Harry Belafonte Net Worth: How the “King of Calypso” Built His Wealth

Harry Belafonte is a renowned American singer, actor, and social activist. He is best known for his unique blend of calypso, folk, and pop music, as well as his notable contributions to the civil rights movement. Over the course of his career, Belafonte has amassed a significant net worth through his various endeavors.

In this article, we will explore Harry Belafonte’s net worth and the sources of his wealth.

Harry Belafonte’s Early Life and Career

Harry Belafonte was born on March 1, 1927, in Harlem, New York City. He grew up in poverty and faced many challenges, including his parents’ divorce and his mother’s struggle with mental illness. Despite these difficulties, Belafonte excelled academically and pursued a career in theater.

In the 1950s, Belafonte gained widespread recognition for his calypso music, which blended Caribbean rhythms with American pop. His breakthrough hit was “The Banana Boat Song,” which topped the charts in 1956. Belafonte went on to release numerous other successful albums and singles, including “Jump in the Line” and “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song).”

Belafonte also ventured into acting and appeared in several films and television shows. He received critical acclaim for his roles in movies such as “Carmen Jones” and “Buck and the Preacher.”

Sources of Harry Belafonte’s Net Worth

Harry Belafonte’s net worth is estimated to be $28 million. The sources of his wealth include:

Music Sales: Belafonte’s music has sold millions of copies worldwide. He has released over 20 studio albums and has won multiple Grammy Awards for his music.

Acting: In addition to his successful music career, Belafonte has also acted in numerous films and television shows. He has received critical acclaim for his performances and has earned a substantial income from his acting career.

Activism: Belafonte has been a prominent social activist throughout his career. He has been involved in numerous civil rights organizations and has used his platform to advocate for social justice. While activism may not have a direct monetary value, it has undoubtedly helped to raise Belafonte’s public profile and increase his earning potential.


Harry Belafonte’s net worth is a testament to his success as a musician, actor, and social activist. Through his talent and hard work, he has built a substantial fortune and cemented his place in American pop culture. Despite his financial success, Belafonte remains committed to social justice and continues to use his platform to advocate for change.

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