ATTENTION: What you are viewing is not a meme and this is not a Rickroll. We repeat. This is not a meme.
For the first time in 29 years Rick Astley is at the top of the UK charts with his new album 50. The singer gained a brand new following in recent years when he became associated with a popular internet meme called “rickrolling.” The lighthearted prank is a bait and switch that uses a masked hyperlink to lead people to the hit 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” when they believe they are accessing unrelated material. The meme is meant to be disruptive and humorous in nature, where the song appears abruptly in places unrelated to the situation as a way of ambushing its unsuspecting prey.
Here’s a few of our favorite rickrolls:
The White House gets in on the fun
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 27, 2011
YouTube celebrities get rickroll’d
And of course, the rickroll seen around the world
50 is Astley’s first album in over a decade and his first chart topper in nearly three. It’s a powerful collection of pop, soul, and gospel songs dedicated to the things he loves the most: his wife and daughter, his love of music, and the personal struggles and triumphs we all experience in day-to-day life. In an interview with The Daily Mail, the British singer opened up about his newfound fame due to the success of album.
“I am not allowing myself to believe that it is all happening. This time last year, I would have laughed at the thought of being number one again. And I almost didn’t care whether it hit the top or not. Because it is just fantastic to be here.”
And rather than being concerned with how the meme would affect his career, he embraced it with open arms, calling the whole thing “brilliant” and “hilarious.” And while he never capitalized on the trend, he welcomed artists to remix the track. In fact, he’s only made twelve dollars from performance royalties while the song has received over 200 million views on YouTube.He was however worried about the effect it would have on his 14-year-old daughter Emilie.
“I just hated the thought that people might be laughing at her because of her old man.”I hated the thought that she might be embarrassed because of me or by me. I just couldn’t bear it.”
But that didn’t seem to be the case in 2007, when the meme was at the height of its popularity. Emilie certainly wasn’t embarrassed by her father than and now there’s a new accomplishment to be proud of him for: A number one record.”It’s all a bit bonkers,’ he says of 50‘s success.
50 was released on June 10, 2016. Check out “Angels On My Side” below and be sure to pick up your copy of the new album today. And if you get the urge to rickroll someone today, you have our blessing.