British singer RICK ASTLEY is heading for a career revival - after an internet prank turned him into an online phenomenon. The singer/songwriter's 1980s smash-hit Never Gonna Give You Up has had a record 14.5 million hits on video networking site YouTube.com after cheeky internet schemers tricked website users by posting the link under scandalous news headlines. However, when curious readers clicked on to the link to get the story in full, they were instead directed straight to Astley's camp music promo. The result of the news spoofs has made the veteran star's video outing one of the most watched videoclips on YouTube.com. And Astley, who topped both the U.K. and U.S. charts with the track in his heyday, can't believe his luck. He tells the Los Angeles Times newspaper, "It's a bit strange to have videos of when you were a young guy out on the internet. It makes me laugh - I'm sure it annoys a lot of other people. "(But) it's a bit spooky. It's just one of those odd things when something gets picked up and people run with it. That's what's brilliant about the internet."
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.