Rick Astley Biography

Review The Artist (22)

Source: http://www.rickastley.co.uk/html/home/biography.htm
Rick Astley-photo
"People tend to forget just how big Rick Astley actually was" - Pete Waterman.

In 1987, the world was greeted by a new vocal talent. Shocked by the powerful, mature soulful voice of a 21 year old, the UK obliged by sending his debut single "Never Gonna Give You Up" to the top of the charts within 2 weeks of its release. The artist was, of course, Rick Astley. The rest of the world soon followed suit with "Never Gonna Give You Up" reaching Number 1 in 16 other countries including most of Europe, Japan, United States and Australia. The following 2 years saw Rick continue to dominate the charts around the globe. In the UK, Rick was in the Top 40 every week for the first 6 months of his career.

Rick Astley was born on February 6, 1966 in the North of England and was brought up in a small coal-mining town called Newton-Le-Willows. He was the youngest of 4 children and followed in his mother's footsteps with his fondness of music. Rick sang in a local church choir but his love for the drums inevitably found him in local bands by his early teenage years. On leaving a band named "Give Way" he joined "FBI", and it was here that recognition of Rick's talents began take an upward curve.

Besides Rick, a few of his school friends completed the five members of FBI. They began gigging in pubs and became noted for being one of the only bands in the area to be writing and performing their own material. Realising they had a good thing going, FBI sought management. Under the guidance of Dave Warwick and Tony Graham, they continued with their pub gigs but in addition, managed to land slots in clubs doing covers of songs that were around at the time. FBI expanded their fan base and developed into a well-known band locally.

When FBI's lead singer left the band, Rick volunteered to take over the role. It coincided well with Dave and Tony's invitation to record producer Pete Waterman to come and see FBI's act. Waterman had liked what he'd heard but the offer was exclusively for Rick and not the band. Rick was very much a band member. Dedicated to FBI, he showed his loyalty by refusing the offer.

One year on, it was apparent to everyone, including FBI, that Rick's talents were shining through the band. Realising that they were holding him back and feeling guilty that Rick had missed out on the opportunity of a life-time, Rick had Dave & Tony contact Pete Waterman and Rick was soon destined for London, home to PWL Studios.

PWL studios were the base of operations to hit-making producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman. Here Rick received a ground-floor apprenticeship in the record industry. Rick's main role was that of Tape-Op but his genuine interest in the studio meant that Rick got involved whenever he could and learnt to record and produce music from some of the World's best. Now familiarized with the task at hand, Rick's debut single "Never Gonna Give You Up" was recorded on new years day 1987, although its release was held back to August, when the market was felt to be just right for it.

Upon its release "Never Gonna Give You Up" shot to Number 1 and remained there for 5 weeks. It was Britain's largest selling single of that year. "Whenever You Need Somebody" was the follow up single and this hit Number 1 in 7 countries. Including 4 Astley-penned songs, the album "Whenever You Need Somebody" entered the UK album charts at Number 1 and sold over 15.2 million copies worldwide, making him the top selling British act of the year. At the 1988 BPI Awards (the UK's Grammy equivalent), Rick scooped Best Single Award for "Never Gonna Give You Up". He performed the song in front of an estimated television audience of 100 million viewers!

Christmas 1987 was marked with a double AA single release. It featured a cover of Nat King Cole's "When I Fall In Love", and in the New Year it was flipped to "My Arms Keep Missing You". "Together Forever" completed the released tracks from the album, peaking at number 2.

It was a similar success story in the USA, as Rick became one of the few British artists to crack their market. Rick's American success was reinforced with a second Number 1 single, "Together Forever". "It Would Take a Strong Strong Man" became another Top 10 single and the album also reached a position within the Top 10 selling close to 2 million copies. It earned him a 1988 Grammy nomination as Best New Artist.

A fire in the PWL studios, destroying the majority of Rick's new material unfortunately delayed the release of his 2nd album. It finally surfaced in January 1989 and titled "Hold Me In Your Arms" it contained Rick's first self-penned single "She Wants To Dance With Me" which he also co-produced. Reaching another Top 10 position, it was followed later in the year by "Take Me To Your Heart" and another song written by Rick, "Hold Me In Your Arms". In December, Rick set off on a World tour. The UK, US, Canada, Australia and Japan were amongst the 15 countries visited and contained over 70 shows. Both concerts held at Wembley Arena were sell-outs.

On completion of the tour, Rick was proud of what he had accomplished with Stock, Aitken & Waterman but had visions of his career going in a different direction. Being interested in all aspects of the industry, Rick wanted to explore more avenues as a musician. In addition, the press were beginning to hassle Rick and he wanted to prove that there was more to him than being merely a singer. He signed directly to RCA/BMG Worldwide, which allowed a greater degree of artistic control. Now under the management of Tops Henderson, his former road manager, Rick began co-writing material with the likes of Level 42's Mark King and Climie Fisher's Rob Fisher. Rick co-produced an album, aptly named "Free" which was released in 1991.

