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Rick Astley celebrates ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ turning 35

<i>Larry Marano/Shutterstock</i><br/>Rick Astley performs during the Mix Tape Tour at The FLA Live Arena
Larry Marano/Shutterstock
Larry Marano/Shutterstock
Rick Astley performs during the Mix Tape Tour at The FLA Live Arena

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Thirty-five years ago Wednesday, the journey began that has blessed us with one of the best things the internet ever birthed.

Rick Astley’s song “Never Gonna Give You Up” was released on this day in 1987 and led to the now famous “Rickrolling” phenomenon, an internet bait-and-switch using disguised hyperlinks to Astley’s video for the song.

“Never Gonna Give You Up” was the lead single from Astley’s debut full-length album, “Whenever You Need Somebody.”

The song quickly become a worldwide hit, charting at No.1 in 25 different countries, including the United States.

In the UK, the song topped the charts for five weeks and was the highest-selling single of 1987 there.

“Never Gonna Give You Up” has just been certified five-times platinum in the United States by the RIAA.

To celebrate that and the anniversary, fans can this week participate in a Spotify Canvas Competition in which they are invited to film a video of themselves dancing like Astley to potentially be used as the visualizer canvas for the song while streaming it on Spotify.

A different canvas will be featured each day this week.

And of course you can always “Rickroll” someone.

Astley told CNN in a 2017 interview that years before, when a friend emailed him a link and the video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” appeared, he didn’t realize it was a prank.

“I thought, what is he doing? This isn’t actually very funny,” Astley said of the moment. “Then he did it again. Ultimately, I called him and he said ‘Don’t you know what this is?’ I said ‘No, you are just an idiot’ and he explained to me that it was this thing.”

These days his career is still going strong.

In May, Astley released a reissued and remastered 35th anniversary edition of “Whenever You Need Somebody” and he recently concluded the “Mixtape Tour” with New Kids on the Block, Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue that visited 56 arenas across North America.

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