A cloudy cat, chocolate thrills and an underdog hero… Singer Rick Astley reveals the stories behind his most treasured possessions.
I have a big sweet tooth and chocolate is definitely my weakness. I’ve been known to eat a Twirl or two – people used to throw them at me on stage! I always get a naughty childlike thrill when I have a little block of chocolate with my coffee.
Recently Danish brewing brand Mikkeller asked to make this beer with me. I know nothing about brewing, but apparently its founder was a fan of mine as a teen so I said yes. My wife Lene [a film producer] and I are opening a bar with him in London this autumn.
Maybe I’m getting on a bit, but tea really does taste better in a china mug. These were gifts from my daughter Emilie, who is now 26. I took a break when she was two and felt lucky to spend time with her. It wasn’t about being a super dad, I just had to be there for her.
I wrote a lot of my last record 50 and some of my new album Beautiful Life on this Hornung & Møller piano (bought at auction ten years ago). I started out playing drums and sang in the school choir. After my parents split up when I was four, home life wasn’t the happiest – music became my escape.
I’ve always loved the story of Spartacus, the ultimate underdog in history, and Kirk Douglas who played him in the 1960 film. A friend in LA asked Kirk to sign this photo for me. I guess I’ve always felt a little like an underdog myself.
This is a kind of engagement ring. It’s inscribed with ‘We know they won’t win’, a line from Crowded House’s song ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’. Lene and I have been together since 1989, but we only married five years ago. Her positivity balances out my occasional negativity.
I often look at this 1956 Rolex, a gift from years ago, and think I was born in the wrong decade. I’m nostalgic for the past – I dream of retiring at 70 and running a little beach hotel in Italy. I’ll sing Frank Sinatra songs to guests, while Lene hands around G&Ts.
Emilie named our 19-year-old cat Sky because she looked a bit cloudy as a kitten. We were devastated when we lost her brother Charlie recently – he was like a human being in a cat’s body. Sky is fiercely independent, but she keeps us entertained.
Rick’s new album Beautiful life is out now. Tickets for his UK tour, from 25 October to 17 November, are on sale at rickastley.co.uk
Interview by Fiona McCarthy