Fela Kuti, byname of Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, also called Fela Anikulapo-Kuti,Nigerian musician and activist who launched a modern style of music called Afro-beat, which fused American blues, jazz, and funk with traditional Yoruba music.
Kuti was the son of feminist and labour activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. As a youth he took lessons in piano and percussion before studying (1959) classical music at Trinity College London. While in London, he encountered various musical styles by playing piano in jazz and rock bands. Returning to Nigeria in the mid-1960s, he reconstituted Koola Lobitos, a band with which he had played in London. The Afro-beat sound emerged from that group’s experiments.