Harry Bellafonte, iconic Black singer known for hits like Jamaica Farewell and a Hole in the Bucket passes away at age 96 – Times of India

The handsome black singer, Harry Bellafonte who became wildly popular back in the 1950s is dead. He sang at a time when it was rare for Black entertainers to have white audiences, but Bellafonte with his rich, mellifluous voice and distinct style of singing broke all barriers and was much sought after as an iconic entertainer.An obituary in the NYT stated just a few minutes back that Bellafonte died from a congestive heart failure. According to the report, the iconic singer was not the first Black entertainer to transcend racial boundaries; Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and others had achieved stardom before him. But others had not made as much of a splash as Bellafonte did, and for a few years no one in music, Black or white, was bigger than him.

His handsome persona soon led to a movie career, but to his credit, he was more interested in the Black Civil Rights movement than in entertainment. He supported the movement and was an activist working with the pioneers.

To this day, songs like Jamaica Farewell strike a chord everywhere and today, of all days, his haunting lyrics for the song will echo in everyone’s head:But I’m sad to say I’m on my way
Won’t be back for many a day
These words ring true today when he is really gone and won’t ever be back for many a day. Fortunately, he leaves behind his voice.

Who can forget the uproarious song that all of our parent’s generation sang at almost every party with great gusto:
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza
Go fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
Go fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

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