Ali Campbell (UB40)

English singer-songwriter Ali Campbell, the lead singer with Birmingham reggae band UB40 was born 15th February 1959. Formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, UB40 were named after the Unemployment Benefit form, in protest of widespread unemployment (As was the song “One in Ten” and have gone on to enjoy massive success, having placed more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and also achieving considerable international success.

The band have also been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, and in 1984, were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group. One of the world’s best-selling music artists, UB40 have sold over 70 million records. Among Their hit singles are their debut “Food for Thought” and two U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number ones with “Red Red Wine” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Both of these also topped the UK Singles Chart, as did the band’s version of “I Got You Babe” featuring guest vocals from Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. Other great songs by UB40 include Rat in the Kitchen, Kingston town, Can’t Help Falling in Love with you, Don’t Break My Heart, One in Ten and Cherrio Baby.

The ethnic makeup of the band’s original lineup is diverse, with musicians of English, Scottish, Irish, Yemeni and Jamaican parentage. The band’s initial lineup lasted for 30 years from the band’s formation in 1978 until frontman Ali Campbell’s departure from the band in 2008. Since that time, two other founding members (Mickey Virtue and Astro) have also left the band, and the trio of Campbell, Virtue, and Astro have since formed UB40 Reunited and played concerts at Birmingham O2 Academy on 19 December, London IndigO2 on 20 December and Manchester Academy on 21 December 2014. The song “Reggae Music” was also available to download from the website http://www.ub40.org and they released a new album in 2015.

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