Once you have reached the top of the charts with a couple of number 1 hits and toured the world, there is only one place left to go, right? Down and out. Perhaps not. When an artist has reached success quickly and had fame and fortune for a time, their star power can tend fade into the distance. They no longer sell out arenas, command big performance fees, get endorsements, and so on. That being said, what is an artist and their management to do? This is a tough one.
Rick Astley is a perfect example of what I am talking about, having reached the pinnacle of success in the music business, with number 1 hits, sold out shows and more. Decades later, his career has taken off yet again. How?? Youtube and the creativity of the user generated content. There is an online phenomenon called RickRolling. This is where something or someone is abruptly interrupted by the music video of Rick Astley singing, Never Gonna Give You Up. There are literally millions of views for these videos on youtube plus hundreds of variations. This was not created by Rick’s management or agent, but by creative users or members of the youtube community who crafted something unique and it spread like wildfire. Because of all this exposure and the millions of views, Rick has gone back on tour overseas and is selling out venues and he was even invited to RickRoll the Macy’s thanksgiving day parade live in New York. I can understand why it spread, after all, it is amusing to watch and a catchy song. Think about what you can create that might spread virally or ask your fans. There is no guarantee it will spread at all, but hey, you never know.
Here are a couple of the RickRolled videos. They started on Youtube but have now reached TV and more. Funny prank. Let me know what you think, or tell me if you have been RickRolled.
Joshua Gair – Impact Entertainment Services