In 2023 we said goodbye to several music icons, including 96-year-old Harry Belafonte. The late recording artist was best known for “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” though he also contributed significantly to activist movements around the globe. His work was sampled on several occasions in popular hip-hop releases, and he continues to be recognized as one of the few Black creatives to achieve EGOT status. When it came time for the annual Grammy Awards this month, many expected to see the show pay tribute to Belafonte for all his contributions. Unfortunately for them, Belafonte only briefly came up during the “In Memoriam” segment but failed to give any further acknowledgment as we saw other artists receive.
“Love @itstonybennett Love @tinaturner Love @sinadeocconor. Why the @recordingacademy [chose] not to do a special tribute to you I will #never understand!” the legend’s daughter, Gina Belafonte wrote on Facebook earlier this week. “Here is my Grammy tribute to you dad! So many winners you’ve mentored! So many winners you shared your stage with. You are the winner @theharrybelafonte and we are better because of your contribution!” she continued, giving her late father his well-deserved flowers.
Harry Belafonte’s Daughter Honours Him
“Belafonte’s career breakthrough album Calypso (1956) was the first million-selling LP by a single artist,” Gina reminded readers online. As AllHipHop notes, another of Harry’s daughters, Shari Belafonte, aired her grievances with the Grammys too. “While no doubt, Tony Bennett and Tina Turner were special indeed, Harry contributed far more to society and the music industry than those two put together, in my humble opinion. The Grammys missed a major moment.”
Harry Belafonte isn’t the only celebrity who seemingly got snubbed by the Grammy Awards. SZA‘s fanbase was outraged after the TDE signee missed out on taking home Album of the Year, but for her part, she’s taking the loss with grace. “Only way from up is higher,” she declared following the ceremony. Read more about that at the link below, and check back later for more hip-hop/pop culture news updates.