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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » UB40’s ALI CAMPBELL: “AS A REGGAE BAND WE WENT TO JAMAICA AS SOON AS WE COULD!”

UB40’s ALI CAMPBELL: “AS A REGGAE BAND WE WENT TO JAMAICA AS SOON AS WE COULD!”

ALI CAMPBELL, 58, is the frontman of reggae band UB40, who have sold more than 70 million records worldwide. The Birmingham-born father of eight is married to Julie and lives in Christchurch, Dorset.—

Ali CampbellGETTY

Ali Campbell’s most memorable holiday experience was his first visit to Jamaica in 1981

WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE HOLIDAY? I spend my life on holiday. My most memorable one would be the first time I went to Jamaica in 1981.As a reggae band we went there as soon as we could.

We had some time off and we suddenly had a bit of money and we were all over to Jamaica.

I love the Caribbean but Jamaica is my favourite spot – the music, the sun, sea and sand.

Ali and his band all got flu and were attacked by a Finnish ice hockey team in Russia
AND YOUR WORST? Russia wasn’t too good. We went there before Perestroika and Glasnost.We were the first band ever to go to Russia and do proper shows.

We’d just come back from staying at the Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles where you’ve got everything and suddenly found ourselves in Russia where we had nothing.

We all got flu and were attacked by a Finnish ice hockey team at one point.

Ali CampbellGETTY

Ali bought a machete in Jamaica which turned out to have been produced in Birmingham

BEST SOUVENIR? The first time I went to Jamaica I bought a machete in a wooden cover. I was very proud of it and carried it around everywhere.Then when I got home and took the blade out it read, “Made In Digbeth, Deritend”, which is where our office was based in Birmingham.

UB40RedRedWine

BEST BOOK? 

Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Stop Smoking. It changed my life and stopped me smoking cigarettes.

Scuba divingGETTY

Scuba diving is Ali’s favorite activity to do whilst on holiday

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME ON HOLIDAY? Scuba diving is a big love of mine, I’ve dived in every ocean in the world. When I’m underwater it’s the only time I get any peace.WHERE WOULD YOU REVISIT? 

The Caribbean. We’ve just come back from Antigua, where I was floating around with my wife in the most gorgeous sea in temperatures of 85F.

We re-shot the Come Back Darling video there to encourage people to go back to the island after the hurricanes.

Ali CampbellGETTY

The Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean are Ali’s next destination

WHERE ARE YOU OFF TO NEXT?I’m off to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. We’re doing a private show and we’ve got a week off there to relax.We’re all over the world this year, New Zealand, the South Pacific, America, Africa – we’re the most travelled band in UK pop history.

Virgin Holidays has teamed up with UB40 to encourage tourists to return to the Caribbean islands following the impact left by hurricanes Irma, Maria and Jose, producing a music video for their hit Come Back Darling. YouTube.com/Virgin Holidays 

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