Rick Astley‘s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ has secured one billion views on YouTube after cementing its place in internet folklore.
Astley’s debut song, which spawned the iconic Rickrolling trend, is one of a handful of hits to reach the impressive milestone on the site – joining the likes of A-Ha’s ‘Take On Me’, Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
“I am kind of a big deal,” said Astley of the achievement.
To mark the milestone, he has also announced plans to release a new ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ limited edition signed, numbered and coloured 7” vinyl single.
Available to pre-order here, the 7” is backed with the Pianoforte version of the song, which originally featured on his 2019 compilation ‘The Best of Me’.
Further viral fame beckoned for Astley earlier this year when he shared footage of himself rocking out to tracks by The Strokes and Slipknot, while also posting a cover of R.E.M.
The ’80s icon uploaded the trio of videos to his official TikTok channel, where he’s racked up 1.9 million followers since it was launched last year.
In one clip Astley pretends to shred his guitar through Slipknot’s 2004 single ‘Duality’, which appears on the metal band’s third album ‘Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)’. Performing in front of a faux desert backdrop, the singer dons a trench coat and black shades.
Last year, Astley also offered up a rendition of Foo Fighters’ classic 1997 single ‘Everlong’. The singer struck up an unlikely friendship with frontman Dave Grohl back in 2018 when he was invited to join the Foos on stage at Japan’s Summer Sonic festival.
Since then, the pair have reunited on several occasions – including at Reading Festival 2019 and during a surprise performance from Grohl at Club NME that same month. At one point in the Foos’ bill-topping Reading set, Grohl said Astley had “balls the size of the fucking London Eye”.