Founding member of UB40, Astro is dead. (Courtesy/UB40-Twitter)

British vocalist and founding member of English reggae-pop group UB40, Terence Wilson, popularly known as Astro, has died aged 64 after a short illness.

His current band, Ali Campbell and Astro, confirmed the news of his demise on Twitter, saying the world would never be the same without him.

“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 world will never be the same without him. We ask you to please respect his family’s privacy at this incredibly difficult time,” read the statement by Ali Campbell and Astro.

He died after a short illness. (Courtesy/ Ali Campbell and Astro-Twitter)

Astro was a member of the UB40 for 30 years until 2013, when he left and teamed up with Campbell and keyboardist Mickey Virtue, who had previously quit the band.

Taking to Twitter, the current UB40 line-up released a statement passing their condolences to Astro’s family.

UB40 members Ali Campbell, Astro, Mickey Virtue, Jimmy Brown, Robin Campbell, Earl Falconer and Norman Hassan in 1988. (Courtesy/Getty Images)

“We have heard tonight, the sad news that ex-member of UB40, Terence Wilson, better known as Astro, has passed away after a short illness. Our sincere condolences to his family” wrote UB40.

According to BBC, the band sold more than 70 million records worldwide and had three UK number one hits. Their major hits included Red Red Wine and Falling In Love With You.