- 23 Aug 21
Travers was a founding member of UB40 and played saxophone in the band.
UB40 songwriter and one of the band's founding members, Brian Travers, has died at the age of 62 on Sunday, August 22nd.
The saxophone player passed away at his home in Moseley, Birmingham surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer. The band announced the news of Travers' tragic passing on social media today (August 23).
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our comrade, brother, founding UB40 member and musical legend, Brian David Travers,” they wrote.
“Brian passed away yesterday evening after a long and heroic battle with cancer. Our thoughts are with Brian's wife Lesley, his daughter Lisa and son Jamie.
“We are all devastated by this news and ask that you respect the family’s need for privacy at this time,” they added in their statement.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our comrade, brother, founding UB40 member and musical legend, Brian David Travers. Brian passed away yesterday evening with his family by his side, after a long and heroic battle with cancer. pic.twitter.com/V3EguMJCYY
— UB40 (@UB40OFFICIAL) August 23, 2021
Travers' last performance with the legendary band came at the Arena Birmingham in December 2019. The musician formed the band in Birmingham in 1978 alongside his bandmates, choosing their name as a reference to a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits at the time.
The saxophonist was forced to pull out of the band's 40th anniversary tour in 2019 after he suffered a seizure. It was later revealed he had two tumours in his brain.
Dr. David Jenkinson, interim chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity said, "All of us at The Brain Tumour Charity are deeply saddened by Brian's death."
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and with everyone who was inspired by his career and the success of the band.
"His loss is a fierce reminder of why we must move further and faster every day in the battle against brain tumours, so that other families do not have to endure this kind of heartbreak in the future," he added.
The reggae band sold over 100 million albums worldwide and produced classic hits like ‘Red Red Wine’ and ‘Falling In Love With You.’ The band nabbed over 40 Top 40 hits in the UK.
The UB40 lineup remained the same for three decades, from 1978 to 2008 when original lead singer Ali Campbell left the band. Replacement frontman Duncan Campbell, brother of Ali, announced his retirement from the band in June this year due to ill health. He was replaced by Kioko musician Matt Doyle.
Doyle joined the most recent lineup of Robin Campbell, Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Laurence Parry, Tony Mullings, Martin Meredith and Travers.
UB40 released their most recent album Bigga Baggariddimon on June 25th this year. It was their 21st studio album and followed up For The Many which dropped in 2019.
Listen to Bigga Baggariddim below.