Rick Astley says 'weird' viral 'Rickroll' fame is 'like a double life'

Rick Astley says ‘weird’ viral ‘Rickroll’ fame is ‘like a double life’

Rick Astley seems a little bemused by the staying power of the Rickroll meme. (Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Rick Astley has described the viral infamy he has achieved due to the “Rickroll” meme as akin to living “a double life.”

The meme, which dates back to around 2007, involves pretending to direct someone to an interesting website only to instead present the music video for Astley’s 1987 track “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

Astley told BBC Radio 2 host Claudia Winkleman that he finds the fame he has earned among younger audiences as the result of the meme to be a little strange.

He said: “It’s just this mad sort of thing [that] The world that we live in today is so different to how it was back then, you can have this whole other existence on the internet.

“It doesn’t really interfere with my day-to-day life,” he continued. “I know it has rekindled some interest in that song, and obviously that haircut.

“I can’t explain it to you, it’s really weird. It’s like a double life,” the singer added, noting that his fame “doesn’t mean anything” when he goes to his local café for a coffee.

Astley won the Brit Award for Best British Single in 1988 for “Never Gonna Give You Up,” which was certified platinum and went to number one in Britain, the US and various other countries.

Due to the song’s internet popularity, the video has been viewed more than one billion times on YouTube.

Countless internet users have been directed to the music video for

Countless internet users have been directed to the music video for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” (Screenshot: YouTube/RCA/PWL)

Astley retired from music in the early 1990s, but returned in 2000 and has occasionally released new music in the subsequent decades.

He is currently taking part in the promotion of a nostalgia single he has put together with fellows 1980s sensations New Kids on the Block, Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue.

The track “Bring Back the Time” features a music video spoofing others from the time period, and the four acts are due to embark on a tour together this year.

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