Since 1956, Harry Belafonte has been known for his voice. His breakthrough album, “Calypso” (1956) was the first album to sell over one million records by a single artist, which paved the way for a legendary career that would include 3 Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, an Emmy Award for his 1959 variety show Tonight With Belafonte on CBS, and a Tony Award for his Broadway debut in John Murray Anderson’s Almanac.
But Mr. Belafonte’s voice goes beyond his work as an artist. Over the decades, he has dedicated his life to social activism, working closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President John F. Kennedy, and Nelson Mandela. This year, the Academy Awards will honor him with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his outstanding efforts in shedding light on racism and inequality. With this award, he is not only one of the few people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT), but also one of a few performing artists to receive a number of honors for his social contributions, including the Kennedy Center Honors (1989), the National Medal of Arts (1994) and over 40 honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities throughout the world. “I wasn’t an artist who’d become an activist,” Mr. Belafonte wrote in his Memoir, My Song (2011). “I was an activist who’d become an artist.”
Now more than ever, as tensions mount around the national discussion on race relations, Mr. Belafonte is eager to continue his long-standing efforts in achieving social equality by raising awareness and speaking to audiences worldwide.
- Diversity/Minority Issues
- Social Issues
Health, Medical, Entertainment, Music, Celebrity, Minority
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"Oh my goodness...Mr. Belafonte is so incredibly kind, gentle and charming. Everyone just loved him!! ...We feel so fortunate that he chose to participate in our event." - Hip Housing