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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 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.

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.[1] 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.[1]

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.[2] 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".[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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)[6]


  1. ^ a b "UB40 singer Campbell quits group". BBC News. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ali Campbell". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Ali Campbell Great British songs". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Ali Campbell interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' October 2010
  5. ^ The judging panel of New Zealand's Got Talent announced, TVNZ production
  6. ^ 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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203 news items

Birmingham Mail

Birmingham Mail
Sun, 30 Mar 2014 02:50:51 -0700

UB40 chart star singer Ali Campbell has not spoken to his brothers for SIX YEARS since the Birmingham band's acrimonious split, the Sunday Mercury can reveal. Ali has not had any contact with his UB40 co-founder Robin Campbell or their older brother ...
The Star Online
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:56:15 -0700

There is an ongoing version of UB40 led by Robin Campbell and band regulars on the touring circuit, while a new version of UB40 emerged recently with Robin's brother Ali Campbell leading the line-up with some old boys. So I hope I can be forgiven if ...
Times LIVE
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 00:52:30 -0700

Ali Campbell's UB40 performed live in Johannesburg at the beautiful Emmarentia Dam on Saturday, April 5, 2014 to a chilled crowd of old and young people getting high on life. Performing hits like 'Kingston Town', 'There's A Rat in My Kitchen' and 'Red ...

East Anglian Daily Times

East Anglian Daily Times
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:41:15 -0700

UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue round of this year's Adnams Newmarket Nights line-up. Email; Print. To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in. help us keep our site free. Formed in 1978 with record sales ...


Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:43:09 -0700

Founding members Ali Campbell (vocals), Mickey Virtue (keys) and Astro (sax) tell Rob Garratt the story behind their new UB40 ahead of The Irish Village gig. We're a little confused – we just had a different UB40 playing at Emirates Golf Club in February.

Media Update

Media Update
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 04:32:18 -0700

After weeks of anticipation for one of the most talked about concert tours in South Africa, the DStv presents UB40 SA Tour featuring Ali Campbell, culminated this past weekend in two performances by the reggae legends in Cape Town at Val de Vie Estate ...

Western Daily Press

Western Daily Press
Thu, 20 Mar 2014 23:00:00 -0700

Ali Campbell from Merlin Theatre on the arts in Frome. By Western Daily Press | Posted: March 21, 2014. Comments (0). "The sun is shining, where clouds have been, maybe it's something to do with spring!" wrote Noel Coward in one of his 1932 Music Revue ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:23:38 -0700

The remaining six members continued to tour and record with Ali Campbell's brother, Duncan, on vocals - it was this group which played at the Corn Exchange on Monday night. The split has proved to be acrimonious - in February UB40 Reunited released a ...

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