Rick Astley has told Music Week he hopes new album Beautiful Life will prove the platinum-selling success of 50 was "no fluke".
Released via BMG, the singer's 2016 comeback LP exceeded all expectations to go straight in at No.1. It has sold 307,811 copies to date, according to the Official Charts Company.
"My expectations were that we might get a bit of a tickle, but not a No.1 album and go platinum - nowhere near any of that," said Astley, who graced this week's cover.
The pop icon returns on July 20 with Beautiful Life, his ninth studio album, which has been trailed by the single of the same name. As with 50, each of the 12 tracks are written, produced and played by the singer.
"There was obviously a point where I thought I could get a decent producer involved, when they perhaps might not have wanted to two years ago," said Astley. " I could even have gone to certain songwriters and part of me wanted to do that, but the other part of me said, 'No, I want to prove to myself that  wasn't a fluke and I can do it again.'"
Astley is unsure whether Beautiful Life can match up to the stunning performance of 50.
“I’m trying not to think about it," he admitted. "I’ve heard people go, ‘You’re going to have a bit of success with whatever you do, aren’t you?’ But it doesn’t work like that.
"I really like the new record and I think it’s as good as the last one, but we don’t have any element of surprise. Now, it’s a bit like, ‘Is he going to do a new record or what?’ So that’s a very different thing."
After selling over 100,000 tickets for his 2017 live dates, Astley and his band will head out again in October and November, joined by special guest Gabrielle. The 52-year-old is managed by SJM Concerts MD Simon Moran and Oscar-nominated film producer Lene Bausager.
See the new issue of Music Week or click here to read our interview with Astley in full, including contributions from BMG executives Alistair Norbury, Gemma Reilly and Korda Marshall.