Harry Belafonte reaches deal with Martin Luther King Jr. estate

Harry Belafonte reaches deal with Martin Luther King Jr. estate

NEW YORK, April 11 (UPI) -- Harry Belafonte gets to keep three documents given to him by Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King in agreement.
Danielle Haynes

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Saturday, March 1, 2014.
By United Press International
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio promises 'march' toward fairness

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio promises 'march' toward fairness

NEW YORK, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, as he was inaugurated at City Hall, the city is on a "march" toward fairness and justice.
Harry Belafonte in legal fight with Martin Luther King's children

Harry Belafonte in legal fight with Martin Luther King's children

NEW YORK, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Singer Harry Belafonte has asked a U.S. court to declare him the owner of three documents Martin Luther King Jr.'s children say were illegally acquired.

Harry Belafonte rallies 'stand your ground' protesters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., July 27 (UPI) -- Singer Harry Belafonte urged demonstrators at the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee to keep pressing for a review of the state's stand your ground law.

ANC: United Nations will celebrate Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 17 (UPI) -- The African National Congress said it will celebrate Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday Thursday and remains inspired by the former South African president.

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Friday, March 1, 2013.
By United Press International

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Thursday, March 1, 2012.
By United Press International

Composer Ralph MacDonald dead at 67

STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Ralph MacDonald, the composer of "Where is the Love" and "Just the Two of Us," died Sunday in Connecticut at the age of 67, his family announced.

People in the news

The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...
By United Press International

Belafonte catches a moment's rest on TV

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A spokesman for Harry Belafonte says the 84-year-old actor and singer wasn't sleeping during a television interview last week -- he was mediating.

King papers pulled from auction

NEW YORK, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- New York auction house Sotheby's said singer Harry Belafonte has decided not to sell three documents related to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Saturday, March 1, 2008.
By United Press International

Dancer, choreographer Walter Nicks dies

NEW YORK, April 9 (UPI) -- Walter Nicks, a dancer, choreographer and instructor of international renown, has died in Brooklyn at the age of 81.

Songwriter Hall of Fame inductees named

NEW YORK, March 19 (UPI) -- Jackson Browne, already a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Monday led a sextuplet of tunesmiths to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York. Besides Browne, the Hall will honor Don Black, Irving Burgie, Michael Masser, Bobby Weinstein and the
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Harry Belafonte
Actor/activist Harry Belafonte poses with Brandywine and friends attending the October 27, 2003 Acting Company's Masquerade gala honoring Belafonte at New York's Copacabana club. (UPI/Ezio Petersen)

Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. (originally Belafonete; born March 1, 1927) is an American of Jamaican and Martiniquan descent who is a singer, actor, and social activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" – a title which he was very reluctant to accept (according to the documentary Calypso Dreams) – for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing the "Banana Boat Song", with its signature lyric "Day-O." Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes, and was a vocal critic of the policies of the George W. Bush Administration.

Born Harold George Belafonte, Jr., at Lying-in Hospital, New York City, New York, Belafonte was the son of Melvine (née Love) – a housekeeper (of Jamaican descent) – and Harold George Belafonete, Sr., a Martiniquan who worked as chef in the Royal Navy. From 1932 to 1940, he lived with his grandmother in her native country of Jamaica. When he returned to New York City he attended George Washington High School after which he joined the Navy and served during World War II. At the end of the 1940s, he took classes in acting at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York with the influential German director Erwin Piscator alongside Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Walter Matthau, Bea Arthur, and Sidney Poitier, while performing with the American Negro Theatre. He subsequently received a Tony Award for his participation in the Broadway revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac.

Belafonte started his career in music as a club singer in New York, to pay for his acting classes. The first time he appeared in front of an audience he was backed by the Charlie Parker band, which included Charlie Parker himself, Max Roach, and Miles Davis among others. At first he was a pop singer, launching his recording career on the Roost label in 1949, but later he developed a keen interest in folk music, learning material through the Library of Congress' American folk songs archives. With guitarist and friend Millard Thomas, Belafonte soon made his debut at the legendary jazz club The Village Vanguard. In 1952 he received a contract with RCA Victor.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Harry Belafonte."
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