Posted by: brad – Nov 30, 2016
One of the most famous voices on the internet hasn't given up on music or tours, despite what your facebook feed tells you.
Britian's Rick Astley, made famous for his meme/trolling classic "Never Gonna Give You Up," has released a new record and is in the middle of a US tour.
This is not a joke - this is not us trolling - this is really happening.
Astley, 50, started his career in the mid-80s as a drummer with the band FBI - he got some label attention from there but it wasn't until 1987's "Never Gonna Give You Up," his first solo venture, that he blew up, topping charts in more than 20 countries.
In a recent interview with NPR, All Things Considered host Michelle Martin used an incredible amount of restraint in bringing up the famed track which entered meme-dom in 2007.
As with much of the web's most famous memes, Rick Rolling started on the anus of the internet, 4Chan, and about a year later, it hit the broader web as a way to prank someone.
In this editor's opinion, it's still pretty funny.
Astley agrees, however he seems to have mixed feelings about the entire situation. In the NPR interview he admitted some of its use has been pretty clever, but he also has trouble looking back at himself years later and not finding it all a little "cheesy."
"If you look back at photographs of yourself from years back you cringe a bit," he told Martin. "I'm in that boat and it's where I'm at with it... Most videos from the 80s are pretty cheesy."
Astley retired from music in the early 90s but has returned with a new record, 50, which is currently topping charts in the UK.
Martin asked if the singer's album title was a reference to another famed British performers, Adele, who's named her record after her age at the time of release.
"That's what she was doing when she was at that age," Astley said, noting the similarity was somewhat on purpose. "This is where I'm at at 50."
Sure enough, the record deals with a number of issues around aging, as well as crossing genre lines to offer a diverse musical expereince.
Astley comes to The National (for real, no joke) on Feb. 12th, 2017. You can snag tickets to that show here.
Words by BK