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nytimes.com

Afrobeat Pioneer Tony Allen Passes Away

By:
Harpreet Mander (@itsharpo)

Influential Afrobeat creator and drummer Tony Allen has passed away. 

Many decades ago, West Africa’s fuji music was combined with highlife and American funk and jazz music. Out of that, Afrobeat was born and Tony Allen was one of the first people to give sound. Born in Lagos, Nigeria in the 1940s, Allen taught himself how to play the drums at just age 18. He’d listen closely to distinct rhythms and create incredible beats that would go on to engineer a funky, stylish genre. For many years during the 1960s and ‘70’s, Allen was the drummer and musical director for Fela Kuti’s famous band ‘Africa ‘70”. 

Allen passed away on April 30th, 2020 from a heart attack in Paris, France. At the time of his death, he was 79 and had a career that spanned over the course of many decades. For tons, Allen was the ‘world’s greatest drummer’ and even well beyond his demise, many are sure that he’ll remain reigning champ of the title. 


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