Terence Wilson, also known as Astro, a founding member of UB40, the trailblazing reggae band, has passed away following a short illness at 64, NPR reports.
Wilson’s passing was confirmed Saturday on the official Twitter page for his group, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell & Astro.
“We are absolutely devastated and completely heartbroken to have to tell you that our beloved Astro has today passed away after a very short illness,” the statement read. “The world will never be the same without him.”
‘We ask you to please respect his family’s privacy at this incredibly difficult time,” the post continued.
The other faction of UB40 also confirmed Wilson’s passing on Twitter.
“We have heard tonight, the sad news that ex-member of UB40, Terence Wilson, better known as Astro, has passed away after a short illness,” the tweet read. “Our sincere condolences to his family.”
UB40, a four-time Grammy-nominated band, formed in Birmingham, England during the late 1970s, just as reggae music was addressing issues such as racism and poverty that deeply affected working-class Black communities.
The group took their name from the British unemployment benefits card, the same form they used for their 1980 debut album Signing Off.
Throughout the band’s career, they were four-time Grammy nominees and topped the U.K. singles chart several times with the covers of “Red Red Wine,” Elvis Presley’s “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You,” and The Pretenders Chrissie Hynde’s “I Got You, Babe.”
Back in 2013 Wilson left UB40 and formed his own version of the band alongside former members Ali Campbell and Mickey Virtue.
At the time of his passing, Wilson, along with Campbell, continued to release new music and perform, and were planning a 2022 tour for their latest album, Unprecedented.
Earlier this year, Brian Travers, founding member, songwriter, and saxophonist of UB40, passed away following a battle with cancer.
We at EBONY send our prayers and condolences to the family and friends of Terrence “Astro” Wilson.