As we get set to close out 2016, there are two things you really need to know about British pop singer Rick Astley.
One, he released a pretty solid new soul album earlier this year called 50, which was nominated for Album of the Year by BBC Music; and two, the man has a really fucking great attitude when it comes to all this Rickrolling nonsense.
Both tidbits are worth pointing out, especially today as Astley has announced an 18-date North American tour that closes out February 18 at the House of Blues in Boston. Tickets go on sale Friday.
The tour is the latest chapter in the unlikely rebirth of the ’80s crooner, due partly to the fact he embraced something most others would shun and scorn. Incredibly, the affable and understandable Astley isn’t at all put off by the prank of Rickrolling, and doesn’t see himself as the butt of any online joke. Sure, the essence of Rickrolling is that the target thinks he or she is getting something of relative interest, only to then get duped as the “Never Gonna Give You Up” video springs to life.
But Astley sees the internet phenomenon as a good thing — and deserves praise for it.
“I have no problem with it,” Astley told Rolling Stone a few weeks back, in the same interview he admitted a desire to perform the songs of the Smiths in concert. “It’s done me a lot of good, probably. The thing is it’s not personal to me, even though I know it is me and it’s my name in the title of Rickrolling.”
He added: “It’s that video that I’m in, it’s that song that’s mine, but it could have been anybody… So I don’t see it as negative. If someone had messed around with it and cut it all up and made me look stupid — I mean I look pretty stupid anyway in that video — if it was nasty, then I’d be probably a bit pissed off, but it’s not. It’s like, ‘We’re choosing that video because it’s a full-on Eighties, cheesy video.’ There’s no getting away from it now and I’ve got to own it because if I don’t, it’s like being petty.”
Class response, class gentleman.
Check out all of Astley’s upcoming stateside dates after the “Keep Singing” jump.
Rick Astley — 2017 North American Tour
January 21 – Las Vegas, NV – The Pearl Concert Theater
January 22 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre
January 24 – Riverside, CA – Fox Performing Arts Center
January 25 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
January 27 – Napa, CA – Uptown Theater
January 28 – San Jose, CA – iHeart Radio 80s Festival
January 31 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
February 1 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
February 2 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
February 4 – TBD
February 6 – Clearwater, FL – Capitol Theatre
February 7 – Miami, FL – Arsht Center Concert Hall
February 9 – Atlanta, GA – Center Stage Theater
February 11 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
February 12 – Richmond, VA – The National
February 14 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
February 17 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
February 18 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
— Rick Astley (@rickastley) November 28, 2016