Fela, a saxophone player, was born in 1938 in Abeokuta, about 50 miles north of the capital, Lagos. He started out as a jazz musician but shifted toward pop and reggae while studying at Trinity College of Music in Oxford, England, from 1959 to 1962. He also spent time in Ghana and the United States, where he developed a strong interest in politics and civil rights. Returning to Nigeria for good in 1973, he swiftly became a big star. His top albums included Zombie, Army Arrangement and Vagabond in Power.