London, the British vocalist and founding member of UB40 Terence Wilson alias Astro has died of illness. This was confirmed by his current band.
“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,” a statement on Ali Campbell and Astro’s Twitter account said on Saturday.
“The world will never be the same without him.”
Wilson was a member of the British reggae band known as UB40 for an excess of 30 years. He left the band and joined a breakaway group known as UB40 which featured Astro and Ali Campbell in 2013.
UB40 was established in Birmingham in the late 70s. The band found great success over the next 30 years. They produced hit songs such as “Red Red Wine” and “I can’t Help” Falling in Love.”
The band tackled both political and social issues head-on in their music. This was key in providing a platform for the working class who were not satisfied with the status quo at that time.
“I went through the same rigmarole as most black people in the late 70s,” Astro told The Guardian in May. At the time it was normal occurrence for the policie to arrest people who acted suspicious but this was on racist grounds.
“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,” he said.
“We have heard tonight, the sad news that ex-member of UB40, Terence Wilson, better known as Astro, has passed away after a short illness. Our sincere condolences to his family,” wrote the current members of UB40 while paying tribute to the fallen maestro.
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