UB40's Astro dies at 64Monday, November 08, 2021
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Astro, whose versatility made him a key member of British band UB40, died in London on November 6 at age 64.
His death was confirmed on the band's official Twitter site.
“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.”
Astro, whose real name was Terence Wilson, is the second member from the band's classic line-up to die in three months. Saxophonist Brian Travers succumbed to cancer in August at age 62.
Born in Birmingham in the British Midlands to West Indian parents, Astro was a trumpeter, percussionist, and vocalist. He played on UB40's biggest hit songs, including Red Red Wine, I Got you Babe, and The Way You do The Things you Do.
He did the deejay part for Red Red Wine, a global number one for UB40 in 1983.
He left UB40 in 2013 and joined the breakaway group, UB40 featuring Ali, Astro, and Mickey (Virtue).
UB40 became splintered following differences between Ali Campbell and his brother Robin, another founding member.
In May, Ali Campbell and Astro revisited UB40's finest moment by releasing the Red Red Wine vegan and organic wine through British company Eminent Life.
Astro spoke to the foodtribe.com website about the venture.
“We enjoyed the softer, richer Merlot, topped off with the leafy Cabernet and a smidgeon of vanilla oak. Red Red wine has great balance and is really satisfying to drink. Like our music we are always looking for balance and harmony. The Red Red Wine has both,” he said.
One of the last major music projects Astro played on was A Real Labour of Love, a 16-song album with Campbell and Virtue that contains covers of popular Jamaican songs, including Beres Hammond's She Loves Me Now; Dennis Brown's Here I Come and How Could I Leave; JC Lodge's Telephone Love; Wayne Smith's Under Me Sleng Teng; Ken Boothe's Moving Away; and Gregory Isaacs' Rumours.