Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti has penned down a tribute to his father, Fela Kuti’s late drummer and co-founder of Afrobeats, Tony Allen, who died on Friday, 30th, April 2020.
Tony Allen was part of Fela Kuti‘s Africa 70 band and made the following albums with Fela, Gentleman (1973), Expensive Shit (1975), and Zombie (1976).
The legendary drummer was known as one of the founders of Afrobeat with the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. In his heyday, many revered him as one of the greatest drummers to have ever lived.
Fela Kuti once famously said, “Without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.”
Tony Allen passed away on April 30th at the age of 79 years but according to his manager, the cause of his death is yet to be known.
“We don’t know the exact cause of death,” his manager Eric Trosset told France 24. “He was in great shape; it was quite sudden. I spoke to him at 1 p.m., then two hours later he was sick and taken to Pompidou hospital where he died.”
In an emotional tribute, Seun Kuti wrote on his Instagram:
“Waking up to the most disastrous news. First Uncle Manu now Uncle Tony. These 2 men played together with me in my coming out concert in Dakar in 2004. Uncle Tony was always available to me and even tho we had our differences, there was never anything but love and respect.
“Uncle Tony was an enigma. A pure artist and fierce competitor (in his own way)! I love and miss u baba. Rest In Peace. #getthesax.”