballads. However, fading into obscurity in the 1990s, Astley made a comeback in 2007 when he became a Memetic Mutation
, as his video for "Never Gonna Give You Up"
became part of a popular meme known as Rickrolling
. Astley was voted by Internet users "Best Act Ever" at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008. Performed a Rickroll live in person
on the Cartoon Network
float at the 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day
Rick Astley's videos:
This singer provides examples of:
- Ascended Meme
- The Chew Toy: The saxophonist in "Take Me To Your Heart" just wants a bit part in Rick Astley's music video. Instead, he winds up getting shoved around by everyone (Astley himself included) for shoving himself in front of everyone at the most inopportune times.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: The leading girl of Whenever You Need Somebody keeps ruining her own vacation.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Cry for Help is all about this.
- The Eighties
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Let his hair grow in The Nineties. See his video "Cry for Help".
- Rickroll: He is the trope himself.
- Orbital Shot: His Lights Out music video.
- Overly Preprepared Gag: That Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends "lead-up" went on for so long that it would have been perfectly reasonable to turn to another show and miss the payoff completely.
- Totally Radical: The videos are very Eighties.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The effect of the live Rickroll was weakened somewhat due to the trailer stating Rick Astley would be making a guest appearance.
- Vocal Dissonance: His singing voice is so deep and it makes such a contrast with his red hair and pale skin, that he was believed to be the front man for a black singer. In fact, this happened when he sent his first tapes to music executives — he had to sing on-stage to convince Stock, Aitken and Waterman that yes, he was the one singing.
- Vocal Evolution: As seen in this video, his voice has gotten lower and more soulful over the years. You can tell because the backing track is in a lower key, and he doesn't hit any of the hight notes (e.g. "You know the rules, and so do I"). And this may not even be the same person.