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1 billion views: How the Internet never gave this music video up for 15 years.

Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" has reached 1 billion views on YouTube earlier today. (Source: The Verge)

After gaining mainstream attention in 2008 as part of an "April Fool's" prank on YouTube, Rick Astley's 1987 music video "Never Gonna Give You Up" has reached the historic milestone of 1 billion views on the platform on July 28, 2021.

The legendary meme originated from a 2006 "bait-and-switch" trick on 4Chan known as "duckrolling." But after the trailer for "Grand Theft Auto IV" started to crash Rockstar Games' website out of sheer popularity, one user linked the music video and claimed it was the trailer itself, creating the phenomenon known as "Rickrolling."

Rick Astley performed the song during the 2008 Thanksgiving Day Parade
"I think music means a lot to people, you know, for lots of different reasons. Sometimes, really sad, you know, tragic reasons but, a lot of the time, really great, wonderful reasons and I think I've learned to embrace that thing of nostalgia for saying 'just don't get hung up about the fact that, yeah, you were 21 and now you're 54,'" Astley explained in a 2020 interview with ABC News Australia.

The video rose to mainstream popularity in 2008 after the Internet group Anonymous used the song to protest the Church of Scientology for their aggressive censorship. Though wary of using the meme's popularity to promote himself, Astley ultimately decided to press forward with it and perform his song on the "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" float during the 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.


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