The internet is a weird place.
Award-winning British pop singer Rick Astley can attest with more assertiveness than most others. Although he achieved massive success in the late '80s and topped the charts worldwide, he’s best known for a goofy internet prank to an entire generation.
"Rickrolling," tricking someone into a clicking a link that instead takes them to a video of the song that catapulted Astley to stardom, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” isn’t as popular as it used to be. However, bring up the name Rick Astley, and that internet prank is what a large portion of the population will think of.
Thankfully, Astley is humble enough to be cool with the meme. In a recent interview with the Tampa Bay Times, he said of the phenomenon: “The rickrolling thing is a bit of a nuts thing, and it's bizarre, and in its own way, it's got nothing to do with me whatsoever — and yet it's got everything to do with me." He went on to say it’s "just a bit of fun — and yet it's probably been unbelievably annoying for people."
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That being said, Astley is back in the spotlight at 51 years of age to remind us he’s good for more than just a joke. One of the stops on his first North American tour since 1989 is at downtown Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Astley is touring for 50, his eighth studio LP and first album in more than ten years.
Of course, this is hardly the only show this week in our perpetually buzzing city. If Astley isn't right for you, indie-rock darlings Parquet Courts will be at Gramps in Wynwood the same evening. A few nights later, also at Gramps, one of the first punk bands in history, Death, will return to the stage. On Saturday, Counting Crows will headline the seventh incarnation of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge fundraiser at Hard Rock Stadium, and the inaugural GroundUp Music Festival, cosponsored by the Frost School of Music's Festival Miami, will feature live performances by Snarky Puppy and Esperanza Spalding, among others, over the weekend.