Harry Belafonte, a legendary singer, actor and activist who destroyed racial barriers, has passed away in his Manhattan home at the age of 96.
His wife Pamela was next to him when he died of congestive heart failure, his spokesman Ken Sunshine revealed.
Also known as the King of Calypso, he was one of the most successful African-American pop stars in history, scoring hits with Mary’s Boy Child, Jump in the Line and Day-O (The Banana Boat Song).
His success led to leading roles in movies like Island in the Sun and Carmen Jokes.
As Belafonte became a household name, he started speaking out against the rac*sm he experienced in Hollywood, descrbing himself as a singer of music with ‘roots in the black culture of American Negroes, Africa and the West Indies.”
One of the first people to pay tribute was Oprah Winfrey, remembering the singer as ‘a trailblazer and a hero to us all.’
She continued: “Thank you for your music, your artistry, your activism, your fight for civil rights and justice. Your being here on Earth has blessed us all.”
Singer-songwriter John Legend, who described Belafonte as a mentor and a friend, said: “We just have to thank God that we had Harry Belafonte for 96 years.”
Legend continued: “He used his platform in almost a subversive way, because he would sneak messages in there, revolutionary messages, when people thought he was just singing about good times.
“He gave so much, lived through so much [and] helped us grow so much as a nation and as a world.”
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump tweeted: “Through his extraordinary contributions, including his notable advocacy for human rights and social justice, he leaves an indelible mark on this world.”
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section and SHARE this story with your friends and family!
Recommended Video For You!
“Mother And Daughter Sing A Cover Of ‘Shallow’ From A ‘Star Is Born'”