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"Never Gonna Give You Up" is a song recorded by British singer and songwriter Rick Astley, released as a single on 27 July 1987. It was written and produced by Stock Aitken Waterman. The song was released as the first single from his debut album, Whenever You Need Somebody (1987). The song was a worldwide number-one hit, initially in the singer's native United Kingdom in 1987, where it stayed at the top of the chart for five weeks and was the best-selling single of that year. It eventually topped the charts in 25 countries, including the United States and West Germany.
The song won Best British Single at the 1988 Brit Awards. In 1990, Nick Lowe quoted from the song and called it "ghastly" in the lyrics to "All Men Are Liars", a song on his album Party of One. In 2004, "Never Gonna Give You Up" was voted number 28 in 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs... Ever by VH1.
The music video for the song has become the basis for the "Rickrolling" Internet meme, leading the song to also be referred to as "The Rickroll Song". In 2008, Astley won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Act Ever with the song, as a result of collective voting from thousands of people on the internet, due to the popular phenomenon of Rickrolling. The song is considered Astley's signature song and it is often played at the end of his live concerts.
"Never Gonna Give You Up" is the subject of a popular Internet prank known as "rickrolling" involving misleading links (commonly shortened URLs) redirecting to the song's music video. Originally started by users on 4chan, by May 2007, the practice had achieved notoriety on the Internet, and it increased in popularity after its use as a 2008 April Fools' Day joke by various media companies and websites, including YouTube rickrolling all of its featured videos on that day and websites allowing people to rickroll their friends' devices.
In "a couple of weeks",[attribution needed] about 13 million people had been tricked into watching Astley's video, the BBC reported on 1 April 2008. "I think it's just one of those odd things where something gets picked up and people run with it", Astley told the Los Angeles Times in late March 2008, adding: "That's what's brilliant about the Internet."
There were reports that despite the video garnering millions of hits on YouTube, Astley earned almost no money from the online phenomenon, receiving only $12 USD in royalties from YouTube for his performance share, as of August 2010, but Astley denied those reports in 2016.
Impact and legacy
Time Out listed "Never Gonna Give You Up" at number 33 in their The 50 best '80s songs list in 2018, adding: "Those synthesized strings, that thumping boots-and-pants beat, Astley's weirdly robust croon and his romantic-wooing-as-used-car-salesman pitch ('You wouldn't get this from any other guy')... It all adds up to three-and-a-half of the most effervescent minutes in the '80s canon."
In 1997, French band 2Be3 covered the song under the name "Toujours là pour toi", which had success in France (No. 4) and Belgium (Wallonia) (No. 12).
In 1999, an Italian cover entitled "Non ti lascerò" was made by Fiorello.