UB40's Astro dies aged 62 after 'very short illness'

Former UB40 member Astro has died at the age of 62 after a ‘very short illness’, the band confirmed on Twitter.

The musician, whose real name was Terence Wilson, had played percussion and trumpets as well as providing vocals in the band from 1978 until 2013.

UB40’s official Twitter account told fans: ‘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.

‘Our sincere condolences to his family, UB40.’

After leaving the band he went on to play with breakaway group UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro.

Since the pair reunited in 2013, they have embarked on multiple UK arena tours, and world tours including visits to North and South America, Nigeria, South Africa, Dubai and Australia, as well as the vineyards of New Zealand for a Red Red Winery Tour.

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.

We ask you to please respect his family’s privacy at this incredibly difficult time. pic.twitter.com/GRDjtApyzy

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.
Our sincere condolences to his family

UB40 pic.twitter.com/6huxc1wN8k

A statement on the band’s official Twitter said: ‘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. We ask you to please respect his family’s privacy at this incredibly difficult time.’

The band, which formed in Birmingham in the 1970s, have been one of the most commercially successful reggae acts of all time, in terms of record sales, chart positions and touring schedule.

UB40 formed in 1978 in Birmingham, choosing their name as a reference to a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits at the time.

The line-up remained stable for 29 years until January 2008, when frontman Ali Campbell left the band over a disagreement about management.

Their biggest hits include Red Red Wine and Falling In Love With You and have had over 40 top 40 hits.

The band’s saxophonist, Brian Travers, also died in August at the age of 62 after battling cancer.

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