Rick rolled to a billion views!
Rick Astley's music video for his 1987 single "Never Gonna Give You Up" reached 1 BILLION views on YouTube on Wednesday.
(No, this article is not a "Rickroll" in itself. It really did reach 1 billion views.)
"I've just been told that 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been streamed a billion times on YouTube; that is mind-blowing," Astley said. "The world is a wonderful and beautiful place. I am very lucky."
This song was released in the 80s! That's ancient history, am I right? So, how is it still getting views on YouTube?
This is a chart of the music video's "Interest over time."
That spike in the chart is in 2008, the so-called "Year of the Rickroll." That's when the "Rickroll" meme took on a life of its own with all kinds of crazy, hilarious stories.
"'Never Gonna Give You Up' became the perfect candidate for a rather unique revival in the age of the internet. And, much like it did in 1987, the song — and Astley — went through a resurgence in 2008, thanks to one of the web's earliest, and most enduring memes," Brian VanHooker writes in "An Oral History of Rickrolling."
It really makes you wonder... How many of those 1 billion views were just there for the memes rather than actually liking the song apart from its meme context? Or maybe it's impossible to make that separation at this point.
Anyway, I don't think Rick Astley cares why the people are watching the video at this point. He's sold these limited edition copies of the single whether you take the song seriously or not!
They're already sold out, by the way. The Internet sometimes really is a wonderful and beautiful place.