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Vintage Hunk: Rick Astley

By Mike McCrann

Twenty five years ago, Rick Astley was the cutest hot recording star in the world.

Millions of gay men watched the music video of his 1987 hit "Never Gonna Give You Up" on MTV, VH1, and at gay bars all around the country. Videos were at the height of their popularity, so there was no escaping the redheaded Brit with the wonderful deep voice and smooth sound.

Richard Paul Astley was born in 1966 in England. By the age of 21, Astley was a major recording star in the UK; his first eight singles reached the top 10 there. His 1987 single "Never Gonna Give You Up" was a hit around the world. When Astley "retired" in 1993, he had sold more than 40 million records. But it wasn't just his singing and sexiness that electrified gay men; his lumbering dancing in his videos was just what a lot of gay guys found appealing in late '80s America.

Astley made a comeback and became an Internet sensation in 2007 when his video "Never Gonna Give You Up" became part of the "Rickrolling" trend, and the MTV Europe Awards voted him "Best Act Ever" the following year. Astley may have started out as a pop product of his era, but his later career revealed an even deeper voice with less "pop" influence that has earned him respect and sales. 

I love redheads, so of course I loved Rick Astley back in the day and even attended one of his concerts at Universal City, where I got to see the dashing young Brit gyrate on stage and do what he did best — be young and sexy. Anytime I hear "Never Gonna Give You Up," I’m immediately transported back to the halcyon days of seeing studs like him performing over the din of bar noise in the '80s. I loved him then and I still love him now.

Although now considered a relic from the '80s, he continues to perform around the world, and his fans still love their sexy singer. At 46, Rick Astley is still a vintage crooner!

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