The death of a former member of UB40 | News letters

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Wilson joined the British reggae and pop band in 1979, a few months after the band’s formation. There he continued until 2013, before forming his own band which changed its name several times before getting its current name UB40 which includes Ali Campbell and Astro.

The band even confirmed Wilson’s death late Saturday night and reported that he died after a short illness.

UB40 gained star status in the 1980s with hit songs such as “Red Red Wine” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. The band has sold over 100 million records. The band also set a record, joint with Madness, for spending the most weeks on the UK Singles Chart in the 1980s.

UB40 came from Birmingham where the band was hit by a wave of youthful discontent with the country’s economic and political situation. The band’s name is a reference to a form people had to fill out to get unemployment benefits – Unemployment Benefit Form 40.

Drummer Jimmy Brown told the Guardian earlier this year that the band was under British intelligence surveillance.

MI5 taps our phones and monitors our homes and everything. But we did not plan a revolution. He said that if there was a revolution, then we knew which side we would take.

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Ashura Okorie

Ashura Okorie

"Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert."

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