Harry Belafonte Dead At 96

Harry Belafonte Youtube

It is a sad day for fans of folk music and civil rights activists as barrier-breaking singer Harry Belafonte has been confirmed dead at the age of 96. Creating a name for himself in the 50s (when racial segregation was still a widespread issue), this incredibly talented singer was a driving force for civil rights. Has any information about his cause of death? Plus, take a closer look at his incredible life by scrolling down.

Harry Belafonte Dead At 96: Cause Of Death

This barrier-breaking singer is a name that won’t soon be forgotten because he managed to climb the charts with his music while pulverizing racial segregation at the same time.  Sadly, his spokesman (Ken Sunshine), confirmed the singer passed away this morning in the comfort of his own home. Per The New York Times, his spokesman did confirm his cause of death was related to congestive heart failure.

A Barrier-Breaking Talent

Harry Belafonte rose to fame at a time when it was considered a rarity for someone of color to land in the spotlight. Now, it goes without saying that he wasn’t the first entertainer of color to ascend to fame. He, however, did play a role in paving the way for those of color to follow behind him.

Being a civil rights activist isn’t the only notch in this man’s belt, he is also credited for being the reason Caribbean music became popular thanks to his record hits such as “Jamaica Farewell” and “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)”. He didn’t just have popular individual songs though, his album titled Calypso (which was home to both of those popular songs) landed on the Billboard album chart not long after he released it in 1956. The album remained on the chart for 31 weeks. Prior to the success of Elvis Presley, Calypso was the first album released by a solo artist to sell over one million copies.

Unsurprisingly, this was a man who was talented on the stage as well. Thanks to his charming personality, he was able to draw his audience in. By the very end of the 1950s, he had become the most prolific Blank artist in history. He had garnered some hefty contracts for performances in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York.

Due to his success as a singer, Harry also landed several movie offers with resulted in him creating a historic name for himself as an actor of color as well.

Turns out, neither his talents in music nor his talent with acting were where he was truly passionate. In fact, he spent most of his life focused on being a civil rights activist. Pretty early on in his career, he developed a friendship with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He reportedly provided bail money for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and several other civil rights activists during his journey.

After Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Harry Belafonte used his riches to make sure his family was taken care of. Unfortunately, things did take a bit of a turn when he sued Dr. King’s surviving children back in 2013 over documents that he claimed belonged to him. When the lawsuit settled, he retained rights to said property.

Rest in peace, Harry Belafonte.

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