Harry Belafonte

~ Person


Harold George "Harry" Bellanfanti, Jr. (born March 1, 1927), better known as Harry Belafonte, is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and social activist. One of the most successful Caribbean American pop stars in history, he was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s. His breakthrough album Calypso (1956) is the first million selling album by a single artist. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song", with its signature lyric "Day-O". He has recorded in many genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and American standards. He has also starred in several films, most notably in Otto Preminger's hit musical Carmen Jones (1954), Island in the Sun (1957) and Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow (1959).

Belafonte was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s, and one of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s confidants. Throughout his career he has been an advocate for political and humanitarian causes, such as the anti-apartheid movement and USA for Africa. Since 1987 he has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. In recent years he has been a vocal critic of the policies of both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidential administrations. Harry Belafonte now acts as the American Civil Liberties Union celebrity ambassador for juvenile justice issues.

Belafonte has 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. In March 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1949 How Green Was My Valley / They Didn't Believe Me 1
1949 Lean on Me / Recognition 1
1950 Annabelle Lee / Venezuela 1
1950 Simple, Simple, Simple / Only One Like Me 1
1950 Smoke Gets in Your Eyes / The Night Has a Thousand Eyes 1
1955 Hold 'em Joe / Scarlet Ribbons 1
1956 Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) / Jamaica Farewell 2
1957 Island in the Sun / Cocoanut Woman 1
1957 Lead Man Holler / Haiti Cherie 1
1957 Lucy’s Door / Judy Drownded 2
1957 Mary's Boy Child / Eden Was Just Like This 1
1958 Little Bernadette / Danny Boy 1
1958 The Son of Mary / I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day 1
1958 The Twelve Days of Christmas / Silent Night 1
1960 There's a Hole in My Bucket / Chickens 1

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Year Title RatingReleases
1997 An Evening with Harry Belafonte & Friends 1
2014 Calypso plus Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean 1
Belafonte '89 1
Folk Songs From the World With Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba-Odetta 1
Golden Records, Volume 1 1
Harry Belafonte 1
Harry Belafonte - Love Songs 1
Hits Of 1
Legendary Volume 3 1
The Masters 1

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