If you’re unfamiliar with Rick Astley prior to this, then most likely you may have heard of his famous (or infamous to some) 1987 hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Especially in the internet era where the track has been considered as a legendary meme, often used by netizens to prank friends and family by Rickrolling – an act that misleads unsuspecting individuals with bogus hyperlinks that direct them to the song’s official music video on YouTube.
That particular video, which was originally uploaded to the platform back in 2009, has now surpassed its one billionth view. At the time of writing, Never Gonna Give You Up’s hit count has reached over 1,000,985,618 views and will definitely climb even higher as time progresses. Formally acknowledging this is Rick Astley himself, who released a video on his official YouTube channel to thank everyone for the video’s outstanding milestone.
Without a doubt, this truly makes you wonder just how many of those views are actually caused by Rickrolls. Thankfully, a data analytics firm has actually gone through the trouble of tracing a majority of the views back to their respective point of origin – therefore determining how many of those are mere pranks or actually sincere nostalgic trips down the 80s memory lane. For further reading on their discovery, you can check out their website via this link.
It is no denying that the act of Rickrolling has been the major contributor to the music video’s ever growing number of views on YouTube. Even before it was officially uploaded to Rick Astley’s channel on the platform, people have fallen prey to the meme (through unofficially uploaded videos of the song) as early as 2007 – often via messaging boards such as 4chan, online forums, and even regular emails.
Astley at first was hesitant of using this newfound popularity to boost his music career, but eventually accepted it later on where he personally Rickrolled the 2008 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a surprise live performance of Never Gonna Give You Up. And yes, the 55-year old UK-based artist is still active in the music scene and released his ninth studio album titled “The Best Of Me” back in 2019.
Since you’ve made it this far into the article, then I think it is fair for me to share Rick Astley’s actual reaction to the music video’s one billionth milestone. “So I just been told that Never Gonna Give You Up has been streamed a billion times on YouTube. That is mindblowing,” he said in a video uploaded on his official Twitter account. “The world is a beautiful place, and I am very lucky.”
— Rick Astley (@rickastley) July 28, 2021
Additionally, Astley also revealed a new limited edition 7-inch blue vinyl of Never Gonna Give You Up has been put up for sale via his official webstore to celebrate the milestone – each signed by the artist himself. Unfortunately, all 2,500 copies have been sold out by the time of writing.
To celebrate 1 Billion views for Never Gonna Give You Up I’m releasing a limited & numbered 7” blue vinyl of the song, 2500 of them and I’ll be signing them all! Rick ♥️https://t.co/AOVnRHFN2s
#NGGYU #NGGYU1Billion pic.twitter.com/V473EXct9a
— Rick Astley (@rickastley) July 29, 2021
If there’s one takeaway from the whole Rickrolling thing, it’s the fact that affected users have become even more wary of clicking random links that they come by. Hovering your mouse cursor over a hyperlink in order to check its url destination is a good habit, and could actually save you from unsuspectingly landing on dodgy pages or websites – and also getting pranked by Rickrolls, of course.
And no. No one has actually figured out how many of those views are caused by Rickrolling. Not yet, at least.