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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
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1977–present
Labels Cooking Vinyl
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 worldwide 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. In August 2014 Campbell announced that he had reunited with former UB40 band mates Astro and Mikey to release a new album, Silhouette, set for release on 6 October 2014[1]

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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[3]

Campbell then issued a statement on his website and through his solicitors 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.[4] 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".[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

In August 2014 Campbell announced that he had reunited with former UB40 band mates Astro and Mikey to release a new album Silhouette[1]

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[4]
  • Running Free (2007) UK #9[4]
  • Flying High (2009) UK #13[4]
  • Great British Songs (2010) UK #15[4]
  • Silhouette (2014) UK #18 [4][8][9]

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)[9]


  1. ^ a b "Ali Campbell – The Legendary Voice Of UB40 Reunited with Astro & Mickey release new album “Silhouette” ahead of Australian tour in December.". Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ali Campbell — Marriage — Love — Celebrity — Editor's picks — New Zealand Woman's Weekly". Nzwomansweekly.co.nz. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "UB40 singer Campbell quits group". BBC News. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Ali Campbell". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Ali Campbell Great British songs". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Ali Campbell interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' October 2010". Bluesandsoul.com. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "The judging panel of New Zealand's Got Talent announced, TVNZ production". TVNZ Ondemand. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Album Review: Ali Campbell – “Silhouette”". New Noise Magazine. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  9. ^ 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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7742 news items

Hull Daily Mail

Hull Daily Mail
Tue, 13 Jan 2015 00:02:03 -0800

"I am a massive UB40 fan, so I travelled to Leeds to have Ali Campbell put on last Friday." The tattoo was done in one sitting and took three-and-a- half hours. Despite being a huge fan of the band, Miss Dobson says she almost missed out on being able ...

Nottingham Post

Nottingham Post
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 04:23:02 -0800

BRITAIN'S biggest reggae act, with around 70 million record sales worldwide, have extended their tour to include the Royal Concert Hall in April. But which version of the band is this? Since Ali Campbell quit seven years ago, after three decades with ...
Fiji Times
Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:18:45 -0800

FIJI and its beauty is being promoted once again on the international stage by none other than the legendary voice of UB40 Ali Campbell and UB40 founding members trumpeter Astro and keyboard player Mickey on their album Silhouette. The trio — who ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Fri, 14 Nov 2014 05:00:59 -0800

Ali Campbell: 'Everything changed when [his father] came home and he was a grumpy ogre in the house but I don't want to ruin the atmosphere so I'm probably a bit too easygoing.' Photograph: Daniel Lynch/eyevine. Interview by Nick McGrath. Friday 14 ...


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 ...


Sun, 28 Sep 2014 10:36:26 -0700

Reggae band UB40 have started legal action against former singer Ali Campbell over his use of their name. The furious five-some includes Campbell's own brothers Robin and Duncan - who have accused him of “hoodwinking” fans. They claim the rival trio ...


Fri, 03 Oct 2014 10:04:32 -0700

Ali Campbell may no longer be with UB40 but he is as passionate about reggae music as ever. He is proud of being a “reggae anorak” since the age of 10. “I started UB40 in 1979 to promote reggae and that's still my mission.” His mission continues with ...

Birmingham Mail

Birmingham Mail
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:33:35 -0700

“I am Ali Campbell, the legendary voice of UB40 – that's a fact. “But they just say they are UB40 and people turn up to their gigs disappointed not to see me singing. “It's my band, I formed it, I have just as much right to use the name as they do. “I ...

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