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UB40 group members left bankrupt following closure of record label

October 18, 2011

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Half of the original line-up of British reggae band UB40 have been declared bankrupt by a judge at Birmingham County Court.

Despite sales that reached 70 million worldwide, the failure of the group’s self-managed record label DEP International, as well as internal arguments over finances, led to legal proceedings last week. As a result, Brian Travers (saxophone), Terence Oswald (trumpet), Jimmy Brown (drums) and Norman Hassan (percussion) have now been listed by the Insolvency Service in the UK.

The eight-piece band formed in Birmingham back in 1978, taking their name from a document used to apply for unemployment benefit at the time. They went on to rack up three UK #1 singles, as well as two chart-toppers in the US, making them one of the most commercially successful reggae acts of all time. The rather large outfit were most famous for credible reggae covers of pop and rock standards, such as Red Red Wine and Cant’s Help Falling in Love. However, UB40 also received much critical acclaim throughout their career for their self-penned output, much of which was political in tone.

Lead singer Ali Campbell bitterly split from UB40 in 2008. Since then, Campbell has continued to record and perform as a solo artist. His fourth album Great British Love Songs was released in 2010.

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