American singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte has died

With a mesmerizing voice and charming physique, Harry Belafonte, nicknamed the “King of Calypso,” rose to fame in the 1950s and marked his time in America through his humanitarian beliefs and his fight for civil rights.

The legendary singer died on Tuesday at the age of 96, several US media reported.

Born on March 1, 1927 in Harlem to a Jamaican mother and a Martinican father, the singer is best known for the hits “Matilda”, “Day-O”, “Island in the Sun”, “Jamaica Farewell”, “Try to Remember” or “Coconut Girl”. “.

As a child, when he lived in Jamaica, George “Harry” Belafonte discovered the West African-influenced calypso, born in the festivals of Trinidad and Tobago, that would captivate the American public with its exoticism.

Returning to America, he joined the Black Theater in Harlem after the war and staged several plays with his lifelong friend, Sidney Poitier, before turning to music, where his charisma and vocal qualities gave him rapid success, which would be its inspiration. A commitment to anti-racism.

An early singer of ballads in cabarets, he made his mark in the early 1950s with a popular repertoire that blended influences from American genre, Caribbean music, and black culture from Harlem.

In 1955, he had a hit with the title “Tae-O (Banana Boat Song)” and the album “Calypso” (1956) became the first in history to sell more than one million copies.

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