MUSIC: UB40 announces new lead singer as replacement for Duncan Campbell
Image: PA Media / Taylor J Wright
UB40 has announced Kioko musician Matt Doyle will replace Duncan Campbell as their new lead singer.
Campbell announced his retirement from music last week after having a seizure at home earlier this month.
The 63-year-old suffered a stroke in August last year and had spent the past 10 months recovering in preparation for the British reggae group’s forthcoming UK tour.
Doyle will now front the band, which formed in Birmingham in the late 1970s.
Kioko has previously opened for UB40 at their 40th anniversary concert at The Royal Albert Hall in May 2018, before supporting them on their UK tour later that year and on their European tour in 2019.
Doyle’s lead vocal features on the track You Don’t Call Anymore from UB40’s new collaborations album Bigga Baggariddim, which was released on June 25.
He said: “I don’t quite know how to put into words just how incredibly honoured and grateful I feel to be given this opportunity.
“I have loved UB40’s music for as long as I can remember and that love has only grown since getting to know them and watching them play live night after night on tour.
“They took Kioko under their wing and gave us the opportunity of a lifetime by inviting us out on tour, and although I’ll deeply miss playing shows with Kioko I know that they will carry on to do incredible things and that we will always remain the best of mates.
“I wish the absolute best for Duncan and I hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery.
“I’ve seen how much love he puts into his performance and he has written some incredible songs that I can’t wait to sing, as well as all the hits that have been such a big influence on my own music.
“UB40 have loyal and wonderful fans and I have loved getting to know so many of them already.
“My promise to them and to the fans all around the world is that I will always give it my all singing the songs they know and love and, alongside this legendary band, bring them a performance they’ll never forget.”
Campbell’s older brother and UB40 guitarist and vocalist Robin added: “Matt has already demonstrated his ability and compatibility with the band on our latest album Bigga Baggariddim with the track You Don’t Call Anymore.
“He’s a talented young man with a voice and singing style that will prove to be a good fit and a great asset to the band.
“And on top of all that he’s a nice guy, too.”
Doyle will play with UB40 at all of their dates this summer, starting on July 31 at Lingfield Park Racecourse, before embarking on the band’s UK tour in November and December.
Campbell previously replaced younger brother Ali as lead singer of the chart-topping group in 2008, after Ali quit over a disagreement about management.
UB40 formed in 1978 in Birmingham, choosing their name as a reference to a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits at the time.
The band produced hits including Red Red Wine and Falling In Love With You and its line-up remained stable for 29 years until January 2008, when frontman Ali left the band.
Ali has been highly critical of his replacement and said watching his brother perform the band’s songs “makes my skin crawl”.
He has since toured as part of the breakaway group UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey.
UB40 have scored more than 40 top 40 songs in the UK and are recognised as one of the country’s most successful bands.
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