UB40’s Ali Campbell has been in a ‘fairytale’ marriage for 17 years - who is his wife, kids, more
Everything to know about how Ali Campbell met his wife Julie, their wedding and more
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Birmingham-born Ali Campbell, 64, who was the lead singer of the British reggae band UB40, now performs with his band called UB40 Live Featuring Ali Campbell. As part of UB40, he has sold over 70 million records worldwide and toured the globe for 30 years but in 2008, he parted ways with the band due to a dispute and embarked on a solo career.
UB40, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary, will be performing in Birmingham on Sunday 27 August 2023, in an outdoor concert at Moseley Park, but Campbell won’t be a part of it.
Since parting ways, he has released solo albums, been a judge on New Zealand’s Got Talent, reunited with former UB40 bandmates Astro and Mickey Virtue and formed a band. Eventually, Virtue left and in 2021, Astro passed away after a short illness. Through these tumultous times, the one person who has been with him is his wife.
Who is Ali Campbell’s wife?
Ali Campbell and his wife Julie have been married since 2006 but their fairytale started much earlier. They met when she was 18 and he was around 24, but it took him a while to figure out that she was the one for him.
He acknowledged that he was a “philanderer” and has also been married before. However, when they realised that they were serious about each other, Julie moved from London to Birmingham for him. The couple have two kids together, Louis and Drew, and Campbell is also dad to Ali Junior, Max, Kibibi, Jack, Indica, and Kaya.
They tied the knot in Las Vegas in 2006 almost 30 years after they met and were married by an Elvis Presley impersonator in the middle of his tour, according to Now To Love. Julie told the magazine: “I always knew it would be him. But things had to happen in their own time – we had stuff we had to do before we got together. If we’d married when I was 18 I reckon we’d have killed each other by now!”
After their quick wedding, their children and Julie’s father were reportedly upset for not getting to be a part of it.
Julie added: “When we got home the kids weren’t speaking to me because we got married without them. My dad was so upset he didn’t get to walk me down the aisle, because I’m the only girl in a houseful of boys.”
Campbell said: “Our story is a true fairytale. My whole life has been the real deal rags-to-riches story – it’s manufactured, which is quite rare nowadays.” The couple has settled down since then and lead a domestic life but he still has to be on the road for tours. While his wife tries to be there leaving the kids is hard for the devoted dad.
“I find it really hard to leave the kids, yeah, but I’ve been doing it all my life so I’m used to it,” he said. And, when he’s home he uses his wife’s office to write songs. In 2018, he told the Daily Mail that with eight children and cats at home, he escapes to Julie’s office to get work done.