US singer Harry Belafonte dies at the age of 96

Belafonte was one of the few Black singers who achieved success in the 1950s in the US.

Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte


Singer, actor and civil rights campaigner Harry Belafonte died on Tuesday at the age of 96, the US media reported.

He died of congestive heart failure while in his New York home with his wife Pamela by his side, according to his public relations firm.

Belafonte was born in Harlem to a Jamaican mother and a father from the French territory of Martinique. He became a superstar entertainer who introduced a Caribbean flair to mainstream US music.

He gained fame for hits such as "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)," "Jamaican Farewell", selling millions of records throughout his career. He was one of the first Black artists to succeed against the backdrop of segregation.

But he also dedicated much of his time, and money, to pursuing civil rights. He was a close friend to Martin Luther King Jr and his family.

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