Origin- Birmingham, England
Genre- Pop, Reggae, Dub
Active- 1978- Present
Named after a British “Unemployment Benefit Form”, the POP-reggae band UB40 were formed in 1978 and their multiracial line-up reflected the working-class community their members came from. Brothers Robin (lead guitar) and Ali Campbell (guitar, lead vocals) formed the centrepiece of the group, along with Earl Falconer, saxophonist Brian Travers, drummer James "Jimmy" Brown, and percussionist Norman Hassan. The group began gigging in 1979, scoring an opening gig with the Pretenders by the end of the year.
Their first single, "Food for Thought," reached the U.K. Top Ten in 1980, beginning a long streak of chart appearances. Released in 1983, Labour of Love, an album of reggae cover songs, gave the group its first chart album in America and first number one U.K. hit with Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine;” it stayed on the charts for over 100 weeks. The group scored a huge hit in America with Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love," featured in the Sharon Stone film “Sliver” and spent seven weeks at number one.
In 1995 they covered the Stevie Wonder song "Superstition" for the Eddie Murphy movie Vampire in Brooklyn and it appears on their album “The Best of UB40 – Volume Two” which they released that year. The group also made a guest appearance in the 1997 feature film Speed 2: Cruise Control. In 2003, UB40 and the United Colours of Sound recorded "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" as the official anthem for the England national rugby union team.
UB40 are one of the most commercially successful reggae acts of all time in terms of record sales (over 70 million), chart positions and touring schedule. During their three-decade long career, they have been performing sell-out shows worldwide, Nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, and in 1984 were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group.