Tributes are paid to Astro from UB40 who has died aged 64

Virgin Radio

8 Nov 2021, 10:25

Credit: Getty

Credit: Getty

Founding member of UB40 Astro has died after a short illness.

The musician, whose real name was Terrence Wilson, was a member of the Birmingham reggae band from 1978 until 2013, after which he left to join the breakaway group UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro. They were set to tour in 2022.

A statement on the band's official Twitter page 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.”

UB40, who were named after the then government's unemployment benefit form, had big hits in the 1980s with songs such as Red Red Wine, Rat in mi Kitchen and Can't Help Falling In Love. They ended up selling over 70 million records.

The current UB40 line-up said on Twitter: “RIP ASTRO. 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."

Elsewhere on Twitter, other people were paying tribute as well. Rapper Jaykae wrote: “I got a song with Ub40 on my album. Everyone who’s heard it reckons it’s my best tune ever. Tbh I do too. I’m so lucky to have brushed shoulders with these legends from my city. The love and ratings I have for this band. RIP Astro. Ali and all loved ones keep ya heads up.”

Other Twitter users paid their respects. One said: “Another legend gone too soon, #UB40 have been a massive part of my life since 1980..RIP high!”

Another wrote: “A great socialist. A great blues fan. A great Brummie. Keep Right On.”

Someone else said: “RIP Astro #UB40 are a gift to us all, everyone has a ub40 song that hits home, many have cried and many have laughed, danced and loved to this band - legends of the game. the music will live forever.”

Another Twitter user added: “RIP Astro. Thank You for the music and the memories. I grew up through those great UB40 music years in the 80s (and beyond). Astro’s contribution on Red Red Wine is nothing less than iconic, in concert Astro brought the place alive with his unique, beautiful style.”