(WGHP) — Singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte has died at the age of 96, according to the New York Times.
Belafonte’s spokesperson Ken Sunshine said he died of congestive heart failure.
Belafonte was co-chair of the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem in 1993, alongside Sidney Poitier and Della Reese. Belafonte visited UNC Chapel Hill in 2007 as the Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he spoke at a celebration honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at Winston-Salem State University.
The singer was most known for songs like “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and “Jamaica Farewell,” both off of his 1956 album “Calypso.” The New York Times reports the album was believed to be the first of a single artist to sell more than a million copies.
The near-EGOT earned an Emmy, Grammy and Tony, missing only an Oscar.
Belafonte earned a Tony Award for his role in “John Murray Anderson’s Almanac” in 1954.
He earned an Emmy for his performance in 1959 episode of The Revlon Revue “Tonight with Belafonte.”
And he received three Grammy Awards: one for his 1960 album “Swing Dat Hammer,” another for “An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba” in 1965 and, finally, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.