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Fela Kuti Biography

Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, a musician and political activist, was born on October 15, 1938, in Abeokuta, Nigeria.

Fela Kuti was the son of Reverend Ransome-Kuti, a Protestant clergyman. Political activist Funmilayo was his mother.

Kuti led his school choir while he was a child and studied the piano and drums. Kuti informed his parents that he was relocating to London, England, in the 1950s to pursue a career in medicine, but ended up enrolling in the Trinity College of Music. Kuti studied classical music while attending Trinity, where he also became familiar with American jazz.


Kuti started a group named Koola Lobitos in 1963. Later, he would alter the band’s name to Egypt 80 and then Afrika 70. Kuti pioneered and popularized his own distinctive musical genre known as “Afrobeat” beginning in the 1960s. Funk, jazz, salsa, calypso, and traditional Yoruba music from Nigeria are all combined to create afrobeat.

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