According to Wikipedia, in 2007, Astley became an Internet phenomenon when his video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” became part of a popular internet meme called “rickrolling“. It’s estimated 25 million Internet users were tricked into watching Rick Astley’s video “Never Gonna Give You Up” by posting it under the name of other popular video titles. The practice is now known as Rickrolling. The phenomenon became so popular that on April 1, 2008, YouTube pranked its users by making every single featured video on the front page a Rickroll.
One of the first occurrences was when the trailer for the video game Grand Theft Auto IV generated so much traffic Rockstar Games‘s website crashed. An unidentified 4chan user offered a link to the site, claiming it was another host for the GTA4 trailer. Instead, the link led to a YouTube video for “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
On Thanksgiving Day 2008 in New York City, the crowd and those watching the 2008 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at home were rickrolled when a skit from the puppets of the Cartoon Network TV show Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends was abruptly cut off by Astley striding out onto the float lip-syncing “Never Gonna Give You Up”, during the Parade.
Astley was voted by Internet users “Best Act Ever” at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008.