UB40 unveil Duncan Campbell's replacement as lead singer

·2 min read
Duncan Campbell's replacement in UB40 has been announced. (Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns)
Duncan Campbell's replacement in UB40 has been announced. (Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

UB40 have revealed that Kioko musician Matt Doyle is set to replace Duncan Campbell as the reggae group's lead singer.

It comes after Campbell, 63, announced last week he would be retiring from music after having a seizure at home earlier this month.

He suffered a stroke in August 2020 and had been concentrating on recovering so he could tour the UK with the band this year.

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Kioko opened for UB40 at their 40th anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2018 and supported them on subsequent UK and European tours.

Doyle’s lead vocal features on the track You Don’t Call Anymore from UB40’s new collaborations album Bigga Baggariddim, released on 25 June.

He said in a statement: "I don’t quite know how to put into words just how incredibly honoured and grateful I feel to be given this opportunity.

“I have loved UB40’s music for as long as I can remember and that love has only grown since getting to know them and watching them play live night after night on tour.

“They took Kioko under their wing and gave us the opportunity of a lifetime by inviting us out on tour, and although I’ll deeply miss playing shows with Kioko I know that they will carry on to do incredible things and that we will always remain the best of mates.

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“I wish the absolute best for Duncan and I hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery."

Campbell’s older brother and UB40 guitarist and vocalist Robin said: “Matt has already demonstrated his ability and compatibility with the band on our latest album Bigga Baggariddim with the track You Don’t Call Anymore.

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“He’s a talented young man with a voice and singing style that will prove to be a good fit and a great asset to the band.

“And on top of all that he’s a nice guy, too.”

Astro, Ali Campbell and Mickey Virtue form a UB40 breakaway group. (Photo by PA Wire/PA Images via Getty Images)
Astro, Ali Campbell and Mickey Virtueed form a UB40 breakaway group. (PA Wire/PA Images via Getty Images)

Doyle will play with the Red Red Wine hitmakers on all of their dates this summer.

Campbell's younger brother Ali was the main UB40 singer from the band's in 1978 until he quit in 2008 due to a disagreement over management.

Ali has previously criticised his brother, saying watching him perform the band's songs "makes [his] skin crawl".

He has since toured as part of the breakaway group UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey.

With additional reporting by PA.