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Rickrolling fans earn Rick Astley MTV award

The 80s is officially cool again - or at least it is if you care what MTV thinks.

Eighties pop star Rick Astley was named the Best Act Ever at the MTV Europe Music awards this week - and it's all thanks to an online joke known as Rickrolling. 

Astley, whose career started as a tea-boy for music producer Pete Waterman, hasn't made it into the UK top 40 since 1993. He didn't appear on the original nominations short-list but managed to claw his way on to the list after a new generation of fans discovered his tuneful ditties through the Rickrolling phenomenon.

Rickrolling saw hundreds of supposedly genuine web links re-directing users to the music video for Astley's 1987 hit Never Gonna Give You Up. Since Rickrolling began, it's estimated that Astely's video has been watched on YouTube more than 20 million times.

Richard Godfrey, a senior vice-president at MTV and executive producer of the awards said: "We've been well and truly Rickrolled."

Astley didn't turn up for the ceremony but released a statement thanking fans.

"I am honoured that my fans worked so hard to help me win Best Act Ever at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards," he said.

US gossip blogger Perez Hilton collected the award on his behalf.

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