Kuti was born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti to a minister father and activist father in Abeokuta. In the late ‘50s, Kuti was sent to London to study medicine but his interest in music was too strong. He left and entered the Trinity College of Music, where he discovered the sounds of American Jazz. In 1963, Kuti formed his first band, Koola Lobitos, which were renamed Afrika 70 and then Egypt 80. The talented band infused the sounds of jazz, funk, salsa, calypso, and traditional Nigerian Yoruba music. Kuti’s strong vocal presence and his skills on the saxophone, guitar, drums, and keyboards combined with the political consciousness he acquired after a tour of the U.S. made him a global sensation. Like James Brown, Kuti’s songs were propulsive with some lasting for as long as 30 minutes. Because of his political beliefs, Kuti was beaten several times and was jailed over 200 times, but never stopped railing against the Nigerian government. He built a large commune and recording studio known as the Kalakuta Republic, which was eventually destroyed and burned by Nigerian military forces. In 1997, Kuti died from AIDS-related complications at the age of 58. (READ MORE)(SOURCE: BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM)