He retired from the music industry years ago, but ’80s hitmaker Rick Astley is back with 50, his first U.S. release since 1993, and his first U.S. tour in decades. And don’t start with the “Rickrolling” jokes: Rick credits that online phenomenon — which tricked people into watching the video for his hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” — for drawing kids who weren’t even born during his heyday to his current tour.
“That’s one of the things that stops me in my tracks sometimes,” he tells ABC Radio. “I usually joke about it and say, ‘Did you get your mom’s tickets?'”
Without Rickrolling, he adds, “There’s a certain generation of people who would have no idea who I was. And so I have to be kinda thankful for [it]. It’s done a lot of great things in terms of making that song [part of] people’s consciousness.”
But Rick’s tour isn’t just nostalgia: 50, released last year to mark his 50th birthday, hit #1 in his home country of England. Not bad for a record he made by himself at home.
“[I] didn’t have any record company saying, ‘We need this, we need that,'” he says. “And I think that’s been the healthiest experience I’ve had with making music, because I haven’t done it for anybody else. I’ve done it for me, really.”
Rick initially retired to raise his daughter, now in her twenties. So, what does she think of her old man now?
“She’s outright told me on numerous occasions she’s really proud of me,” he says. “And to be honest, out of everybody in the world, my daughter and my wife are the most important two people to be OK with what I’m doing. If they’re OK with it, then I’m OK with it, y’know what I mean?
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