NEW YORK (Billboard) – It’s been more than 20 years since Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” topped the Billboard Hot 100, but it is once again infiltrating the public consciousness thanks to the phenomenon known as “RickRolling.”
Around March 2007, bloggers and online social networkers started casually linking to the song’s nostalgically ’80s music video via YouTube. RickRolling was a psych-out for readers who would click on tantalizing hyperlinks, only to fall prey to a young Astley’s blonde bouffant and idiosyncratic dance moves.
RickRolling has since taken on a life of its own, with YouTube users creating their own lip-synced routines and real-life RickRoll interruptions at, say, a Scientology protest or board meeting, often with the refrain “You’ve been RickRolled.”
The movement has spurred digital sales for the track, which has sold at least 1,000 downloads per week since late December and peaked with 2,500 sales the week of March 9.