Fela’s ex-drummer, Tony Allen dies in France at the age of 79



Tony Allen, the pioneering drummer who was a member of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s band, Africa 70, has died.


Allen died in Paris, France, on Thursday, April 30. The cause of his death has not been revealed.


Tony Allen was a drummer, composer and also a songwriter for Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.


He was born in Lagos in 1940 and was regarded as one of the founders of Afrobeat.


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


In 2017, Fela’s son, Femi Kuti said to Rolling Stone: “There was no band like the Africa 70 and there is no drummer like Tony Allen.”

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


Allen’s career and life story have been documented in his 2013 autobiography Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat, co-written with author/musician Michael E. Veal, who previously wrote a comprehensive biography of Fela Kuti.


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