Rick Astley headlined a “surreal” secret gig at a college bar, which was organised within a few hours.
Astley came out of retirement two years ago with a new number one album.
The Cambridge University students had less than a day to organise the event, which followed singer’s official tour date at the Cambridge Corn Exchange.
The Tuesday night gig at King’s College was kept secret and students were not told who was going to be performing until 10 minutes beforehand.
Astley and his band played for about an hour from 22:45 GMT, having gone straight to King’s after the Corn Exchange gig.
Entertainment officers Rob Gray and Vicky Clarkson were contacted about Astley’s request at 08:00 on Tuesday by his manager’s daughter, a former King’s student.
Initially they assumed it was a prank, but once they confirmed it was genuine, they received permission from the college to set it up – provided it was kept secret.
The students, assisted by staff, had just a few hours to set up an event that would usually take them a month or more.
College bursar Keith Carne praised them “for pulling together at short notice” to organise “such an enjoyable occasion”.
Mr Gray said: “I don’t know how we’re ever going to be able to top Rick.”
Fourth year student James Roberts said: “The event was so big that we called past ents officers out of retirement for one last job.”
They include Elias Calocane, who said: “It was surreal having this superstar in front of us and in a very intimate setting.
“Rick was so informal and friendly and he got people involved, including the college choir, and then another student who ended up playing the drums and killing it.”