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Maxi Priest to join UB40

March 30, 2008

maxi.jpgREGGAE star Maxi Priest is to replace lead singer Ali Campbell as the new frontman of Birmingham superband UB40.

The band have decided to carry on despite an acrimonious split from Campbell after a festering row with management.

The collaboration with Maxi Priest, expected to form a more permanent alliance, has already yielded a recording of Bob Marley’s I Shot The Sheriff and is expected to form half of a double A-side single soon.

A source close to the band said: “The recent recording session with Maxi Priest turned out brilliantly and the band are really buzzing about the year ahead.”

Maxi Priest joined UB40 on tour last year, culminating in sell out shows at the NEC in December.

He had top ten hits with Wild World in 1988 and Close To You in 1990.

He has worked with Sly & Robbie, Roberta Flack, Shaggy, Shabba Ranks, Joe & Dennis Brown.

Meanwhile, Ali Campbell is currently based in London where he is rehearsing a new band for probably the most important gig of his career, a showcase for his second solo album, Running Free, at the Royal Albert Hall.

“We’ve got an explosive set planned,” he promised. “It’s going to be a historic night. Pato Banton will be there, Sly and Robbie are coming over and, most thrilling of all, I’ll be sharing the stage with my all-time hero Smokey Robinson.”

After that he has a world tour planned, taking in such exotic dates as Seychelles, Mauritius and Hawaii.

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