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R.I.P. Astro, Toaster of UB40 Dead at 64

The band's longtime member passed away following a short illness

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Astro of UB40
Astro of UB40, photo via YouTube

    Astro, longtime singer and multi-instrumentalist of reggae band UB40, has died following a short illness. He was 64 years old.

    “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,” according to statement posted to social media on Saturday (November 6th).

    Astro, whose real name was Terence Wilson, joined UB40 shortly after their formation in 1978. One of the most successful British bands in history, UB40 sold over 70 million records worldwide and achieved 11 top 10 singles to their name in the UK. The group’s biggest single, 1983’s “Red Red Wine,” went No. 1 in both the UK and US. Three years later, they earned their second No. 1 single in the UK with their cover of “I Got You Babe” featuring Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders.

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    UB40’s lineup remained stable for nearly three decades, until Ali Campbell, Mickey Virtue, and Astro departed to form a new version of the group. As of late 2018, Cambell and Astro had been playing together under the banner UB40 featuring Ali Campbell & Astro.

    Astro’s death also comes just months after the passing of former UB40 bandmate, Brian Travis, who lost his battle to cancer in August.

    The other surviving members of UB40 paid tribute to Astro in their own social media post. “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,” their statement read.

     

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