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Harry Belafonte, Pioneering Singer and Civil Rights Activist, Dies at Age 96

HeadlineApr 26, 2023

Harry Belafonte, pioneering activist, singer and actor, has died at the age of 96. Harry Belafonte was born in Harlem to Jamaican immigrant parents. He is credited with popularizing Caribbean music in the U.S. with his chart-topping 1956 album “Calypso,” which included the hits “Jump in the Line,” “Jamaica Farewell” and “Day-O.” His musical success led to multiple acting offers, and he went on to star in dozens of films and TV shows.

But his driving force was activism, and he leveraged his successful entertainment career to shine a spotlight on civil rights and to fund movements like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He participated in the 1963 March on Washington. Belafonte famously said, “I was an activist who became an artist, I was not an artist who became an activist.” After headlines, we’ll air clips of the legendary Harry Belafonte for the rest of the hour.

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