Gone to the Land of No Return Harry Belafonte: King of Calypso (1927-2023)

 Harry Belafonte, who took an entire era with him to a house on Manhattan’s Upper West Side at the age of 96. The name is not only in the history of American music but also in the history of politics and society. Because this student of Paul Robeson never saw music-playing and activation separately. So Harry Belafonte is not just ‘Jamaican Farewell’ or Banana Boat Song. Harry Belafonte is the face of the American civil rights movement, a voice for the demands of the black, the poor, a constant critic of the Bush Empire, etc. His colorful life of 96 years was filled with many more activities, mainly speaking for the underprivileged throughout his life. Ken Sunshine, the artist’s long-time spokesperson, said in a statement that the artist died of age-related congestive heart failure.

Performer Harry Belafonte debuts as a club singer to raise money for acting training. Falling in love with acting at the American Negro Theater, befriending Sidney Poitier. Harry was leaning towards acting before singing. A subsequent focus on American folk music, beginning his journey to becoming the ‘King of Calypso’. Harry began to make the audience dance to the tune of his ‘Matilda‘. In this song, the entire theater was accompanying him from the audience. Harry Belafonte’s first single album ‘Calypso’ was released in 1956. The album set the record, selling over 10 million copies within a year. Harry never really looked back after that. That album was ‘Jamaican Farewell‘, ‘Banana Boat Song‘, and ‘Brown Skin Girl‘, Harry’s voice reached all corners of the world. However, the subsequent rise of the Beatles somewhat dampened his popularity. ‘Belafonte at the Greek Theater’ was released in 1964. It can be called his last popular album. In the sixties, the artist took an interest in acting as well as singing. However, as he did not get much success in acting, he returned to music.

However, Harry Belafonte’s music has always been accompanied by his political ideology. He was repeatedly blacklisted for that. The artist himself used to say, ‘If my first teacher is Paul Robeson, my second is Martin Luther King Jr.’ This child of Jamaican immigrant parents has always stood beside the deprived people of Africa. This singer has been vocal in the Venezuelan movement or Cuba’s Fidel Castro. His protests started in the fifties and sixties and remained active till the last days of his life. Finally, the fight stopped as soon as he left.

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