Harry Belafonte Dead At 96

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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Harry Belafonte, the legendary activist, singer and actor, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 96.

His death was confirmed by his spokesperson, Ken Sunshine, according to The Washington Post. Belafonte overcame all odds when he joined the upper echelon of show business with his incredible voice. He was classically untrained, yet managed to attain great range with his incredible, signature voice. The talented star was a key ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. after the release of “The Banana Boat Song,” according to The Washington Post.

He belted out the lyric “Day-O!” from “The Banana Boat Song” as he rose to international stardom. Belafonte used his income to bankroll the civil rights movement and human rights causes that were near and dear to his heart, according to The Washington Post.

He was the first Black man to win a Tony Award on Broadway, and just six years later, he became the first African American producer to receive an Emmy Award, for “Tonight With Belafonte,” a CBS special presented Black American history through music (RELATED: Famous K-Pop Artist Moon Bin Found Dead In His Home At Age 25)

Belafonte’s 1956 album “Calypso” sold more than 1 million copies, which briefly rivaled Elvis Presley on the music charts.