UB40’s Brian Travers dead at 62

Death has come calling in the UB40 fold. Brian Travers, saxophone player and founding member of the Brit pop and reggae band UB40, died Sunday surrounded by family at his home in the UK. He was 62.

His iconic “Red Red Wine” band confirmed Travers’ passing after a “long and heroic battle” with brain cancer in an emotional statement via Facebook, NYPost reports.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our comrade, brother, founding UB40 member and musical legend, Brian David Travers,” the announcement reads. “…We are all devastated by this news and ask that you respect the family’s need for privacy at this time.”

Travers co-founded UB40 in 1978 with various pals from across Birmingham in the UK, choosing their band name as a reference to a form issued to people — including all of the bandmates — claiming unemployment benefits during the era, according to a 2018 band retrospective in the Telegraph.

The band went on to produce international hits such as “Falling In Love With You” and sold nearly 100 million albums worldwide, charting dozens of Top 40 songs in the UK.

Travers’ last performance with UB40 was a December 2019 concert held in their hometown Arena Birmingham. 

Travers is survived by wife Lesley, his daughter Lisa and son Jamie, according to UB40’s statement.

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