Public 'rickrolls' Astley into MTV Europe 'best ever' vote
LONDON - The cult of 'Rickrolling' has struck again as Eighties popstar Rick Astley has been nominated by the public in the category Best Act Ever at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards, alongside music giants Britney Spears and U2, among others.
The 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Liverpool Echo Arena on Thursday November 6, sponsored by EDC Esprit, Sony Ericsson and Dell. This is Astley's first-ever nomination for an MTV award, voted for by the public via MTV's website, www.mtvema.com.
Astely is best known for his hit single 'Never Gonna Give You Up', which again became an internet phenonomen in March of this year when eight million web users were tricked into clicking through to a YouTube video of the 80s chart topper who came out of the Stock Aitken Waterman pop factory.
The singer has unexpectedly become the subject of a "meme" campaign which has picked up speed over the past 10 months and received worldwide press coverage.
Thousands of items appeared on blogs, social networking and user-generated sites. However, when visitors clicked on the links, they were directed to the YouTube video for Astley's 1987 number one smash hit, 'Never Gonna Give You Up'.
The joke campaign, which was launched by an online anti-Scientology group in May last year, was dubbed "Rickrolling".
Astley is up against stiff competition including U2, Christina Aguilera and Spears. Spears was also nominated in two other categories -- Album of the Year for 'Blackout' and Act of 2008.
Richard Godfrey, senior vice-president, music and production, and executive producer of the awards, said: "The audience has spoken and MTV has been well and truly 'Rickrolled'.
"This surprise nomination truly demonstrates that the MTV Europe Music Awards is the most democratically selected awards show there is
"Rick's fans have obviously decided that he deserves recognition as a pop icon and no doubt they are determined to make sure he wins on the night. It'll be interesting to see if he comes out on top on November 6th."
Madonna has also received one nomination this year for single '4 Minutes'. She will be battling against 30 Seconds to Mars, Santogold, Weezer, and Snoop Dogg in the Video Star category.
The awards will be broadcast on 21 channels in over 40 countries across Europe. Last year, the awards were broadcast on 19 channels across Europe, the US and Asia, reaching a total television audience of more than 30m people.
Last year more than 78m votes were cast -- up 360% from 2006 -- and there were 200,000 unique Wap visitors and 3.2m video streams.
2008 MTV Europe Music Awards Category Nominations (In alphabetical order)
Best Act Ever
- Britney Spears
- Christina Aguilera
- Green Day
- Rick Astley
- Tokio Hotel
- 30 Seconds to Mars - 'A Beautiful Lie'
- Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake - '4 Minutes'
- Santogold - 'L.E.S. Artiste'
- Snoop Dogg - 'Sensual Seduction'
- Weezer - 'Pork and Beans'
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