Fela’s ex-drummer, Tony Allen, dies in Paris

Professional drummer and co-founder of the Afrobeat musical genre, Tony Allen, has died in Paris, France aged 79, his manager says.

Eric Trosset told AFP that the cause of death had not been established, adding it was not linked to the coronavirus.

Born in Lagos in 1940, Allen taught himself how to play drums when he was 18.

After meeting Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, in 1964, both of them formed the nucleus of the famous band Africa ’70 in the 1960-70s.

Fela, who died in 1997, once said that “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat”.

Allen and Fela went on to record dozens of albums in Africa ’70, including Gentleman and Zombie.

Allen left the band in 1979, after reported rifts with Fela over royalties. Fela was said to have filled the void with four separate drummers.

The famous drummer moved to London in 1984, and later to Paris.

His long music career led him to play for several artistes.