The music community is mourning the loss of an important and influential pop singer.
The founding member of the British pop and reggae band UB40, Terence Wilson, known by his stage name Astro, has sadly passed away. The singer died at the age of 64 after suffering from a short illness.
Death of Astro
Wilson was the face of the popular band for more than 30 years. Eventually, he parted from the other band members and started a new UB40 group that had Ali Campbell and Mickey Virtue in 2013.
The original band had been a massive international success with more than 50 different singles. They would reach the UK Singles Chart during the peak of the band’s career. The band was applauded for its diverse line-up of musicians, including those of English, Jamaican, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, and Yemeni descent.
It was the Twitter account of Ali Campbell and Astro that announced the news of his death to the world. “We are absolutely devastated and completely heartbroken to have to tell you that our beloved Astro has today passed away after a very short illness. The world will never be the same without him,” the tweet stated.
Popularity of UB40 Band
UB40 was known for successful hits like “Red Red Wine,” “Food for Thought,” and (I Can’t Help) Falling in Love.”
Unlike other groups, UB40 made it a priority to focus on different social and political issues.
They would sing about working-class rights, racism, and any other injustices they personally saw and dealt with. “We found it harder to write love songs than militant lyrics, because it was a lot easier to write about stuff you had witnessed or read about. It seemed natural to us,” Astro said during an interview with The Guardian in May.
Everything they did musically seemed to stick, too. The group had been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album on four different occasions.
UB40 had a bit of internal turmoil after some members broke off and started their own group. This actually led some of the original members to attempt to take legal action against Virtue and Astro.
Terence Wilson and Ali Campbell had still been making music together in recent years. They were even planning on a 2022 tour to play the music from their most recent album, “Unprecedented.”
The UB40 group has faced tragedy in the past before Wilson’s recent death. That includes when another founding member of the group, songwriter and saxophonist Brian Travers, died. He passed away after a battle with cancer.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our comrade, brother, founding UB40 member and musical legend, Brian David Travers. Brian passed away yesterday evening with his family by his side, after a long and heroic battle with cancer,” the band said in a statement at the time, according to Variety.