Harry Belafonte, Calypso King Who Worked for African-American Rights, Dead at 96

Harry Belafonte, the Calypso King, is a renowned musician and actor who has been a pioneer in promoting social justice through his art. Belafonte’s influence on music and society has been significant, and he has worked tirelessly to use his platform to promote causes he cares about.

Belafonte’s music career began in the 1950s, and he quickly rose to fame with his unique blend of Calypso and American folk music. His album “Calypso,” which included the hit single “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” became the first album in history to sell over a million copies. The success of “Calypso” made Belafonte an international sensation and helped popularize Calypso music around the world.

Despite his success, Belafonte did not forget his roots. He remained committed to promoting social justice and used his music to raise awareness about the civil rights movement. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was one of the organizers of the “March on Washington” in 1963. Belafonte also served as a cultural advisor for the Peace Corps and was appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987.

Belafonte’s activism was not limited to his music career. He was a vocal critic of the Vietnam War and was arrested multiple times for his participation in protests. In 1968, Belafonte even ran for the position of vice president of the United States on the ticket of the Peace and Freedom Party.

Belafonte’s work has not gone unrecognized. He has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, Belafonte has been inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Belafonte’s legacy continues to inspire new generations of artists and activists. He has proven that music can be a powerful tool for promoting social justice and has used his platform to make a difference in the world. Harry Belafonte, the Calypso King, will always be remembered as a pioneer in music and social justice, and his contributions will continue to shape our world for years to come.