Musical contributions came from Art of Noise's Ann Dudley, who scored string arrangements and gospel star Andrae Crouch who arranged the choir featured in Cry For Help, Rick's next single. Elton John also featured on the album, playing the piano on 2 Rick-written songs. Rick silenced his critics with "Cry For Help" becoming yet another Top 10 record that placed him in the Guinness Book of Records becoming the first male solo artist to have his first 8 singles reach the Top 10 in the UK, an achievement which has still to be beaten. The album "Free" was another success, again sitting inside the Top 10. The singles "Move Right Out" and "Never Knew Love" were also released.

In 1993, Rick returned to the scene with the album "Body & Soul". Rick scribed all of the tracks on this album himself, co-writing with artists such as Rob Fisher and Lisa Stansfield. There were two singles taken from "Body & Soul", "The Ones You Love" and "Hopelessly". At the same time Rick's family was also flourishing with the birth of his daughter. Not wanting to compromise his family life, the album didn't get the promotion it could have had. Despite this, the singles still charted but Rick felt it was time to 'hang up his boots' and retire from the business as a performer.

Rick likes to spend any spare time that he has with his young daughter.

In 1998, Rick considered a return to the limelight possibly re-uniting himself with Pete Waterman but this was not to be. Instead he has decided to put together another album featuring more self-penned material. Rick believes it's his best material to date. It has been long awaited by millions of Rick fans all over the world………

"Rick walked away right at the height. People look at other artists like Simply Red and say they were big, but he outsold them two to one." - Pete Waterman2

" - Quotes from "Top Ten: 1987" - Channel 4, UK.

Please click here to submit the latest Rick Astley biography

Words have meanings | Reviewer: nk N. Egger | 3/11/13

I especially like "It takes a strong, strong man to ever let you go'. If you are ever in a true love situation and break up, never really wanting to, this song has meaning and your really true feelings are expressed in the words and music by Rick. Thanks for recording it.

The Journey | Reviewer: Roberta | 11/21/12

Mea Culpa....I'm one of those people that Pete Waterman is talking about....& then I recently got rickrolled! It took me on a You Tube journey that renewed joy to my music days. Sending a great shout out of thanks for such remarkable talent as well as Kudos to who ever thought of the roll first! Rick you are a gem & keep your music coming!

I WANT TO SAY WOW YOU LIVED IN SMALL TOWN SO DO I | Reviewer: LILY GARDNER | 4/29/12

I WANT SAY THAT YOU LIVED IN A SMALL TOWN WILL I LIVE IN A SMALL TOWN CALLED SHERMAN THE STATE IS TEXAS BUT YOU RICK ASTLEY LIVE IN ENGLAND AND YOU LIVED IN SMALL TOWNES BUT YOUR MUSIC ALWAYS
ROCK ON AND PEOPLE WILL LISSON TO THEM I GUSS THE SMALL TOWNES ARE BEST TO LIVE IN THEN BIGER TOWNES BECAUSE YOU LIVED IN ONE SO LONG YOU GET YOUST TO IT ANYWAY I LOVE ALL OF YOUR SONGS MY FAVERIT ONE IS NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP AND HOLD ME IN YOUR ARMS AND TOGETHER FOR EVER WILL TELL YOU THE TRUTH I LIKE THEM ALL EVEN THE NEW ONE LIGHT OUT THAT I HOPE TO FINE

Your one of the best singers,EVER! | Reviewer: Primy | 4/22/12

Rick,I just wanted to drop you a line and say hi,your one of the best singers,EVER! and you know,i'm an 80s addict,I love love love 80s music! what do you think of today's music anyway? on the next here and now tours,can you please come to the philippines? I'm willing to meet you and other 80s singers,God bless you and your family,love you! your fan,Keway.

APRIL THE 5 TH IS MY BIRTHDAY AND I WANT TO SAY MY BIRTHDAY GIFT WILL BE RICK ASTLEY SONG | Reviewer: LILY GARDNER | 4/7/12

I WANT TO SAY RICK ASTLEY THAT I HAD A BIRTHDAY AND IT WAS ON APRIL THE 5TH AND I AM 44 YEARS OLD AND I STILL LOVE RICK ASTLEY SONG NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP BECAUSE IT IS A GREAT SONG TO DANCE TO AND ALL OF RICK ASTLRY SONGS ARE GOOD TO DANCE TO ALSO I WANT TO SAY YOU RICK ASTLEY YOU ARE 2 YEARS OLDER THEN ME BUT YOU LOOK GOOD FOR YOUR AGE I GUSS WE SHARE DIFFERENT DAYS AND HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY BECAUSE YOURS IS IN FEBUARY AND MINE IS IN APRIL BECAUSE YOU WILL BE 48 AND I WILL BE 45 AND YOU WILL BE 50 BEFORE I WILL ANYWAY I ALSO LOVE YOUR NEW SONG LIGHT OUT ALSO HOLD ME IN YOUR ARMS I LIKE THE SONG AND THE VIDEO I LIKE ALL OF THE VIDOES THAT RICK ASTLEY MAKES I HOPE RICK ASTLEY WILL COME TO SHERMAN TEXAS THAT IS U,S,A I WOULD SAY WELCOME TO SHERMAN TEXAS THAT IS U,S,A I HOPE HE WILL BE WELCOME HERE

