Harry Belafonte Was the First Recording Artist to Reach More Than One Million in LP Sales

Harry Belafonte

Born March 1, 1927 in Harlem, Harry Belafonte is one of the best known African American actors, activists and singers in the U.S. His unique take on Caribbean folk music thrilled American audiences, especially the hit song "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)" which debuted on his album "Calypso" in 1956.
It was the first album to sell over a million copies and earned him the title "King of Calypso." In the 1960's, Belafonte also became the first African American television producer and the first African American to win an Emmy Award.

His other achievements include:

• 1954: Tony Award for supporting actor in the musical John Murray Anderson's Almanac

• 1960: Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program Revlon Revue: "Tonight with Belafonte"

• 1960: Grammy Award for best folk performance with Swing Dat Hammer

• 1961: Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording for Belafonte Folk Singers At Home And Abroad

• 1965: Grammy Award for best folk recording for An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba

• 1987-present: UNICEF goodwill ambassador

• 1989: Kennedy Center Honors

• 1994: National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts

• 2010: Major League Baseball's Beacon Award for lifetime efforts in civil rights

• 2014: Recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

Belafonte continues to live and work in New York City.