Nigerian pioneering drummer Tony Allen, a co-founder of the Afrobeat musical genre, died in Paris on Thursday aged 79, his manager says.
“We don’t know the exact cause of death,” Eric Trosset told AFP, adding it was not linked to the coronavirus.
Allen was the drummer and musical director of musician Fela Kuti’s famous band Africa ’70 in the 1960-70s.
Fela, who died in 1997, once said that “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat”.
He has also been described by UK musician Brian Eno as “perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived”.
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.