Tony Allen has died aged 79

The legendary drummer and afrobeat pioneer died suddenly in Paris, his manager has confirmed

01.05.20

Words by: Felicity Martin

Legendary drummer and afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen has sadly died, aged 79.

Allen’s manager said that he died suddenly in Paris on Thursday and that the exact cause of death was not known, but confirmed that it was not coronavirus-related.

Largely renowned as one of the world’s greatest drummers, the Nigerian artist is credited along with former bandmate Fela Kuti for the creation of afrobeat, and his most recent album was released in March this year with trumpet player Hugh Masekela: ‘Rejoice’.

Allen was the drummer and musical director of Kuti’s band Africa ’70 in the 1960s and ’70s, and went on to collaborate with Jeff Mills and many others, also drumming for The Good, the Bad & the Queen with Damon Albarn.

Read a selection of the tributes left to Allen on social media below.