World mourns Afrobeat legend, Tony Allen

He did not die of coronavirus – Manager

As the world mourns the passing away of Afrobeat legend and former musical director of late Fela Anikulapo’s famous band, Africa ’70 who died on Thursday at the age of 79, his manager, Eric Trosset, has said the legendary drummer did not die of complications from COVID-19.

Unconfirmed reports had said Allen who died in Paris may have contracted the deadly coronavirus as many of his fans across the globe expressed shock over the sudden demise of their favourite music icon whose contributions to the success of Fela’s music would not be forgotten in a hurry.

Reacting to his death, Ayoola Shadare, organiser of the event that featured late Tony Allen in Lagos last year, Lagos No Shaking Homecoming Tribute has described as ‘shocking’ the passing of the jazz legend.

Speaking with R on Friday, Shadare had glowing tribute for the deceased musician: “Tony Allen wasn’t just a great musician or drummer, he was also a great human being. He had no airs about him and could collaborate with anyone and he did.

“He shared the stage with stars as well as young upstarts whom he was willing to nurture, a very rare trait for Nigerian musicians of his generation.

“When we had him during the last Lagos International Jazz Festival, he was elated. Uncle tony was happy to be back amongst his people. He even announced to the crowd that he wanted to do more of such.

We have planned bringing him to this year’s edition of the festival which is dedicated to him, Dr Victor Olaiya and Manu Dibango.

“I am happy I was able to celebrate him here in Nigeria last December during the festival but I am pained because we had just really started to get to work together on projects for what we termed the Tony Allen Afrobeat Legacy Project.

We will miss him but his music will continue to live in our hearts.

Four-time Grammy winner, Angelique Kidjo, who worked with Allen on her last two albums, also paid tribute to the deceased on Instagram, describing him as a “beautiful spirit and friend who changed the history of African music.”

Ghanaian rapper, Kwame Tsikata who is renowned as M.anifest, also took to Twitter to pay homage to the late Afrobeat pioneer.

“You put the beat in Afrobeat. A giant. Honoured that some of my most memorable times on this journey were in studios and on stages with you. Journey well Tony Allen.”

 

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