Rick Astley reveals he now has hearing aids as he backs awareness campaign

Singer Rick Astley has revealed he has been fitted with his first hearing aids as he backs a campaign to raise awareness about hearing loss.

A part of the Specsavers project, the 57-year-old has re-recorded his hit Never Gonna Give You Up using lyrics people have misheard for years to highlight how these changes can affect daily life and encourage others to get checked.

The new version of his 1987 chart-topping debut single, released on Tuesday, features lyrics including “You wouldn’t catch nits from any other guy” and “Your aunt’s been naked”.

Rick Astley in the studio re-recording Never Gonna Give You Up (Jeff Moore/PA)
Rick Astley in the studio re-recording Never Gonna Give You Up (Jeff Moore/PA)

Astley said: “I had great fun re-recording the song with Specsavers and discovering the amusing ways people have misheard my song.

“It felt weird singing different lyrics but I’m pleased to be raising awareness of hearing loss, as there is still a stigma around this.”

He said he has been noticing changes to his hearing over time so recently got tested at the optical and audiology retail chain.

“It showed I have some hearing loss, which I was not fully aware of,” he admitted.

“It’s probably a result of playing the drums as a kid and working in the music industry, so they’ve given me my first hearing aids.

“It’s important to remember that everyone’s hearing is different. Some people lose high notes, others lose low frequency sounds.

“I’d encourage anyone to get their hearing tested if they notice any changes, so they don’t lose the sounds or music they love.”

The singer has been fitted for two hearing aids, one being a receiver-in-canal (RIC) and another an invisible-in-canal (IIC).

Specsavers audiologistSpecsavers audiologist Gurleen Brar shows Rick Astley the hearing aids in the studio (Jeff Moore/PA)
Specsavers audiologistSpecsavers audiologist Gurleen Brar shows Rick Astley the hearing aids in the studio (Jeff Moore/PA)

As part of the campaign, Specsavers carried out a survey which found that one in three people have noticed changes in their hearing over the last 10 years but 57% said they had taken no action to address it.

The research also found that one in six of those surveyed blame mishearing song lyrics on struggling to hear properly but 56% admitted they have never had their hearing tested.

Specsavers audiologist Gurleen Brar, who carried out Astley’s hearing test, said: “Specsavers understands that we all hear differently because we care for more ears across the UK than anyone else.

“We believe that everyone deserves to hear life in their own unique way and we are determined to help close the 10-year gap that exists currently.

“The quicker we understand the way that we hear, the quicker we can act when we notice changes which will help minimise any long-term impact.”

– The Specsavers’ survey was carried out by One Poll among 2,000 UK adults in September 2023.