Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen has died aged 79.
The co-founder of the Afrobeat genre died in Paris but his cause of death is not yet known.
Tony helped define the genre as part of the band Africa ’70 alongside Fela Kuti.
Kuti once said: “Without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat”.
The news of his death was confirmed by Flea, the bassist for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and a longtime collaborator and friend of Tony’s.
Allen started drumming at the age of 18 and taught himself the skills which cemented him as one of the worlds most famous drummers.
He once said that he learnt his drumming technique by mimicking American drummer Max Roach.
Brian Eno once described him as “perhaps the greatest drummer ever.”
Flea shared a lengthy tribute on Instagram, describing Allen as “the epic Tony Allen, one of the greatest drummers to ever walk this Earth”.
He wrote: “What a wildman, with a massive, kind and free heart and the deepest one-of-a-kind groove. Fela Kuti did not invent afrobeat, Fela and Tony birthed it together.
“Without Tony Allen, there is NO afrobeat.”
He added: “He was and still is, my hero. I wanted to honour his greatness so much when we played together, and I was nervous when we started, but he made me laugh like a two-year-old, and we fell right into the pocket
“I lit up like a Christmas tree every time I knew we were about to lay down some rhythm.”
Tributes have since been paid online with celebrities and fans sharing their condolences.
Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, said: “Another day another legend passes on. It’s really incredible the rate at which we’re losing them. Tony Allen R.I.P.”
One fan said: “Still literally insane that Tony Allen died… there’s people whose body of work can teach you more about your craft then lessons ever could.”
While another added: “Tony Allen had an amazing impact on the world and his legend will live forever.”
Allen emigrated to London in 1984 before moving to Paris.