Revered Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, a co-founder of the afrobeat musical genre, has died in Paris on Thursday aged 79, his manager sadly reports.
Eric Trosset told NPR radio that he had died of a heart attack. AFP said his death was not linked to Covid-19.
Allen was the drummer and musical director of musician Fela Kuti's famous band Africa '70 in the 1960-70s.
Fela, as he was widely known, died in 1997. He once said that "without Tony Allen, there would be no afrobeat".
Afrobeat combines elements of West Africa's fuji music and highlife styles with American funk and jazz.
Described by Brian Eno and Damon Albarn as the greatest drummer on the planet, Allen was best known for performing in and musically directing Kuti’s band Africa '70 in the Sixties and Seventies.
Flea led tributes to the drummer, writing on Instagram: “The epic Tony Allen, one of the greatest drummers to ever walk this Earth has left us. What a wildman, with a massive, kind and free heart and the deepest one-of-a-kind groove.
Allen was a self-taught drummer only starting to learn aged 18. Despite coming to the drums relatively late, electronic music pioneer Brian Eno reportedly described him as perhaps the greatest drummer ever.