British singer and UB40 founding member Terence Wilson, better known by his stage name Astro, has died after a brief illness, his current band confirmed.
“We are absolutely devastated and utterly saddened to have to tell you that our beloved Astro died today after a very brief illness,” a statement on Ali Campbell and Astro’s Twitter account. She said on Saturday. “The world will never be the same without him.”
Wilson was part of the British reggae band UB40 for more than 30 years, before leaving the band to join the breakaway group UB40 with Ali Campbell and Astro in 2013.
UB40 formed in Birmingham in the late 1970s and over the next three decades have found success with hits including “Red Red Wine” and “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love”.
The band tackles social and political issues head-on in their songs, voicing the dissatisfaction of the working class with the status quo of the time.
“I went through the same process as most blacks in the late 1970s,” Astro said The Guardian in May, recalling the “sus law” which allowed the “weekly occurrence” of police arrests of suspected people, often under racist pretexts.
“We found it harder to write love songs than militant lyrics, because it was so much easier to write about things you had seen or read about. It felt natural to us,” he said.
The current iteration of UB40 also paid tribute to the musician, writing on Saturday: “We learned the sad news tonight that former UB40 member Terence Wilson, better known as Astro, has passed away after a brief illness. Our sincere condolences. to his family “.
Another one from the band the founding members, Brian Travers, died of cancer in August at the age of 62.
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