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And so, the British baritone known for hits like Never Gonna Give You Up, Together Forever and It Would Take a Strong Strong Man walked away from the business in his twenties with enough money and his “sanity,” he says, and with the goal of focusing on his newborn daughter.
The 50-year-old singer has released a new album called 50 and is performing a series of concerts around the world, having already stopped in Toronto and Los Angeles, among other cities. Many have sold out. He says he plans to do more Canadian shows next year.
In a last-minute decision by the team behind the heavily memed video, they decided to go “double denim.” The look would not only set a trend at the time, but decades later would unintentionally find a new audience.
Through an online prank that spread worldwide several years ago, people would get disguised links that would unexpectedly play Astley’s famous video. When someone clicked on unrelated material and Astley’s signature jig popped up, it came to be known as getting “rickrolled.”
“It’s been amazing, that thing,” he said. “I can imagine with certain artists, it would destroy them. But I think it’s just a bit of fun. It’s not personal. It’s not even nasty. I think it’s been good for me.”
The singer says he got rickrolled himself by a friend at one point but you won’t catch him watching the videos that made him famous.