Iconic reggae band UB40 will celebrate a momentous 45 years in the business with a brand new album ‘UB45’ and a UK and Ireland tour. The debut single from the new album ‘Champion’ has been unveiled today as the official anthem of the Commonwealth Games 2022 and will be released on 15th July 2022. The track is available to stream on UK music services here. The tour is on sale from today.
Champion, was written by UB40 for the new multi-artist album “On Record” as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival and features Dapz on the Map and Gilly G. On Record, commissioned and produced by Birmingham Music Archive, features eleven original songs exclusively written and recorded by new and established city music talent.
Champion is the official Commonwealth Games song and celebrates the Games coming to England for the first time in 20 years. It’s also a celebration of Birmingham. It is the first single from UB40’s new album UB45 which will be released early 2023. The album is the ultimate celebration of UB40’s past and present featuring new original material and also a reworking of some of the band’s classics and greatest hits, performed by new frontman Matt Doyle.
Robin Campbell said, “We are proud to be representing the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games with the official anthem ‘Champion’. Birmingham represents the best of global Britain and it is our job to showcase this to the world. The song is about celebrating the cultural diversity of Birmingham. Birmingham is truly a city of champions!”
Matt Doyle added, “Champion is all about positivity. It’s about being uplifted and putting that energy into whatever gets you up in the morning- whether it be music, art or sport or whatever it is. It’s about doing what you do best and excelling at that, celebrating being a champion. “
Following the Commonwealth Games, founder Robin Campbell, James Brown, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, long-time members Martin Meredith, Laurence Parry along with Tony Mullings, Ian Thompson and Matt Doyle, who was announced as the band’s new lead singer in 2021 following Duncan Campbell’s retirement, will continue their 45th Anniversary with a celebratory arena tour in the UK and Ireland this December playing Castlebar, Belfast, Leeds, London’s iconic Wembley Arena and a special hometown performance at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena.
The ‘UB45’ tour is a must-attend event for any UB40 lover. New front man Matt Doyle stunned audiences across the UK and Europe with his debut tour this summer to rave reviews, and this tour will take the UB40 live experience one step further.
As fans have come to expect, the tour promises to be a true UB40 fest – a celebration of the band’s timeless classics and fan favourites, alongside their latest material. Audiences will be treated to a set list packed with incredible hits, such as Food for Thought, Kingston Town, (I Can’t Help) Falling in Love With You and Red, Red Wine, as well as new track Champion.
UB40 are one of the UK’s most successful British groups of all time, achieving three UK Number Ones – Red, Red Wine, I Got You Babe (ft. Chrissie Hynde) and (I Can’t Help ) Falling In Love with You – not to mention 17 Top 10 singles and more than 50 UK hit singles. The band have sold 100 million records while taking their smooth Reggae and Pop blend to all corners of the globe, with hits such as ‘Food For Thought’, ‘Cherry Oh Baby’ and ‘Kingston Town’. Among the accolades, the band won an Ivor Novello Award, was nominated for the BRIT Award for Best British Group in 1984 and the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times between 1987 and 2006.
Since forming in 1978, UB40 have transcended their working-class origins to become the most successful reggae band in the world. Older numbers such as King (about the legacy of American Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King) and One In Ten (about unemployment in the UK) which feature on the tour are as timely today as when they were first sung in 1980 and 1981.
Robin Campbell, Guitarist and Vocalist says: “Our 45th anniversary doesn’t bear thinking about, but the celebrations will be great fun starting in the UK arenas in December. These shows and the new album represent our brotherhood and celebrating our history but also taking our next step together as a band. We are pushing new boundaries and looking to the future with our frontman Matt Doyle, and we can’t wait to show the world how good he is with us and how much he’s come on in the last year. Come and join us to celebrate 45 years of UB40 and what is going to be one massive party!”