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Ali Campbell
Ali Campbell at Raggamuffin 2009 cropped.jpg
Campbell performing in 2009.
Background information
Birth name Alistair Ian Campbell
Born (1959-02-15) 15 February 1959 (age 55)
Birmingham, (then Warwickshire,
now West Midlands)
, England
Genres Reggae
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1977–present
Labels Virgin/Dep International Ltd./Jacaranda Music Ltd.
Associated acts UB40
Website alicampbell.net

Alistair Ian "Ali" Campbell (born 15 February 1959, Birmingham, England) is a British singer, solo artist and songwriter who was the lead singer and a founding member of UB40. As part of UB40, Campbell sold over 70 million records world wide and toured the globe for 30 years. In 2008 Campbell left UB40 and embarked on a solo career. In 2012, Campbell was announced as one of the three judges on the judging panel of the TV show, New Zealand's Got Talent.

Personal life[edit]

Campbell was born in Birmingham. He is the brother of former bandmate Robin Campbell and current UB40 frontman Duncan Campbell, and is a son of the late Scottish folk singer, Ian Campbell. He supports Birmingham City. He is a father of eight children, including two with his current wife Julie.[1]

Departure from UB40[edit]

In October 2007, Campbell released a solo album entitled Running Free. The album entered the UK charts at number 9 and went gold. This was the first top ten entry for Campbell for a new studio album since UB40s Labour of Love 3 album, which was released 10 years prior to Running Free.

On 24 January 2008, it was reported that Campbell was to quit the group after almost 30 years.[2] Campbell, who was a founding member of UB40 - songwriter and lead vocalist for the band - sang on most of the best known hits such as "Red, Red Wine", finally quit the band in 2008. The band's last gigs together were in February 2008 in Australia, New Zealand and Uganda.[2]

Campbell then issued a statement on his website and through his lawyers stating that for many years he had been unhappy with the business practices and business managers of UB40 and launched an investigation into the financial handling of the business. This was the reason for his departure.

A few months later, Michael Virtue the keyboard player also left UB40, citing the same reasons as Campbell, and joined Campbell's legal investigation. Virtue subsequently joined Campbell's new band, the Dep band.

Solo career[edit]

On 18 October 2010 Ali released his fourth solo album 'Great British Songs' - a collection of British pop and rock hits from the 1960s and 1970s. The album reached 15 on the UK charts where it remained for three weeks. It also gave Campbell his third top 15 charting album in as many years.[3] Critic David Jefferies of AllMusic said of the album, "Longtime fans will appreciate that Campbell’s voice is as strong as ever, but it deserves a better showcase than this mixed bag".[4] Campbell's label Jacaranda Music was number one on the UK independent chart in October 2010 and 'Great British Songs' also entered the iTunes reggae album chart at number one.[5]

In 2012, Campbell was announced as one of the three judges on the judging panel of the TV show, New Zealand's Got Talent, along with Jason Kerrison and Rachel Hunter. In 2013, Campbell was replaced for the third series by American choreographer Cris Judd.[6]

Chart success[edit]

Campbell as part of UB40 has sold over 70 million records, notched up four number No. 1 singles around the world and over 40 Top 40 UK singles. See UB40 discography.

His solo albums Big Love and Running Free were both top ten in the UK charts and Flying High and "Great British Songs" reached the top fifteen in the UK charts.


Whilst with UB40 Campbell received an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement. At the 2007 Grammy Awards, UB40 were nominated for best reggae album of 2006. Mauritius Government award to Ali Campbell for his services to Music and Charity - December 2010


Solo albums[edit]

  • Big Love (1995) UK #6
  • Running Free (2007) UK #9
  • Flying High (2009) UK #13
  • Great British Songs (2010) UK #15


Solo Singles[edit]

  • "That Look in Your Eyes" (1995) (with Pamela Starks) UK #5
  • "You Can Cry on My Shoulder" (1995) (Japan only release)
  • "Let Your Yeah Be Yeah" (1995) UK #25
  • "Somethin' Stupid" (1995) (with Kibibi Campbell) UK #30
  • "Hold Me Tight" (2007)
  • "Would I Lie To You" (2007) (with Bitty McLean)
  • "Running Free" (2008) (with Beverley Knight)
  • "Out From Under" (2009)
  • "Carrie Anne" (2010)[7]


  1. ^ http://www.nzwomansweekly.co.nz/celebrity/ali-campbells-fairytale-love-affair/
  2. ^ a b "UB40 singer Campbell quits group". BBC News. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Ali Campbell". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ali Campbell Great British songs". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Ali Campbell interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' October 2010
  6. ^ The judging panel of New Zealand's Got Talent announced, TVNZ production
  7. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 90. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Campbell — Please support Wikipedia.
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Ali Campbell Full Live Concert @ The Royal Albert Hall, London 2012

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Mix of nine songs from Ali Campbell's three albums.The songs are : 1. Ali Campbell feat. Craig David-Everyways, album ,,Flying High'' 2. Ali Campbell feat. L...

Ali Campbell - I Want You (audio only)


Ali Campbell - Hold Me Tight (Official Video)

iTunes: http://bit.ly/zWsPZY Ali Campbell - Hold Me Tight Blanco y Negro Music CHECK US OUT ONLINE: http://www.facebook.com/blancoynegrofb http://twitter.com...

Ali Campbell Out From Under Official Video

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871 news items


Sat, 20 Sep 2014 23:09:16 -0700

Ali Campbell: "The Spice Girls would never have happened without us". Has your lifestyle reflected your financial peaks and troughs? Not really because we only ever took a little wage so we could carry on the same lifestyle in lean times. We never had ...

Birmingham Mail

Birmingham Mail
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:00:29 -0700

As a kid I listened to reggae music and Indian music because that was the soundtrack of growing up in Balsall Heath. When I got to secondary school I was shocked to discover that I was the only kid who liked reggae. All the rest were into Marc Bolan ...


Wed, 10 Sep 2014 07:02:11 -0700

Ali Campbell, the singer on UB40's biggest records, puts his immediately recognizable spin on a doo-wop classic with his new single, Silhouette, the video for which premieres at USA TODAY. Teaming with fellow founding UB40 members Mickey Virtue and ...


Wed, 03 Sep 2014 06:15:56 -0700

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: UB40 singer Ali Campbell's new video. LEGENDARY UB40 singer Ali Campbell is back with his latest single Silhouette - we have an exclusive first look at the video. By: Stefan Kyriazis. Published: Wed, September 3, 2014 ...
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 10:26:15 -0700

I Want You - an assured re-working of Bob Dylan's 1966 classic from Blonde On Blonde - is the new single from Ali Campbell, the legendary voice of UB40 reunited with Astro & Mickey, released October 14th on Cooking Vinyl. The single is the second to be ...

Broadway World

Broadway World
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:30:00 -0700

Broadway World readers, welcome to the life of a scenic apprentice at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. My name is Ali Campbell, and I am one of many hard working individuals pushing through the near-final leg of tech week for LES MISERABLES, which ...


Wed, 03 Sep 2014 02:04:50 -0700

Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue, three of the founding members of UB40, have announced further dates for next year. The reunited trio, who release 'Silhouette', their first offering as a three-piece, on October 6 via Cooking Vinyl, have expanded ...
Birmingham Mail
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 22:47:08 -0700

Among those helping to present awards will be Black Sabbath guitar hero Tony Iommi, BRIT Award nominee Laura Mvula, soul songbird Ruby Turner, pop wizard Roy Wood and UB40 legend Ali Campbell. From film and TV come superstar comedian Jason ...

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