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Harry Belafonte death: Grammy-winning singer dies aged 96

April 25, 2023

Belafonte died at home in Manhattan on Tuesday (25 April)…

Harry Belafonte has died at age 96, his spokesperson has confirmed.

The singer, actor and activist, who was known for songs such as “Banana Boat” and “Jump in the Line”, died at his home in Manhattan on Tuesday (25 April).

Ken Sunshine, Belafonte’s long-time spokesperson, confirmed to The New York Times that he died of congestive heart failure.

Belafonte was born in New York to parents who had immigrated from the West Indies.

He is widely considered the most successful Caribbean-American pop star and is credited with bringing the Calypso musical style from its Trinidad and Tobago roots to an international audience in the 1950s.

As well as his career as a recording artist, for which he earned three Grammy Awards, Belafonte also starred in several films, including Carmen Jones (1954), Island in the Sun (1957) and Odds Against Tomorrow (1959).

Belafonte was a committed activist and was a notable part of the American civil rights movement. He was a close confidant of Martin Luther King and helped to organise the March on Washington of 1963.

His final acting role in a film came in 2018’s Spike Lee-directed BlackKklansman, in which Belafonte played an elderly civil rights pioneer.

In 2022, Belafonte was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Early Influence category. He was was the oldest living person to have received the honour.
Belafonte was also the recipient of an Emmy Award, a Tony Award and was awarded a Kennedy Center Honour for his contribution to American culture in 1986.
His wife, photographer Pamela Frank, his four children and five grandchildren survive him. (Independent)
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