Harry Belafonte Death Cause: How Did The King of Calypso Die?

Harlem Renaissance icon and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte has passed away at the age of 96. On Tuesday morning, with his wife by his side, the iconic singer died.

The music of Belafonte and other early civil rights activists influenced generations of African American musicians. He was renowned as the “King of Calypso” for his role in spreading Jamaican mento traditional tunes to a global audience. In this article, we will read about Harry Belafonte's Death Cause in detail.

Who is Harry Belafonte?

Harry Belafonte was a famous American artist and campaigner who made calypso music popular around the world in the 1950s. On March 1, 1927, in Harlem, New York City, Harold George Bellanfanti Jr. was born to Jamaican parents.

Harry Belafonte Death Cause

His father, Harold Sr., was a chef, and his mother, Melvine (née Love), was a housekeeper. Belafonte won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony (EGOT), an impressive feat considering his Oscar was given to him in a non-competitive category.

His record Calypso (1956) was the first million-selling LP by a solo artist, marking a watershed moment in his career.

Harry Belafonte Death Cause

Belafonte died of Congestive Heart Failure on April 25, 2023, in his Upper West Side home. When the heart is unable to pump enough blood, a condition known as congestive heart failure develops. It happens when the heart's muscle is damaged or weakened, or when it's overworked and can't meet the body's needs.

Tributes Pour in for the Singer

Several famous people and their admirers have posted tributes to Harry Belafonte on various social media platforms. When Harry Belafonte passed away, Oprah lamented, “Another “GREAT TREE” has fallen: a Pioneer and Hero to us all.”

We appreciate you taking risks to raise funds for the civil rights and justice movements, as well as your music, art, advocacy, and activism in general. I loved Mr. Belafonte and I’m so grateful for his groundbreaking work and tremendous influence on our nation and the world,” singer Jon Legend tweeted.

Just before this interview, I got the news that he had passed away. He put in a lot of effort and achieved a lot. He deserves a good night's sleep.

Let's take A Look At Harry Belafonte's Vast Career

Belafonte took up a career as a nightclub singer to fund his training as an actor. In 1949, he finally began his music career after signing with the Roost record label. He first performed publicly with his friend Millard Thomas at the Village Vanguard jazz club in New York City's Greenwich Village.

In 1956, he released the studio album “Calypso,” which made history as the first album to sell a million copies worldwide in a single year. And it was on this album that Belafonte debuted his hallmark song, “Day-O.” Another popular song from “Calypso” was “Jamaica Farewell.”

Belafonte also made recordings of blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and classics in addition to calypso. He released a pair of Carnegie Hall concert CDs in 1959 and 1960, the former of which featured his rendition of the Jewish folk ballad “Hava Nagila.” In the years that followed, Belafonte created albums like “Jump Up Calypso,” and “Midnight Special'.

Harry Belafonte Death Cause

Also, in 1965, he collaborated with South African singer-songwriter and activist Miriam Makeba on the Grammy-winning album “An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba.” Album of calypso music recorded and published by Belafonte in 1971; titled “Calypso Carnival.” As a result, he spent much of the decade touring the world instead of producing new material.

In the mid-1980s, Belafonte joined the charity ensemble USA for Africa and found renewed musical success. He also composed the soundtrack for the movie “Beat Street.” For the first time in over a decade, Belafonte released an album of all-new songs after signing with EMI, and it was titled “Paradise in Gazankulu.”

Belafonte's final album comprises songs of protest against Apartheid in South Africa. Throughout the '90s and '00s, Belafonte kept performing, with his final show being a charity concert for the Atlanta Opera in late 2003. Not too long after that, he gave up singing professionally.

In the film “Bright Road,” released in 1953, Belafonte made his first appearance alongside Dorothy Dandridge. After starring in “Island in the Sun” together in 1957, the couple reunited the following year for Otto Preminger's smash musical film “Carmen Jones.” Two years later, Belafonte acted in and produced Robert Wise's film noir, “Odds Against Tomorrow.”

He had a starring role in the science fiction movie “The World, the Flesh, and the Devil.” After taking a hiatus from acting in the 1960s, Belafonte co-starred with Sidney Poitier in two films released in the 1970s: the Western “Buck and the Preacher” and the action criminal comedy “Uptown Saturday Night.”

John Travolta and Belafonte costarred in the 1995 film “White Man's Burden,” a drama about prejudice. The next year, he landed a juicy part in Robert Altman's jazz-era crime picture, “Kansas City.” Belafonte has also appeared in films directed by Emilio Estevez and Spike Lee, respectively, in which he played an elderly civil rights leader.

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