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Afrobeat legend Tony Allen has died

The Afrobeat drummer passed away in Paris aged 79

  • Dave Turner
  • 1 May 2020
Afrobeat legend Tony Allen has died

Afrobeat legend Tony Allen has died in Paris, France.

The Afrobeat drummer's manager Eric Trosset confirmed the death to AFP, saying: "We don't know the exact cause of death.

“He was in great shape, it was quite sudden. I spoke to him at 1pm then two hours later he was sick and taken to Pompidou hospital, where he died.” Trosset added his death was not related to the coronavirus.

The Nigerian artist, who was 79, was drummer in Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti's band Afrika '70, releasing over 30 albums with the group before departing in the late '70s. Fela Kuti once said "there would be no Afrobeat" without Tony Allen.

Following his departure from Afrika '70, Tony released 'No Discrimination' with The Afro Messengers. His solo albums include 'Afrobeat Express', 'Black Voices' and 'HomeCooking'.

Tony collaborated with the likes of Theo Parrish, Sébastian Tellier, Damon Albarn and Jeff Mills in recent years, the latter being the 'Tomorrow Comes The Harvest' release in 2018. In 2015, he played drums on the Moritz von Oswald album 'Sounding Lines'. Both Motor City Drum Ensemble and Ricardo Villalobos had also remixed his track 'Asiko'.

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Commercial Content Editor, follow him on Twitter

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