Inspired by the Jamaican sounds of ska and reggae, UB40 charted a long line of hits on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. The group formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, with brothers Robin and Ali Campbell — sons of the famous Scottish folk singer Ian Campbell — assembling a racially-diverse lineup that included saxophonist Brian Travers and percussionist Norman Hassan. Signing Off, the band's 1980 debut, was a success in the UK, where the singles "Food for Thought" and "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" both became Top 10 hits. Three years later, the band topped the charts in both the UK and USA with 1983's "Red Red Wine," a reggae-influenced interpretation of Neil Diamond's original. A collaboration with Chrissie Hynde on a cover of Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" was another smash in 1985, and UB40 remained one of Britain's biggest bands for two decades. In America, the band's popularity was rekindled by 1989's Labour of Love II and 1993's Promises and Lies, both of which went platinum thanks to Top 10 hits like "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)," "The Way You Do the Things You Do," and "(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You." Ali Campbell quit to go solo in 2008, replaced by younger brother Duncan Campbell and Maxi Priest. UB40 remained active during the 2010s, releasing albums like 2010's Labour of Love IV and 2019's For the Many. Health problems plagued the group during the early 2020s, though, with Duncan Campbell retiring in June 2021 after suffering a stroke. Two months later, sax player Brian Travers lost his battle with cancer, dying in Moseley, West Birmingham, at 62 years old. Astro, whose rapped vocals had appeared prominently on the band's cover of "Red Red Wine," also passed away that year, succumbing to a short illness at 64 years old on November 6, 2021.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring UB40

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.