Homely Girl and Cherry Oh Baby, hit cover songs recorded by the British Reggae band UB40, are now certified Silver in the United Kingdom (UK).
According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the songs were issued BRIT Certified Silver awards on Friday (May 12) after they each sold over 200,000 copies in the UK, as measured by The Official Charts Company.
Formed in Birmingham in December 1978, UB40 has had more than 50 singles on the UK Singles Chart. With over 100 million albums sold worldwide, the band is considered one of the most decorated and successful Reggae groups ever. Some of their successes have been predicated on recording albums containing cover versions of older Reggae songs, many of which were composed by newcomers to Jamaica’s music industry.
Released in 1989, the band’s Homely Girl was inspired by Jamaican singer Jackie Robinson’s Homely Girl (1974), which was itself a reggae interpretation of the original 1974 song of the same name by the American vocal group the Chi-Lites.
The song appeared on UB40’s Labour Of Love II (1989) album, which hosted cover versions of Reggae tracks from the 1960s and 1970s. The Chi-Lites’ original had reached No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart, while UB40’s cover peaked at No. 6 on the same chart.
UB40’s Cherry Oh Baby was also a cover, which appeared on their Labor Of Love album in 1983.
Originally recorded by Jamaican singer Eric Donaldson, the song won the Jamaica Song Festival Competition in 1971 before it was covered by UB40, The Rolling Stones, Freddie McGregor, and Dwight Pinkney, among others.
UB40’s version peaked at No. 12 on the UK Singles chart in 1984.
In the UK, the UB40 has had success with other covers.
Kingston Town (1989), a cover version of Lord Creator’s 1970 song of the same name, was certified Platinum in the UK earlier this year, after it surpassed 600,000 units sold in the country.
In June 2022, Red Red Wine (1983), a cover version of Neil Diamond’s 1967 original, was certified double platinum in the UK, for sales exceeding 1.2 million units.
(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You, a 1993 cover of American singer Elvis Presley’s 1961 original, is also certified Platinum in the UK, after selling more than 600,000 units.
I Got You Babe, a 1985 cover of American duo Sonny & Cher’s 1965 original, is currently certified Gold in the UK, after selling more than 400,000 units.
The original single Don’t Break My Heart and the double single King/Food for Thought (1980) are currently certified Silver in the UK, for sales exceeding 200,000 units.