Veteran Nigerian drummer, Tony Allen has reportedly died in Paris, France at the age of 80.
The cause of death is yet to be revealed, but it has been confirmed that the legend has passed away.
Allen is known as one of the founders of Afrobeat with the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. In his heyday, many revered him as one of the greatest drummers to have ever lived.
Fela once famously said, “Without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.”
Allen was a pivotal member of Fela’s Africa 70 band and made the following albums with Fela, Gentleman (1973), Expensive Shit (1975) and Zombie (1976).
Famously, he worked with Max Roach, Frank Butler, Damon Albarn, King Sunny Ade, the late Manu Dibango and many more.
Allen’s career and life story were documented in his 2013 autobiography Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat. Afrobeat combines elements of West Africa’s fuji music and highlife styles with American funk and jazz.
The veteran drummer who was born in Lagos in 1940, taught himself how to play the drums when he was 18.
Allen first met Fela Kuti in 1964, and they went on to record dozens of albums in Africa ’70, including Gentleman and Zombie.
Allen left the band in 1979, after reported rifts with Kuti over royalties. Kuti needed four separate drummers to fill the void.
The drummer emigrated to London in 1984 and later moved to Paris.
He collaborated with a number of artists during his long music career and was the drummer in The Good, the Bad & the Queen, with Damon Albarn, Paul Simenon and Simon Tong.