The world famous singer Harold George Belafonete, Jr.,
better known as Harry Belafonte, was born on March 1, 1927
in Harlem, New York City. After high school and his service
in the Navy during WWII he took acting classes together with
well-known names such as Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, Tony
Curtis and Walter Matthau. He performed in nightclubs to enable
himself to pay for his lessons. This is how his music career
started. He rapidly became more and more famous. His first
song to be published worldwide was ‘Matilda’,
recorded on April 27, 1953. His album Calypso, was the first
LP to reach sales of more than one million. Harry Belafonte
published a lot of songs, songs which became famous and beloved.
His most well-known song is the ‘Banana Boat Song’,
a typical folk music song which is attributed to Jamaican
banana boat workers. Harry sang in various styles :- Blues,
Folk, Gospel and American Standard. He was the first black
man to win an Emmy. Some of his performances have become legendary,
such as in the Carnegie Hall or for example at the inauguration
speech of president J.F. Kennedy. Harry Belafonte also took
part in several movies.
Harry Belafonte in het middle,
left Sidney Poitier, right Charles Heston.
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