Tony Allen

Drummer + Composer + Songwriter
Born Aug 12, 1940

Tony Oladipo Allen is a Nigerian drummer, composer, and songwriter who currently lives and works in Paris. He is currently writing his autobiography "Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat" with author/musician Michael E. Veal, who has previously written a comprehensive biography of Fela Kuti. As drummer and musical director of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s band Africa 70 from 1968 to 1979, Tony Allen was one of the primary co-founders of the genre of Afrobeat music.… Read More

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1940 Birth Born in 1940.


1964 24 Years Old In 1964, Fela Ransome Kuti invited Allen to audition for a jazz-highlife band he was forming. … Read More


1970 30 Years Old Allen recounts how Fela and he wrote in 1970: "Fela used to write out the parts for all the musicians in the band (Africa '70). … Read More
1979 39 Years Old Fela did support Allen's three solo recordings: Jealousy ('75), Progress ('77), No Accommodation For Lagos ('79), but by 1979, Allen chose to leave Africa '70, taking many members with him. 'What makes me decide it's time to go? … Read More


1980 40 Years Old Allen formed his own group, recording No Discrimination in 1980, and performing in Lagos until emigrating to London in 1984. … Read More
1985 45 Years Old Allen recorded N.E.P.A. in 1985. … Read More


2002 - 2004 3 More Events
2006 66 Years Old In 2006, Allen joined with Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, and Simon Tong as drummer for The Good, the Bad & the Queen.
2007 67 Years Old 1 More Event
Allen plays drums on two tracks on the 2007 album 5:55 by Charlotte Gainsbourg: "5:55" and "Night-Time Intermission", backed by French duo Air and Jarvis Cocker of Pulp.
2009 69 Years Old His album entitled Secret Agent was released in June 2009 by World Circuit. … Read More
2012 72 Years Old He has collaborated with Albarn and Flea in a project called Rocketjuice and The Moon with an album released in 2012. … Read More
2013 73 Years Old …  His career and life story have been documented in his 2013 autobiography Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat, co-written with author/musician Michael E. Veal, who previously wrote a comprehensive biography of Fela Kuti. … Read More
2014 74 Years Old Tony Allen also contributed drums on "People Dansa", an afrobeat rhythm fulled track off the second album of the Brazilian singer Flavia Coelho, released in 2014.
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