Tony Allen, Fela’s Drummer, Dies

Tony Allen, Fela’s Drummer, Dies

Former Afrobeat drummer and songwriterfor Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Tony Allen, died at the age of 79 in Paris.

Allen’s death was announced on Thursday by his manager, Eric Trosset, during a session with Agence France-Presse.

He claimed that Allen fell ill in the afternoon and was taken to the Hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou, where he died.

“We do not know the exact cause of his death.

“He was in great shape, it was quite sudden. I spoke to him at 1 pm and two hours later he was sick and taken to the Pompidou hospital, where he died, ”said Trosset.

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Allen was born in Lagos in 1940 and was considered one of the founders of Afrobeat.

A self-taught musician, he started playing drums at the age of 18, while working as an engineer for a Nigerian radio station.

Allen was the drummer and music director for Fela Kuti Africa’70’s ​​band in the 1960s and 1970s and Late Fela once stated that, “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat”, about his exciting drumming styles.

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Allen and Kuti recorded about 40 albums together as Africa’70 before breaking up after a mythical 26-year collaboration.

Such was the hole that Allen left in his band, Kuti needed four drummers to replace him.

In addition, he was the drummer for the supergroup Good, the Bad & the Queen, also featuring Blur singer Damon Albarn and Clash bassist Paul Simonon, who released his second album in 2018.

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Artists, including Major Lazer, Gilles Peterson and Flea paid tribute to Allen on Twitter, with rapper Biz Markie describing him as “a titan of all time, spanning continents, eras and sounds”.


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