Here are some facts about actor-activist Harry Belafonte, who has died at the age of 96:
Belafonte was born in New York’s Harlem neighborhood but his mother took him to her Jamaican homeland at an early age for a few years before returning to New York.
Belafonte’s “Calypso,” released in 1956, was the first album to sell more than 1 million copies.
Belafonte received a Tony Award in 1954 for his role in Broadway’s “Almanac” and became the first Black actor to win an Emmy for a 1959 television variety special.
Belafonte received three Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Although Belafonte and co-star Dorothy Dandridge were accomplished singers, their vocals in the 1954 movie “Carmen Jones” were sung by LeVern Hutcherson and Marilyn Horne.
Belafonte’s movies often had racial themes. The prospect of his character having a relationship with a white woman played by Joan Fontaine in “Island in the Sun” in 1954 led to threats against theatres in the American South.
Belafonte decided to organise the fund-raising hit song “We Are the World” after watching a news report on the Ethiopian famine in 1984.
The song, which raised more than $62 million, featured superstars like Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles.
In 2002, Belafonte had likened Colin Powell, then President George W. Bush’s secretary of state, to a plantation slave who curried favour with “the master.”
In 2006 he labelled Bush “the greatest terrorist in the world” and compared the U.S. Homeland Security Department to the Gestapo of Nazi Germany.
Belafonte produced the 1984 movie “Beat Street,” one of the first movies about break-dancing and hip-hop culture.