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Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte (born Harold George Bellanfanti Jr. in Harlem, NYC, on 1 March 1927; died 25 April 2023) was an American singer, activist, and actor. As arguably the most successful Caribbean-American pop star, he popularized Jamaican mento folk songs which was marketed as Trinbagonian Calypso musical style with an international audience in the 1950s. His breakthrough album Calypso, released in 1956, was the first million-selling LP by a single artist.

Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing the "Banana Boat Song", with its signature lyric "Day-O". Throughout his career, he was an advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes.

Belafonte won three Grammy Awards (including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award), an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award. In 1989, he received the Kennedy Center Honors. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994. In 2014, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy's 6th Annual Governors Awards and in 2022 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Early Influence category and was the oldest living person to have received the honor. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.