Tony Allen Biography: Musical Career, Death, Net Worth, And Family

Tony Allen is a musician, songwriter, and drummer.

Tony Allen: Biography

Tony Oladipo Allen, popularly known as Tony Allen, is one of the greatest drummers the world of music has ever known. He was born on July 20, 1940, in Lagos, British Nigeria, but he spent most of his life in Paris, France. Not only was Tony a drummer, but also a composer and songwriter. He is mostly acknowledged as one of the primary founders of the genre of Afrobeat music.

Tony Allen: Musical Career 

Tony started playing drums at age 18 while he working as a technician at a Nigerian radio station. At the time, he was a real lover of Yoruba music, American Jazz and Highlife, which was now coming into existence in Nigeria and Ghana. As a result of his unique skill on the drums, Allen caught the attention of great musicians in that era. He teamed up with the famous Kuti Fella in the early 1960s in Lagos.

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By 1964, the two had started playing together; first American style Jazz and then Highlife. Kuti and Allen formed the legendary band “Africa 70” in 1969. This magic collaboration of Kuti and Allen gave birth to the genre called Afrobeat. Allen recorded more than 30 albs with Kuti and the band. Some of these recordings include; Shakara, Sorrow Tears and Blood, Zombie, among others. The duo split up and Allen moved to London and then to Paris where he stayed and continued his life and career until he passed away.

Tony Allen: Date of Death and Cause of Death

The sad event of Allen’s passing away occurred on April 30, 2020, in Paris, France. The 79-year-old drummer died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital.

Tony Allen Net Worth And Sources of Income

According to, the late legendary drummer has an estimated net worth of about $10 million. Most of this money was generated from his long successful career in drumming and songwriting, among other shows he also played.

Tony Allen: Wife and Children

Tony Allen twice in his lifetime. There is unfortunately little or no record of his first wife, but the thing that has been established is that Allen’s first wife bore him four children. He then married Sylvie Nicollet in 1987 till April 30, 2020, when he died. Sylvie has also tried to live a private life away from the media, hence little is said of her. She is known to have given birth to three sons with Allen.

Tony Allen: Hit Records

  1. Fela Kuti: Roforofo Fight (Roforofo Fight, 1972)
  2. Fela Kuti: Water No Get Enemy (Expensive Shit, 1975)
  3. Fela Kuti: Zombie (Zombie, 1976)
  4. Tony Allen: Nepa (Never Expect Power Always, 1984)
  5. The Good, the Bad & the Queen: The Good, the Bad & the Queen (The Good, the Bad & the Queen, 2007)
  6. Moritz von Oswald: Sounding Line 1 (Sounding Lines, 2015)
  7. Tony Allen: A Night in Tunisia (A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Messengers, 2017)
  8. Tony Allen: Wolf Eats Wolf (The Source, 2017)
  9. Tony Allen and Jeff Mills: Locked and Loaded (Tomorrow Comes the Harvest, 2018)
  10. Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela: Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same) (Rejoice, 2020)
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