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Tony Allen

Tony Allen was a Nigerian drummer, composer, and songwriter who lived and worked in Courbevoie, France. He was born on 20 July 1940 in Lagos, Nigeria and sadly passed away on 30 April 2020 in Paris, France at the age of 79.

Allen began his career as a studio engineer before becoming known for his drumming skills. He played drums for Fela Kuti's Africa 70 and Egypt 80 organizations, where he helped pioneer the unique beat and vibe of Afrobeat music. This genre combines the polyrhythmic influences of Africa with the breakbeats and extended jams of American funk and R&B that reached Nigeria during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In addition to his work with Fela Kuti, Allen released solo albums showcasing afrobeat and psychedelic funk. He also made notable contributions to supergroups such as The Good, The Bad & The Queen. With his distinct style and musical talent, Tony Allen has left an indelible mark on the world of music.


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