Tony Allen, Legendary Afrobeat Pioneer, Dies at 79

Former drummer, composer and songwriter of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Tony Allen, is dead. 

Allen passed away in Paris, France, on Thursday. 

Born in Lagos in 1940 and was regarded as one of the founders of Afrobeat, Allen served as the drummer and musical director of Fela Kuti’s band Africa ’70 in the 1960s and 1970s. While in the band, he participated in iconic Afrobeat albums such as 1973’s Gentleman, 1975’s Expensive Shit and 1976’s Zombie.

He has also been described by UK musician Brian Eno as “perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived”.

Fela once stated that, “Without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.”

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