Skip to content

Brian Travers, UB40 Founding Member and Saxophonist, Dies at 62

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 24: Brian Travers from UB40 performs at Le Trianon on March 24, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns via Getty Images)

Brian Travers, the saxophonist and founding member of UB40, died on Sunday at the age of 62 following a lengthy battle with brain cancer. The band released a statement confirming the news on their social media platforms.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our comrade, brother, founding UB40 member and musical legend, Brian David Travers,” the statement from the British reggae-pop band read. “Brian passed away yesterday evening with family by his side, after a long and heroic battle with cancer.”

According to the BBC, Travers had surgery to remove two brain tumors in 2019 and had another surgery earlier this year as well.

Born on Feb. 7, 1959, along with Robin Campbell, Ali Campbell, Earl Falconer, James Brown, and Norman Hassan, Travers co-founded UB40 in 1978 in Birmingham, England. The band became known for their hits including “Food for Thought,” “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” and covers of Neil Diamond’s “Red Red Wine” and a take on “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” In the UK, the band had 39 Top 40 singles and 28 Top 40 albums. Overall, UB40 has sold over 100 million albums worldwide.

Travers’ final performance with the band came at a show in Birmingham in 2019.

Travers is survived by his wife Lesley, his daughter Lisa and his son Jamie.