‘Never be the same’: UB40 founder mourned
Astro (second left), with fellow band members Mickey Virtue and Ali Campbell. Photo: Getty
Founding UB40 member Astro, real name Terence Wilson, has died after a short illness.
Astro was a member of UB40 from the late 1970s until 2013 when he left to form a breakaway group, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro.
“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 the group’s official Twitter account said.
“The world will never be the same without him. We ask you to please respect his family’s privacy at this incredibly difficult time.”
A statement from the current UB40 line-up said, “RIP ASTRO”.
“We have heard tonight, the sad news that ex-member of UB40, Terence Wilson, better know as Astro, has passed away after a short illness,” the statement said.
“Our sincere condolences to his family.”
Fellow UB40 founding member, sax player and songwriter Brian Travers, died in August from cancer, aged 62.
UB40 formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, choosing their name as a reference to a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits at the time.
The band produced hits including Red Red Wine and Falling In Love With You.
In June, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro performed a special online concert of UB40’s 1980 album Signing Off in its entirety.
Since Campbell and Astro reunited in 2013, they have embarked on multiple British arena tours, while their world tours have included visits to Australia, North and South America, Nigeria, South Africa and Dubai, as well as the vineyards of New Zealand for a Red Red Winery Tour.