Reggae chart toppers UB40 have declared bankruptcy. As reported by the Daily Mail, saxophonist Brian Travers, drummer Jimmy Brown, trumpeter Terence “Astro” Wilson, and percussionist Norman Hassan were all “declared insolvent.”
A Birmingham County Court judge has given the go ahead to begin seizure of assets to help pay off the debt. The bulk of the amount owed was accumulated via the group’s former management company Dep International Ltd, which went into insolvent liquidation in April 2008, according to the Birmingham Post. Liquidators are currently entitled to the group’s royalty payments per a July 2011 hearing. In addition to their debts, the reggae stars must also pay the costs of the case, which is believed to be near £57,000 (about $88,000).
The band’s biggest hits, covers of Neil Diamond’s “Red Red Wine” and Elvis Presley’s “(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love With You,” both went number one in the U.S.
Longtime lead vocalist Ali Campbell left the group in 2008, complaining of financial troubles, as did keyboardist Mickey Virtue. The band was actually celebrating this past week, according to the press reports, by performing at the Birmingham pub where they played their first show.
“It is ironic that the very week they celebrate their first gig they have been declared bankrupt,” spokesman for Campbell reported the Daily Mail, “vindicating both Ali and Mickey Virtue’s decision to leave UB40.”
A fifth original member of UB40, Robin Campbell, the brother of Ali, was also involved in the Birmingham County Court case although is not listed as bankrupt.
The group could not be reached for comment.