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Former UB40 member Terence “Astro” Wilson dead at 64

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Ex-UB40 member Terence Wilson, better known as Astro, died Saturday. He was 64.

The vocalist passed away following "a very short illness," according to a tweet posted on his and founding UB40 lead singer Ali Campbell's joint Twitter account on Saturday.

"We are absolutely devastated and completely heartbroken to have to tell you that our beloved Astro has today passed away after a very short illness," the statement reads. "The world will never be the same without him."

Astro joined UB40 in 1979, a year after Grammy-nominated band's formation, and remained with the group until 2013. Aside from contributing spoken-word vocals to the band's work, he also played percussion and trumpet with the group.

After leaving the band, Astro teamed up with Campbell and longtime UB40 keyboardist Mickey Virtue, both of whom exited the group in 2008, to form UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro in 2014.

As part of UB40, Astro was featured on all of the group's major hits, including their chart-topping covers of Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine" and Elvis Presley's "I Can't Help Falling in Love," and their top-10 renditions of Al Green's "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" and The Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do."

Astro's former band also saluted his life in a tweet on Saturday, writing, "We have heard tonight, the sad news that ex-member of UB40, Terence Wilson, better know as Astro, has passed away after a short illness. Our sincere condolences to his family."

Wilson's family is asking for privacy during this time.  No additional information regarding Astro's health has been made available.

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