I WANT TO SAY TO RICKASTLEY IS THAT HE IS NUMBER 1 | Reviewer: lily gardner | 3/20/12

I WANT TO SAY THAT YOU RICK ASTLEY WILL YOU ARE NUMBER 1 NOT NUMBER 2 BECAUSE EVERY THING THAT YOU DO IS VERY SMART AND YOU SIGHT YOUR MIND TO IT LIKE SINGING YOU THINK OF A SONG AND GO FOR IT AND YOU THINK OF A SONG AND YOU SING IT BUT YOU THINK OF A BEET OF A SONG THAT WOULD MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO DANCE AND YOU DID AND I LIKE ALL OF YOUR SONGS ON ALL YOUR C.D,S AND THEY MAKE ME WANT TO DANCE AND I LOVE TO DANCE TO GOOD SONGS EVEN YOUR SONGS RICLASTLEY ALWAYS YOUR SONGS

RICK ASTLEY IS NUMBER 1 | Reviewer: LILY GARDNER | 3/7/12

I LIKE WHAT RICK ASTLEY IS THE BEST SONG WRITER EVER AND I LIKE THE WAY HE SING HIS SONGS THEY HAVE A UP BEET AND HE SINGS VERY WELL AND HE SHOULD BE ON THE 80,S CHARTS EVEN THE ONE NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP BECAUSE THAT IS MY FAVERIT SONG AND I THINK RICK ASTLEY IS NUMBER 1 IN MY BOOK AND I HOPE THAT HE KEEP ON SING AND I KEEP ON BUYING HIS C.D ,S I LIKE RICK ASTLEY AND I WANT TO BE HIS NUMBER 1 FAN

I WANT SAY RICK ASTLEY IS THE BEST EVER | Reviewer: LILY G | 3/7/12

IWANT TO SAY TO TO RICK ASTLEY IS THAT HE IS THE BEST SINGER AND SONG WRITER AND THE SONGS THAT HE WRITES ARE MORE UP TO BEET AND YOU CAN DANCE TO YES I SAID DANCE TO BECAUSE HIS SONGS ARE MORE OF THE 80,S SONGS WE ALL CAN RELATE TO AND YOU SHOULD BE IH NUMBER 1 IN THE RECARDS CHARTS ALSO HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY AND HAVE MANY MORE TO COME LIKE I SAID YOU ARE 2 YEARS OLDER THEN ME BUT YOU LOOK GOOD FOR YOUR AGE

me rambling about the epicness | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/30/11

OMG First of all, I think Rick Astley is the coolest singer ever. he has an amazing voice and i am so happy to have found out about him (at the age of ten i might add) and i have been a huge fan ever since! I am obsessed with his old songs from the 80s and 90s as well as the ones from more modern times. Long Live Rick Astley!!!!!!!!!

Rick nice to have you back. | Reviewer: RoseMarie Love | 10/27/11

It`s going to be a great year for you and your family. Love you . you are awsome and your voice is from heaven, strate from God almighty! for sure.We are so glad your back . We are here in miami florida . see you soon

New Album | Reviewer: Tanya Laverty | 11/12/10

Hi Rick I have been a fan of yours since 1987 and all your songs are fantastic I've enjoyed Lights out and Goodbye but not the end .I was wondering if you are bringing a new album out this year?Thanks for all the good music in te past and i shall look forward to haearing more good tracks from you in the future.

together forever | Reviewer: MARIBELL | 10/29/10

I think that song is very nice, I like so glad and reality is great singers in the general pot song and good memories, and the future made more miusic,pot for this new generetion,for the teneger a great feeling of nostalgia together forever

epic review | Reviewer: meriton larney | 9/29/10

In 1993, Rick returned to the scene with the album "Body & Soul". Rick scribed all of the tracks on this album himself, co-writing with artists such as Rob Fisher and Lisa Stansfield. There were two singles taken from "Body & Soul", "The Ones You Love" and "Hopelessly". At the same time Rick's family was also flourishing with the birth of his daughter. Not wanting to compromise his family life, the album didn't get the promotion it could have had. Despite this, the singles still charted but Rick felt it was time to 'hang up his boots' and retire from the business as a performer.

why the f..... isnt rick in the charts????? | Reviewer: stuart | 8/14/10

to a humble talented loyal man who was at the top of his game and was part of the best years of my teenage life growing up,your voice is better than 20 years ago,heaton park tonight was a cracker with all the 80s acts but ill say this !ricks new songs a cracker!iv never been to a concert before and iv never done a review before but...iv had that much of a good night tonight with my family i thought id praise rick.{to top it off me and my brother was exited and laughin like kids when we had our arms round rick and peter kay for a photo,you made our night and you probaly didnt no it ,cheers.get to number 1 mate.

ipswich and america | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/19/10

I remember the first time I heard that voice.I was with a friend of mine from england lisening to the radio and this song came up called "Never Gonna Give You Up" and the singers name, we both had to go out and find this album. Needless to say, we could't get over the boyish face that went with that unbeliveable voice. We miss you.


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