Watch: UB40 Champion - the official anthem of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Robin Campbell tells of how Birmingham represents the best of “global Britain’ as the video is released and the band prepare for their 45th anniversary tour
Oozing with inspiration, melody and beats - UB40s Champion is a classic track from the Brummie reggae pop stars that have been winning fans for almost half a century.
Featuring fellow Birmingham artists rappers Dapz On The Map and Gilly G, Champion will have you singing and swaying along in seconds. It’s a brilliant anthem for the Commonwealth Games with a touching message that we can all be number one champions at whatever we do.
The impressive video, filmed on top of Birmingham Library in Centenary Square with clips of athletes at the Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr, captures the new, revitalised city centre at its best. It has been directed by award-winning filmmaker and Birmingham rising star Daniel Alexander,
There have been many twists and turns for UB40 over the years - and it is touching that the band has included a horn line from the late Brian Travers, a founding member who died last year aged 62.
As well as being the official anthem for the Commonwealth Games, Champion is the first single from UB40s upcoming album which will be released in early 2023 and feature a celebration of UB40 past with new original material and a reworking of some of the band’s classics and greatest hits, performed by new frontmanMatt Doyle - who joined after Duncan Campbell retired last year - and has been welcomed with rave reviews.
What have UB40 said about Champion in their own words?
Robin Campbell, guitar and vocals, 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’s our pleasure to showcase this to the world. Birmingham is a city of champions!”
He added: “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!
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."
Have UB40 released any more information about their 45th anniversary tour?
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.
The ‘UB45’ tour is being recommended as a must-attend event for any UB40 lover. The reggae pop band 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.
They will play Castlebar, Belfast, Leeds, London’s iconic Wembley Arena and a special hometown performance at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena.
The line up is:
Founders. Robin Campbell, James Brown, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan
Long-time members Martin Meredith, Laurence Parry along with Tony Mullings, Ian Thompson and Matt Doyle.
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