UB40 singer Ali Campbell says Stevie Wonder helped him to secure a dream collaboration.

UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey

UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey

The 59-year-old musician had originally hoped to work with Stevie, but ultimately, the 'Isn't She Lovely' hitmaker played a crucial role in helping him to organise a collaboration with Smokey Robinson.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz, Ali recalled: "Of course I love Stevie Wonder, I don't remember there being a reggae version of 'Place in the Sun', I just wanted it on there becasue I love Stevie.

"I've met Stevie several times, he's a lovely man, he's never said he's a UB40 fan but he has always been very warm to me and he did agree to work on some stuff with me when I made my first solo album 'Running Free' - just after I left UB40 - but I ended up with Smokey Robinson, who did a duet with me.

"Smokey did that because I told him that Stevie Wonder was doing a duet with me! What happened was, I was doing a version of Stevie's song 'Big Brother' and I asked if he'd play harmoinca on it for me, I went through his management and they said yes he'd love to."

However, the situation then took an unusual and unexpected turn.

He said: "I sent him the demo and he lost it, I kept going back to them asking if he'd done it, but then he lost it. I went to Smokey and said, 'Will you work with me? Stevie is.' And he went, 'Yes I'd love to, man.' I was very pleased with that still.

"Stevie Wonder was a massive part of my life growing up, from 'Music of My Mind' to 'Talking Book', Inner Visions', they were all massive albums in my life."

UB40's latest album, 'A Real Labour of Love', is out now.


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