As previously reported, this year’s Commonwealth Games will run from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, U.K, UB40’s hometown. The group collaborated with local rappers Dapz on the Map and Gilly G on the song, which marks the debut of the group’s new frontman, Matt Doyle. The track also features a horn line from founding UB40 sax player Brian Travers, who died of cancer last year.
The “Champion” video was directed by award-winning filmmaker and Birmingham native Daniel Alexander. The clip features footage of UB40 and the guest rappers performing on a Birmingham rooftop, mixed with scenes of athletes competing in various sports. The song boasts an inspiring message encouraging people to strive to always do their best.
“Champion” also celebrates the Commonwealth Games being held in England for the first time in 20 years. The event is an international multiple-sport competition, held every four years, that features athletes from countries that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
“We are proud to be representing the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games with the official anthem ‘Champion,’” says UB40 guitarist Robin Campbell. “Birmingham represents the best of global Britain and it’s our pleasure to showcase this to the world. Birmingham is a city of champions!”
The song is the first single from UB40’s forthcoming studio album, UB45, which is due out in early 2023 and will feature new original songs as well as updated versions of some of the group’s classic hits and fan favorites.
Meanwhile, the band kicks off a new U.S. tour on August 18 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
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