'Never Gonna Give You Up' Rick-Rolls Past 1 Billion YouTube Views

The video for Rick Astley’s 1987 hit reemerged as a classic meme in the 2000s


Sony BMG Music UK

We’re never gonna give YOU up, Rick Astley. The “Never Gonna Give You Up” music video has passed 1 billion views on YouTube. 

The video reached the milestone on Wednesday, almost 12 years after its upload date and more than 30 years after Astley’s earworming declaration of devotion became a worldwide No. 1 hit. 

Much of the song’s post-80s popularity is due to its co-option as one of the earliest YouTube trends, “rickrolling,” a prank in which someone shares a link promising one thing but actually delivers on something far better: Astley’s crooning, synthed-up sincerity and sick dance moves. 

Roughly a decade after the meme’s apex, the power of the rickroll remains untouched. It raked in 2.3 million views On April Fool’s Day 2021 alone, according to YouTube.

“Never Gonna Give You Up” is the fourth music video from the 1980s to join YouTube’s Billion Views Club, behind Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” A-ha’s “Take on Me,” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”

Astley, ever-gracious toward his place in the canon of 80s cheese, celebrated the milestone by sharing a video to Twitter.

“So I’ve just been told that ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ has been streamed a billion times on YouTube.” he said, “That is mind-blowing. The world is a wonderful and beautiful place, and I am very lucky.”

No tricks, click here to reminisce on rickrolls gone-by for old time’s sake. 


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