Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rick Astley: The pop idol returns (2005 interview)

He was the biggest singing star of the Eighties, with 19 million album sales and eight consecutive number ones. Then, aged just 27, Rick Astley dramatically left the stage. In his first interview in a decade, he reveals to Ed Caesar why he turned his back on fame

In 1987, a debut single called "Never Gonna Give You Up" went to number one in 16 countries. An unremarkable looking 21-year-old boy from Cheshire was about to become wildly famous.

"I did enjoy it," he says. "But it was very, very weird. You can blab on about seeing the other side of fame, but it doesn't mean shit until it happens to you. It wasn't so much the going on TV, or going to award ceremonies, or having a camera focused on your face. It was being famous in the supermarket, being famous in a restaurant. Fame is not just about being able to get out of a limo in Leicester Square, it's about trying to get into your house when there are eight photographers outside. When you think about being famous, you don't think about all that stuff. You think about the glamour. I wanted to turn the tap off when I'd done my job. But you can't." ...

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