The British singer became popular during the late 1980’s with songs such as “Never Gonna Give You Up”
Rick Astley turns 55 today
Born on February 6, 1964, in Newcastle, England, Rick Astley came to prominence during the late 1980’s when he scored a string of hit singles, such as “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “Together Forever”. Under the tutelage of the production team of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, known as Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW), Astley was taught about the recording process and groomed for his future career, supposedly starting off as the recording studio “tea boy”. The reason for Astley to be hired as a “tape op” was to overcome his shyness. “Never Gonna Give You Up”, recorded on New Year’s Day 1987, and released eight months later, in August, spent five weeks at the top of the British charts and was also a worldwide number one hit, topping the charts in 24 other countries, including the US, Australia, and West 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 Brit Awards. Some of Astley’s other hits included the cover of Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall In Love” in late 1987, “Together Forever” released in 1988 and “Hold Me In Your Arms” in 1989 from his second album. By 1990, Astley had parted company with Stock Aitken Waterman. He also decided to leave his dance-pop days behind him, moving towards his passion, soul. This shift in musical genre led him to change his image too, ditching the boy next door look, presenting himself as a mature and passionate musician. At age 27 he decided to retire from the music industry to dedicate time to his family, he made a comeback in the early 2000’s and remains active to this day. In recent years, the internet gave Rick Astley a new “form” of popularity, when he became a famous “meme”, the “Rickrolling”. His latest album “50”, was released in 2016. Rick Astley turns 55 today.
Look back at the famous 1987 music video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley
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