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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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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287 news items

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:56:15 -0700

29 Jahre hat Mitgründer Alistair "Ali" Campbell in der legendären multinationalen Soft-Reggae-Band "UB 40" gesungen. Als die Gruppe in finanzielle Schieflage geriet, verließ der jetzt 55-jährige Sänger und Gitarrist UB 40. Doch nach der Pleite machte ...
Radio Rzeszów
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:18:45 -0700

ALI CAMPBELL to znana postać na scenie muzycznej. Frontman legendarnej grupy reggae UB40 powraca z nowym projektem. Album „Silhoutte" powstał we współpracy z dawnymi członkami zespołu Mickey'm Virtue i Astro. Płyta trafi na półki sklepowe 6 ...
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 02:40:42 -0700

TILBURG - De reggae-veteranen van UB40 komen terug naar Nederland. De befaamde groep heeft vele wereldhits gemaakt en staat op dinsdagavond 11 november op het podium van 013. In deze formatie komen oerleden Ali Campbell, Astro en Mickey ...

Birmingham Mail

Birmingham Mail
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:11:15 -0700

Among those helping to present the awards will be Tony Iommi, Laura Mvula, Ruby Turner, Roy Wood, Ali Campbell, Jodie Stimpson, Dion Dublin and Ian Taylor, Glynn Purnell, James and Oliver Phelps, and Ian Kelsey and Lorna Laidlaw. Live entertainment ...
Scoop.co.nz (press release)
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:07:30 -0700

Joining them on the bill is previously announced headliners UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue, who will play new music alongside all-time favourites such as 'Red Red Wine' and Ice Cube (C.I.A and N.W.A) who will perform his ...
Worcester News
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:43:51 -0700

Following music by Ali Campbell and Shakin' Stevens, Mr Willmott's youngest daughter, Danielle, paid an emotional tribute to her father. The 21-year-old said: "My dad was always smiling no matter what, he always had a laugh and a joke. He was the best ...

Hull Daily Mail

Hull Daily Mail
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:23:26 -0700

... of the popular British reggae group will now perform live at the historic venue on Queen Victoria Square on Thursday, January 15, and Friday, January 16. Vocalists Ali Campbell and Astro will join keyboardist Mickey Virtue under the name UB40 Reformed.
Birmingham Mail
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:03:45 -0700

Among those helping to present the 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. Sporting stars will include Commonwealth ...

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