Rick Astley has said he never embraced the rickrolling phenomenon because he did not want to ruin the joke.
Rickrolling is a popular internet meme which involves tricking someone into clicking a link for something they want to view, only to be confronted with Astley's 1987 hit Never Gonna Give You Up.
Speaking at the Isle of Wight Festival, the 53-year-old said it would have been “crass and naff" to use the trend to boost his profile.
Astley said that while some artists would be offended, he tried not to take the meme seriously.
He told the Press Association:
“I've never really embraced it fully to try and monetize it because that would just be crass and naff anyway. And it would have also completely killed it."
“Once the artist who you are having this fun with – or taking the piss out of – gets involved, then it's just over and it's boring."
With John Giddings. Thank you for inviting me to the IOW festival! Such an honour and so excited to play here for t… https://t.co/SEpmFKQjyw— Rick Astley (@Rick Astley) 1560608324.0
“I embrace it in the sense that I don't see it as negative. I understand why a lot of artists would. But let's face it. It's a pop song from 1987. It's not the gospel according to…"
In 2016 Astley returned to the charts for the first time in nearly 30 years with the release of his number one album 50.
This prompted a late career resurgence which has seen him tour the UK and appear on festival line-ups.
On our way! - Rick x #IOW2019 @IsleOfWightFest https://t.co/ty9WhknQGq— Rick Astley (@Rick Astley) 1560597219.0
He said rickrolling had undoubtedly played a part in his comeback.
“It's certainly done me no harm," he said.
“Anything that makes its way onto the internet and puts its head above the parapet, for any artist, even if it seems to be a bit negative at times, just puts you in people's consciousness."
“I'm pretty sure record labels and managers around the world have looked at something like rickrolling and gone: 'How do we do that?"
Saturday's festival action included Astley, Bastille and KT Tunstall, and Bastille invited Astley onto stage to join them in a rousing rendition of the band's 2013 hit Pompeii.
Judging from Twitter, it doesn't appear anyone's gonna give rickrolling up.
I think I just got Rickrolled by Safari Montage technicians testing the live stream from our HS theater. #IRHSRicks https://t.co/johWA7ZxtY— Paul Hughes (@Paul Hughes) 1560952204.0
IS NOBODY LISTENING I JUST GOT RICKROLLED INTO READING A SHORT ABOUT FEET— Dumb Bitch (@Dumb Bitch) 1561434786.0
i just got rickrolled on my own spotify playlist i'm crying— miku's left twintail (@miku's left twintail) 1561387939.0
Hey everyone just tweeting to let y'all know I just got Rickrolled.— Jim the Lego Pirate (@Jim the Lego Pirate) 1560854731.0
I got into college because I Rickrolled my entire class.— Laugh @ My Life (@Laugh @ My Life) 1561465447.0
I just got #rickrolled at Captain Jacks.— Amy K Pumpkins (@Amy K Pumpkins) 1561353338.0
Traffic backup in PA caused me to miss my @Delta flight. Sitting at the @Marriott eating dinner and just got...… https://t.co/cOi75cRu3N— Elizabeth Westhoff (@Elizabeth Westhoff) 1561248564.0
For a fascinating history of rickrolling, click here.
And to watch the original video in all it's glory, here you go...
Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up (Video) youtu.be