Singer, actor Harry Belafonte passes away at 96

(NBC) Harry Belafonte, the singer, actor, and wide-ranging activist, has died at the age of 96 of congestive heart failure.

Belafonte was primarily raised by his mother.

While he studied acting in New York, he turned to music and eventually developed his signature sound.

His 1956 album “Calypso” was the first LP to sell more than one million copies within a year. He was soon nicknamed the “King of Calypso.”

The singer soon moved to the silver screen.

The actor then became an activist, passionate about civil rights. Belafonte was a close confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Belafonte never backed away from his commitment to social justice. He fought apartheid in South Africa and hunger on the African continent.

He helped bring the biggest names in music together to record “We are the World,” which raised millions for victims of famine.

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