Fela Aníkúlápó Kuti (born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti; 15 October 1938 – 2 August 1997), also known as Abami Eda, was a Nigerian musician, bandleader, composer, political activist, and Pan-Africanist. He is regarded as the pioneer of Afrobeat, an African music genre that combines West African music with American funk and jazz. At the height of his popularity, he was referred to as one of Africa’s most “challenging and charismatic music performers”. AllMusic described him as a musical and sociopolitical voice of international significance.
Kuti was the son of Nigerian women’s rights activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. After early experiences abroad, he and his band Africa 70 (featuring drummer and musical director Tony Allen) shot to stardom in Nigeria during the 1970s, during which he was an outspoken critic and target of Nigeria’s military juntas. In 1970, he founded the Kalakuta Republic commune, which declared itself independent from military rule. The commune was destroyed in a 1978 raid. He was jailed by the government of Muhammadu Buhari in 1984 but released after 20 months. He continued to record and perform through the 1980s and 1990s. Since his death in 1997, reissues and compilations of his music have been overseen by his son, Femi Kuti.