Harry Belafonte was an American singer, actor, and politician who helped spread calypso music all over the world in the 1950s. Songs like “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and “Jamaica Farewell” made him famous. Belafonte also appeared in movies like Carmen Jones and Island in the Sun.
During the Civil Rights Movement, Belafonte was a friend and backer of Martin Luther King Jr., and he didn’t like the way George W. Bush and Donald Trump ran the country. During his work, he won many awards, such as three Grammys, an Emmy, a Tony, and the National Medal of Arts.
In 2022, he was put into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because of how he helped shape music when he was young. Harry Belafonte was a great entertainer and a strong supporter of fairness and justice.
Harry Belafonte Biography
Harry Belafonte was a famous American singer, actor, and activist. He was born on March 1, 1927, in New York City and died on April 25, 2023, at the age of 96. He was also known as Harold George Belafonte Jr. and Harold George Bellanfanti Jr. He started his career in 1949 and continued working until his death in 2023.
Belafonte was a Democratic party supporter and worked actively for various social causes. He was married three times, with his first two marriages ending in divorce. He had four children, including Shari.
Belafonte’s music was a blend of different genres such as calypso, mento, pop, folk, and world music. He was known for his powerful and soulful voice. Belafonte released numerous albums throughout his career and won several awards for his music. He also acted in films and on television and was a strong advocate for civil rights and social justice.
Harry Belafonte was an American singer, actor, and activist. He passed away in April 2023, leaving behind an estimated net worth of $30 million.   Belafonte’s source of income was mainly from his successful career as a singer and actor. He was also known for his advocacy work for social justice causes.
Family Background | Education
Harry Belafonte was a famous American singer, actor, and activist who became known for his international popularity of calypso music in the 1950s. He was born on March 1, 1927, in Harlem, New York, to parents who were originally from Jamaica.
During his childhood, he spent time in Jamaica and attended school there. Belafonte joined the U.S. Navy during World War II and later pursued acting, attending classes with famous actors like Marlon Brando and Sidney Poitier. He won a Tony Award for his participation in a Broadway show and starred in many films.
Harry Belafonte was born in New York City in 1927, and he died there at the age of 96 in 2023. He sang, acted, and worked to help people. Belafonte was married three times and had four kids, including daughters Adrienne and Shari. Also, he had five grandkids.
After having two girls together, Belafonte’s first marriage to Marguerite Byrd ended in 1957. Julie Robinson, who used to be a dancer, was his second wife. Before they split up in 2004, they had been married for 47 years. Belafonte got married to the photographer Pamela Frank in 2008.
During the making of Island in the Sun, Belafonte had an affair with the actress Joan Collins. In 1953, he had enough money to move from an area with mostly black people to a white neighborhood in Queens.
Adrienne Blue, who is Belfonte’s daughter, and Rachel Blue, who is her daughter, started the Anir Foundation/Experience, which does good work in southern Africa. Belafonte died of severe heart failure on April 25, 2023, at his home in Manhattan. In 1998, he wrote a letter for the book Letter to My Grandchild by Liv Ullmann.
Accolades | Legacy
Belafonte is a well-known entertainer whose work has won him many important awards. He has won three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a Tony Award, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2014. In 1989, he was given the Kennedy Center Honors.
In 1994, he was given the National Medal of Arts, and in 2022, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Early Influence area. In 2020, he had a special birthday party at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library bought his huge personal collection.
Harry Belafonte was a singer, actor, and politician from the United States. He started out singing in clubs to pay for his acting classes. His interest in folk music helped him become well-known quickly.
He played at famous jazz places like The Village Vanguard and went on to star in movies like “Carmen Jones” and “Odds Against Tomorrow.”
He was also known for his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and the fight against apartheid. During the McCarthy era, because of his political ideas, Belafonte was put on a “blacklist.”
“Matilda” was Belafonte’s first widely available single. It was recorded on April 27, 1953, and became his “signature” crowd participation song that he played at almost all of his live shows.
His best-selling record, Calypso, was the first LP ever to sell more than a million copies in a year. It was the first time that calypso music was heard in the United States, and Belafonte was called the “King of Calypso.”
Belafonte made albums in many different styles, like blues, folk, church, show tunes, and American standards. In 1959, Belafonte was the star of the TV show Tonight With Belafonte, which also featured Odetta.
Both critics and buyers liked two live records that were recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1959 and 1960. In the 1960s, Belafonte brought South African singer Miriam Makeba and Greek singer Nana Mouskouri to the attention of U.S. listeners.
Harry Belafonte liked going to the Caribbean island of Bonaire, so he worked with Maurice Neme to make it a nice place for people to live privately. They called the area Belnem after themselves, and building started there in June 1966.
Belafonte and Neme were the first directors of the company that runs the neighborhood, the Bel-Nem Caribbean Development Corporation. In 2017, there were 717 people living in Belnem.
- 30 studio albums
- 8 live albums
- Bright Road (1953)
- Carmen Jones (1954)
- Island in the Sun (1957)
- The Heart of Show Business (1957 short)
- The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959)
- Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
- King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis (1970 documentary) (narrator)
- The Angel Levine (1970)
- Buck and the Preacher (1972)
- Uptown Saturday Night (1974)
- Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker (1981 documentary)
- A veces miro mi vida (1982)
- Drei Lieder (1983 short)
- Sag nein (1983 documentary)
- Der Schönste Traum (1984 documentary)
- We Shall Overcome (1989 documentary) (narrator)
- The Player (1992) (cameo)
- Ready to Wear (1994) (cameo)
- Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream (1995)
- White Man’s Burden (1995)
- Jazz ’34 (1996)
- Kansas City (1996)
- Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist (1998 documentary)
- Swing Vote (1999 TV movie)
- Fidel (2001 documentary)
- XXI Century (2003 documentary)
- Conakry Kas (2003 documentary)
- Ladders (2004 documentary) (narrator)
- Bobby (2006)
- Motherland (2009 documentary)
- Sing Your Song (2011 documentary)
- Hava Nagila: The Movie (2013 documentary)
- BlacKkKlansman (2018)
- The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte hosts the Tonight Show (2020 documentary)
- Sugar Hill Times (1949–1950)
- The Ed Sullivan Show (1953–1964)
- The Nat King Cole Show (1957)
- The Steve Allen Show (1958)
- Tonight With Belafonte (1959)
- Round Table on March on Washington (1963)
- The Danny Kaye Show (1965)
- Petula (1968)
- The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1968)
- The Tonight Show (1968)
- A World in Music (1969)
- Harry & Lena, For The Love Of Life (1969)
- A World in Love (1970)
- The Flip Wilson Show (1973)
- Free to Be … You and Me (1974)
- The Muppet Show (1978)
- Grambling’s White Tiger (1981)
- Don’t Stop The Carnival (1985)
- After Dark (1988) (extended appearance on political discussion programme, more here)
- An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Friends (1997)
- Swing Vote (1999)
- PB&J Otter “The Ice Moose” (1999)
- Tanner on Tanner (2004)
- That’s What I’m Talking About (2006) (miniseries)
- When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006) (miniseries)
- Speakeasy, interviewing Carlos Santana (2015)
- En Gränslös Kväll På Operan (1966)
- Don’t Stop The Carnival (1985)
- Global Carnival (1988)
- An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Friends (1997)
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