Astley was noticed by record producer Pete Waterman, who brought him under his wing along with Mike Stock and Matt Aitken (who were collectively known as Stock Aitken Waterman). They taught Rick all about the recording process and prepared him for his future career, whilst he was supposedly employed as the recording studio’s ‘tea boy’.
Super fans will remember that the first Rick Astley single ever released was a duet called ‘When You Gonna’, which he performed with Lisa Carter under the name ‘Rick and Lisa’. Sadly, it was a big flop.
Rick Astley’s 1987 song ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, of later rickrolling fame, was released to critical acclaim. It reached No.1 in 25 countries as well as winning the 1988 Brit Award for Best British Single. Given its extreme catchiness, it’s perhaps less of a surprise this tune and its video were revived as an internet meme all these decades later.
When he started out, a lot of people assumed Rick was a black man because of his deep singing voice.
Rick is still listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first male solo artist to have his first 8 singles reach the Top 10 in the UK.