UB40 saxophonist Brian Travers has thanked fans for allowing him to “live the dream” after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
The founding member of the band will miss the group’s upcoming 40th anniversary tour after suffering a seizure at home.
Subsequent scans revealed Travers to be suffering from two tumours.
The musician said he has lived a life free of regrets, and that the only thing left on his bucket list is returning to playing music.
But he has been forced to pull out of the planned UK tour celebrating four decades of UB40 just days before the first concert on Friday.
He will undergo surgery on the day he was due to begin the tour, and is expected to make a recovery within six months.
Travers said: “It is with great regret that I shall be unable to join my band mates in UB40 on our 40th anniversary tour, the guys have worked incredibly hard to perfect the songs in preparation for the live premier of our new album For The Many.
“They sound great, but I shall be there in spirit, cheering them on from my convalescence and thinking of all the wonderful people out there who have supported us for the last 40 years, who I am now incredibly proud to count as friends.
“I’ve had a great life with no regrets and have absolutely nothing to add to a bucket list except getting over this and getting back to the thing I love, playing music to anyone who wants to listen and expressing myself through painting and sculpture.
“It’s been a huge privilege and I thank you all for the opportunity to ‘live the dream’.”
Red Red Wine creators UB40 have confirmed that the planned tour will still go ahead in Travers’ absence.
A statement from the band said: “We’re deeply saddened that Brian, our lifelong friend and founding member of UB40, is unable to join us for our celebratory UK tour.
“We know he will be missed by all but his health and well-being come first, and we are sure our friends and fans will join us in wishing Brian a full and speedy return to health, and return to us.”
The Brain Tumour Charity’s chief executive, Sarah Lindsell, said: “Our thoughts go out to Brian for his surgery this week and a speedy recovery.
“Following the band’s announcement of his brain tumour diagnosis, we stand together with all the UB40 fans who hold his music dear.
“We are committed to fighting for all those people whose lives are turned upside down by this devastating disease.”
UB40 will begin their UK tour at Portsmouth’s Guildhall on Friday.