UB40 founding member Astro dies following short illness

“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 declaration on Ali Campbell and Astro’s Twitter account stated on Saturday. “The world will never be the same without him.”

Wilson belonged to British reggae band UB40 for more than thirty years, prior to leaving the band to sign up with breakaway group UB40 including Ali Campbell and Astro in 2013.

UB40 formed in Birmingham in the late 1970s, and over the next 3 years discovered success with strikes consisting of “Red Red Wine” and “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love.”

The band dealt with social and political problems head-on in their tunes, providing voice to working class discontentment with the status quo of the time.

“I went through the same rigmarole as most black people in the late 70s,” Astro informed The Guardian in May, keeping in mind the “sus law” that permitted the “weekly occurence” of authorities detaining individuals who were considered to be acting suspiciously — frequently on racist pretexts.

“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 stated.

The existing version of UB40 likewise commemorated the artist, composing on Saturday: “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.”

Another of the band’s charter member, Brian Travers, passed away of cancer in August at the age of 62.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.