Tony Allen Dies at 80

Tony Allen
Late Tony Allen, Legendary Afrobeat Drummer

Ace drummer and songwriter, Tony Allen has passed on at the age of 80. His death was announced yesterday on Nigerian Nostalgia Project by Etim Eyo. He wrote:

“Tony Oladipo Allen (born 1940 in Lagos, Nigeria) is a Nigerian drummer, composer and songwriter who currently lives and works in Paris, France. His 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.

Late Tony Allen

As a drummer and musical director of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s band Africa ’70 from 1968 to 1979, Allen was one of the primary co-founders of the genre of Afrobeat music. Fela once stated that “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.” He has also been described by Brian Eno as “perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived.”

Per Toby Foyeh and Biyi BandeleTony, Allen has died. Per Babatunde Banjoko he passed away today April 30, 2020, from an apparent heart attack”

May his soul rest in peace.

Credit: Nigeria Nostalgia Project


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