Richard Paul Astley was born on 6th February 1966. Now at age 55, he’s an English singer songwriter responsible for one particular 80s hit that you’ve probably heard of. There’s one thing for sure, he’s never gonna give you up! And we can’t give him up either! In fact, we can’t get enough of him!
By the time that Astley retired in 1993, he had sold approximately 40 million records worldwide. In 2007, he made a comeback after becoming an internet sensation when the music video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” became integral to the “rickrolling” Internet meme.
In 2008, the singer songwriter was voted the “Best Act Ever” by internet users at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2008. In 2016, his new album, 50, debuted in the UK at No.1. His album Beautiful Life, released in 2018, also proved a hit across Europe.To celebrate Astley’s achievements, here are 42 things you might not have known about Rick Astley, 80s legend.
1. Richard Paul Astley, born in 1966, started out as a choir boy
At ten years old, Astley was a choir boy at his local church, so yes, the singer songwriter is actually as clean-cut as his image suggested!
2. He Started Out As A Drummer
In 1985 Rick was performing as a drummer with a soul band called ‘FBI’, who were a reasonably well known band that wrote and performed their own songs in local pubs and clubs.
3. He Was Employed As A ‘Tea Boy’
Astley was noticed by record producer Pete Waterman, who brought him under his wing along with Mike Stock and Matt Aitken (who were collectively known as Stock Aitken Waterman). They taught Rick all about the recording process and prepared him for his future career, whilst he was supposedly employed as the recording studio’s ‘tea boy’.
4. His First Single Was A Flop
Super fans will remember that the first Rick Astley single ever released was a duet called ‘When You Gonna’, which he performed with Lisa Carter under the name ‘Rick and Lisa’. Sadly, it was a big flop.
5. He Hit The Top Spot All Over The World
Rick Astley’s 1987 song ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, of later rickrolling fame, was released to critical acclaim. It reached No.1 in 25 countries as well as winning the 1988 Brit Award for Best British Single. Given its extreme catchiness, it’s perhaps less of a surprise this tune and its video were revived as an internet meme all these decades later.
6. People Often Assumed He Was Black
When he started out, a lot of people assumed Rick was a black man because of his deep singing voice.
7. The British Media Called Him A ‘Puppet’
After his first album was released, the British media called Astley a ‘puppet’ of Stock Aitken Waterman, even though he had written five of the album’s tracks himself.
8. He Toured Fifteen Countries…
In 1989, Astley toured 15 countries including the UK, US, Australia, and Japan. The tour didn’t quite go to plan.
9. He Left His Producers After The Tour
By the end of his tour, Astley was fed up of the negative press, and wanted to ‘explore alternative paths as a musician’, causing him to leave his Waterman producers.
10. He Came Back With A New Image…
After leaving Stock Aitken Waterman, Astley moved toward a more Soul-inspired musical style, which also caused him to change his image and present himself as a ‘mature and passionate musician’.
11…But Eventually He Decided To Retire Completely
By the time his 1993 album ‘Body and Soul’ was released in 1993, Rick Astley (age 27), had decided to retire from the industry completely to concentrate on his family. Rick’s parents divorced when he was 4, and he feared that his career would destroy his family life.
12. The Name Richard Paul Astley Still Features In The Guinness Book Of World Records
Rick is still listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first male solo artist to have his first 8 singles reach the Top 10 in the UK.
13. The Internet has created a new Rick Astley Age, catapulting him to viral stardom
The name Richard Paul Astley had faded somewhat in pop culture, when in 2007, the experienced a huge revival. Astley became the subject of a viral Internet meme called ‘rickrolling’, where internet users are tricked into seeing Rick Astley’s video for ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ when they click on a link that they expect to lead them somewhere else. Oddly enough, this has meant the Internet Age – rather than the Eighties – has truly become the new Rick Astley Age.
14. He Eventually Returned
Nearly 10 years after his last album, Rick Astley returned to the music industry in 2001 with a new album called ‘Keep It Turned On’. His eighth studio album, Beautiful Life, was released in 2018.
15. He Has Been With His Wife For Thirty Years
Rick Astley is married to Lene Bausager who he met when she was working as a record producer in 1998. They have a 26 year old daughter, Emilie. Lene Bausager is a film producer who worked on 1996’s Trainspotting.
16. He Co-Wrote A Song With Former Marillion singer, Fish
Rick Astley co-wrote the song “Missing Statement” with the former singer of Marillion, Fish (from Fish’s 1999 album “Raingods with Zippos.”
17. He Is A Fan Of British Comedies
18. “Never Gonna Give You Up” Won A Very X-Rated Award
19. Smash Hits Magazine Wasn’t Very Kind To Him
20. His Daughter Was 9 When He Announced He Was Re-Starting His Music Career
21. Rick Astley Thinks Phil Collins Is One Of The Most Underrated Musicians Of All Time
22. He Believes That He Butchered A Few Songs
23. He Loves Singing To A Live Audience
24. Vic Reeves’ Impersonation Of Him Is A Highlight Of His Life
25. He Had Enough Of Music When His Daughter Was Born
26. He Says That The Pop Industry Is Cruel
27. He Was Known For Being Shy and Reclusive
28. He’s Been Asked For Autographs In Some Pretty Strange Places
29. He Loves Soul Music
30. He Believes That Fame Comes From Hard Work And Doesn’t Happen Overnight
31. He Enjoys Eating Out
32. He Is Honoured That His Fans Helped Win “Best Act Ever.”
33. He Doesn’t Like Flying
34. He Says That He Doesn’t Get Recognised Off Stage
35. He Comes From A Large Family
37. He Says His Time Away From The Spotlight Helped Him Rediscover Music
38. Scientology Makes Him Think of Aliens
39. They Only Had One Record Player In His House
40. He Likes To Go On Spontaneous Driving Holidays Abroad
41. He Used To Go On Holidays to the Scottish Highlands
42. Rick Astley Enjoys Having All Of His Music In One Place