Rick must be rolling around in all of his sweet royalties, thanks to the people of the Internet.
After 12 years since it was uploaded, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” the popular song that immortalized British singer Rick Astley, has now gone beyond one billion views on YouTube on Wednesday.
Though the song was released in 1987, it was given a second wind when it became a widespread meme way back in YouTube’s heyday: “rick-rolling,” a prank where someone shares a link that supposedly leads to something interesting, but actually blares the British singer’s vivacious dance-pop music video. For 12 long years, the meme never waned – in pop culture, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph 2 did their version of the bit, and just this year, YouTube reported that the music video still managed to rake in more than 2.3 million views in a single, specific day: April Fool’s Day, because of course it did.
Astley, who is now 55, rejoiced the music video’s milestone in a video posted on his Twitter.
“So I’ve just been told that ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ has been streamed a billion times on YouTube. That is mind-blowing. The world is a wonderful and beautiful place, and I am very lucky,” the legendary musician-turned-meme happily said on camera.
To make the milestone even more memorable, Astley also announced the launch of 2,500 numbered 7-inch blue vinyl copies of his 1987 single, with each $17 copy bearing his signature. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the records are already sold out as of press time.
A chart-topper in its own right, “Never Gonne Give You Up” is only the fourth music video from its decade to make it to YouTube’s Billion Views Club, joining Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” (1.03 billion views), Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (1.28 billion views), and A-Ha’s “Take on Me (1.31 billion views).
In case you’re curious, we’ve previously covered the most-watched music video on YouTube: Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark Dance,” with a staggering 9.04 billion views.
Good thing Rick’s a good sport – after all, Rick himself has been rick-rolled too, and he was happy to give in.