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#ThrowbackThursday: “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley

Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up” RCA Records

by Sean Smith

Republican Delegates have gathered in Cleveland, Ohio this week to nominate their candidates for President and Vice President of the United States. Despite some rumblings leading up to this week that there may be some rebellion on the convention floor over the party’s selections, Donald Trump and Indiana Governor Mike Pence were formally nominated by the GOP delegates on Tuesday night for President and Vice President respectfully.

While Donald Trump will be giving his highly anticipated acceptance speech in Cleveland tonight, the talk of the convention thus far has been the speech by his wife Melania Trump on the convention’s opening night on Monday. Her speech was initially met with a positive response. In the minutes directly following her speech, the cable political pundits were largely in agreement that she performed pretty well on the night. However, within an hour of Melania Trump leaving the RNC stage, whispers started circulating that some parts of her speech seemingly sounded a bit too familiar.

Those whispers soon turned to full-fledged allegations of plagiarism, as portions of what Melania presented Monday night were seemingly lifted from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech. The Trump campaign initially denied the allegations despite the striking similarities between the language in Melania’s speech and that of Michelle Obama’s.

On Wednesday however, the Trump campaign finally came out and admitted that the person who wrote Melania Trump’s speech had in fact lifted phrases from First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 address. Furthermore, the speechwriter, Meredith McIver offered her resignation to Donald Trump over the ordeal, but it was refused by the Republican nominee who said that “all press is good press!”.

While the Trump campaign is hoping to put the plagiarism controversy behind them, people are fueling yet another controversy surrounding Melania Trump’s speech on social media. They say the speech not only plagiarized Michelle Obama, but also British singer Rick Astley. In her speech Melania says about her husband, “He will never, ever give up. And most important, he will never, ever let you down.” Of course Rick Astley is most widely known for his hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up” which features the lyrics “Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down” in its chorus. The tongue-in-cheek allegation is that the inclusion of those words is a subtle hint that the Trump’s are “Rick-rolling” voter’s. This of course referring to the popular online prank of getting people to click onto a link, thinking that they are going to be reading or seeing one thing, only to be directed to the music video for Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” 

Rick Astley released his solo debut album Whenever You Need Somebody in 1987. The lead single released in promotion of the album was “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The song was written and produced by the well known British production and songwriting trio of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, whom Astley worked for in various studio positions while being groomed for his recording career. Rick Astley would find unprecedented breakthrough success with his first single as it topped the charts in Britain and was the top-selling single of 1987. The song was not just popular in the UK. It was a huge hit around the globe, as “Never Gonna Give You Up” topped the charts in 25 total countries, including his native Britain.

Rick Astley retired from music in 1993, having sold tens of millions of records, though never being quite able to duplicate the success of “Never Gonna Give You Up.” He returned to making music by 2001 releasing his fifth studio record Body & Soul. As of today, Rick Astley is still putting out new music. His latest album 50 was released this past June and it topped the album charts in the UK. It was the second time he has had a number one album in the UK, the first of course being his 1987 debut album Whenever You Need Somebody.

So without further ado, this week we take the time to remember Rick Astley’s 1987 smash-hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Enjoy.

Rick Astley 

“Never Gonna Give You Up”

From Whenever You Need Somebody

RCA Records

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Fine Brothers Entertainment