RIP: Harry Belafonte Passes Away At 96

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Spingarn Medal honoree Harry Belafonte poses for a portrait during the 44th NAACP Image Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on February 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

Prayers up!

The legendary singer and activist has passed away at the age of 96. Reports claim that Belfonte passed away in his home in Manhattan. The EGOT winner reportedly died from congestive heart failure. His wife was by his side at the time.

Hailing from Harlem, New York, Mr. Belafonte made history as the first Black Emmy winner and being the first to record a million-selling full-length album. Aside from being a beloved singer and actor, Belafonte was an activist and a prominent voice in the civil rights movement. He was a close friend to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “It was just us at a card table with straight-back chairs,” Belafonte recalled of Dr. King. “What was supposed to be a few minutes led to almost four hours. I liked his courage, his thoughts, his ideas and his mission. I committed to him after that.”

Belafonte received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1989, the National Medal of Arts in 1994, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. 

On his 90th birthday, Belafonte reflected on his life, “I wasn’t an artist who became an activist. I was an activist who became an artist.” 

We are keeping his friends, family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers. May he rest peacefully.