Damon Albarn gives musical tribute to late Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen

Damon Albarn has paid a musical tribute to the late Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, who he collaborated with on a number of occasions.

The Blur frontman and Gorillaz co-creator played one of Allen’s songs which he recorded vocals for at the close of the AIM Independent Music Awards on Wednesday.

Allen, who was born in Nigeria, died in April at the age of 79.

Isle of Wight Festival 2015 – Day Two
Isle of Wight Festival 2015 – Day Two

The performance saw Albarn team up with musicians including Allen’s friend and student Femi Koleoso of Ezra Collective.

Simon Tong of The Verve, who Albarn and Allen both played alongside in The Good, The Bad & The Queen, also featured.

They played Go Back from Allen’s 2014 album Film Of Life.

At one point during the performance, Albarn said: “I miss you Tony.”

Allen, who famously played for Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, won the outstanding contribution to music award.

BBC Electric Proms – The Good, the Bad and the Queen – London
BBC Electric Proms – The Good, the Bad and the Queen – London

He was also nominated in the best independent track category for his song We’ve Landed, which he recorded with Hugh Masekela, although the prize went to Flying Lotus for More, his collaboration with singer Anderson .Paak.

Allen, who reportedly died in Paris, was a self-taught drummer and did not start playing the instrument until he was 18.

Despite coming to the drums relatively late, electronic music pioneer Brian Eno reportedly described him as perhaps the greatest drummer ever.