Artist picture of Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti

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Artist's top tracks

Water No Get Enemy Fela Kuti 11:00
Zombie Fela Kuti 12:25
Expensive Shit Fela Kuti, Afrika 70 13:13
Open & Close Fela Kuti, Afrika 70 14:53
Sorrow Tears and Blood Fela Kuti, Afrika 70 10:15
Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am Fela Kuti 12:03
Swegbe & Pako Fela Kuti 12:30
Peace Of Mind Rema, Virgil Abloh, Fela Kuti, Mavins 04:51
Gbagada Gbagada Gbogodo Gbogodo Fela Kuti 09:19
Colonial Mentality Fela Kuti 13:41

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Biography

One of the most powerful and influential stars in African music, Fela Kuti was a human rights campaigner and political activist as well as an enthralling performer and Afro beat pioneer. The son of a Protestant minister in Nigeria, he moved to London in 1958 to study medicine but transferred instead to London's Trinity College and concentrated on music. He formed the band Koola Lobitos playing a fusion of jazz and highlife dance music, but returned to Nigeria and joined Victor Olaiya & His Allstars. In 1967 he moved to Ghana, formulating a new fusion dance style he called Afro beat, re-naming his band Nigeria 70 - and then Africa 70. Heavily influenced by the Black Power movement, Kuti introduced a hardline political edge to his music and, back in Nigeria, set up his own communal recording project, the Kalakua Republic. He became a superstar across Africa and was one of the first acts to popularise African music in the rest of the world. In 1977 he released the hit album Zombie, a scathing attack on the Nigerian military, which made him a controversial figure and he was subjected to physical attack. This served merely to harden Kuti's attitude and music and he even formed his own political party, attempting to become president of Nigeria. In 1984 he was imprisoned on charges of currency smuggling and stopped recording during the 1990s. He died suddenly in 1997, aged 58. In 2008 his life was honoured in a Broadway musical Fela!