Tony Allen, the pioneering drummer who defined Afrobeat during his tenure with Fela Kuti, died Thursday evening at 79.
Rolling Stone cornfimed the musician’s death through his manager, Eric Trosser.
Allen, a Nigerian, was taken to Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris where he died of abdominal aortic aneurysm.
As a member of Kuti’s band Africa 70, Allen helped rebolutionize the art of drumming, simultaneously anchoring and propelling classic albums like 1973’s Gentleman, 1975’s Expensive Shit, and the the Afrobeat Legend’s most enduring work 1976’s Zombie. “Without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat, ”Kuti once said.
Allen was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He started his career in his late teens.