Former UB40 frontman Ali Campbell has opened his heart to The Birmingham Post about his departure from the band, saying he felt betrayed by the other members.
Campbell, 49, shocked fans in January when he announced he wanted to pursue a solo career, blaming management difficulties as his reason. However, the remaining seven members have consistently refuted his allegations and vowed to carry on without him.
Campbell is currently based in London rehearsing a new band for a concert at the Royal Albert Hall. He admits to having mixed emotions about the split with the other seven members of UB40. The band have known each other since school days and the singer's brother, Robin, plays guitar.
"We're all brothers having known each other for so long and having been through all this together. There's been a lot of s*** bandied about, but my decision was based on dissatisfaction with the management.
"If the others had sided with me and not backed the others, I would still be in UB40. Simple as that. But they didn't, so I left. They're going to carry on and I'm going to carry on.
"I do feel betrayed by them. I fully expected them to sort it out but they didn't."
A showcase for his second solo album, Running Free, the Royal Albert Hall show will feature vocal support from all the singers who duet with Campbell on the record.
All except one.
Said Campbell: "The only one who can't make it is Mick Hucknell who has told me he'll be in Italy on that night. Actually, I think he'll be baby-sitting; his missus has just had a baby, but he doesn't want to tell me that."
Amongst the artists who will be present are Beverley Knight, another Midlander who sings alongside Ali on the new single, Running Free.
Campbell added: "I've got a great new band behind me made up of seasoned reggae session men. I've called them the Dep Band and they've got a lot of stamina.
"We've got an explosive set planned. It's going to be a historic night. Pato Banton will be there, Sly and Robbie are coming over and, most thrilling of all, I'll be sharing the stage with my all-time hero Smokey Robinson. That's the cherry on the cake"
Katie Melua and Lemar will also be there.
After the Royal Albert Hall show, Campbell will take his new band out on the road, calling at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on June 7. After that he has a world tour planned, taking in such exotic dates as Seychelles, Mauritius and Hawaii.
"After that I'll be recording the next album. It's going to be called Flying High and I've already got several guests lined up, people who couldn't make it for Running Free."
Meawhile, UB40 have said they will now work with other singers with the first - reggae superstar Maxi Priest - expected to form a more permanent role.
And in a huge coup, the multi-million-selling Birmingham-based band are believed to be in advanced negotiations with Sir Paul McCartney about a recording project.
Maxi Priest and UB40 recently recorded a version of Bob Marley's I Shot The Sheriff which is expected to form half of a double a-side single soon.
A source close to the band told The Birmingham Post: "The band have always had a history of collaboration, whether it's with Chrissie Hynde or Pato Banton, so it seemed to be logical to carry on like this. The recent recording session with Maxi Priest turned out brilliantly and the band are really buzzing about the year ahead."