Beloved actor, singer, and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte has passed away due to congestive heart failure at the age of 96. His representative announced the news on Tuesday (April 25th).
"It is with a heavy heart that we have said goodbye to our beloved dad, father-in-law, and grandpa, the beyond amazing Harry Belafonte. To the world he was a legend, but to us he was Dad, Harry, Farfar - which means Grandpa in Danish - and he will always mean the world to us," his family said in a statement.
Known as the “Calypso King,” Belafonte is credited for popularizing the musical style with his 1956 album titled “Calypso.” His acting credits include Uptown Saturday Night, Island in the Sun, Odds Against Tomorrow, Carmen Jones, The World, The Flesh and the Devil, White Man's Burden, and BlacKkKlansman.
According to Entertainment Tonight, the EGOT winner was also the first Black person to host a late-night talk show, when he took over hosting duties for The Tonight Show for a week in 1968. His guests included Martin Luther King Jr., Lena Horne, and Bobby Kennedy.
Many in Hollywood took to social media on Tuesday (April 25th) to honor the legendary actor and singer, including Spike Lee, Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jennifer Hudson, and Ice Cube.
In addition to being a humanitarian, he was also a terrific actor and singer. One of this best known songs, "The Banana Boat Song," became an iconic and hysterical part of the 1988 movie "Beetlejuice."