Harry Belafonte’s Daughters Upset by Grammy In Memoriam

Belafonte's Achievements Missed in Grammy Tribute.

by Nouman Rasool
Harry Belafonte’s Daughters Upset by Grammy In Memoriam
© Keystone/Getty Images

The 2024 Grammy Awards has managed to piss off the daughters of Harry Belafonte, omitting a major tribute to the father—a former Grammy-winning singer and social activist. The controversy surrounding the in memoriam portion of the awards revolved around the exclusion of Harry Belafonte, who passed away at the age of 96 last April, according to his family and fans.

There was also a segment in which Annie Lennox, Stejsonvie Wonder, Fantasia Barrino and Jon Batiste gave tribute to other legends that had died in the past year. For example, a number of the pictures in the tribute were of artists who have died such as Sinead O’Connor, Tina Turner, Tony Bennett, and Clarence Avant.

However, the Belafonte family found that the few seconds Harry Belafonte's image was up while Batiste was performing “The Best Is Yet to Come” did not do him justice. Belafonte's daughters Shari, 69, and Gina, 62, vented their displeasure in social media, pointing out that their father deserved a standout tribute on the order of what was given to Turner, O’Connor, Bennett, and Avant.

Belafonte's Legacy Overlooked

Shari Belafonte commented how it surprised her about the fact that the Grammys hadn't recognize her father's achievement. "Harry Belafonte was the first person to win a platinum record, the first black man to win an Emmy, and one of 20 people to reach an EGOT.

"I co-wrote 'We Are The World'" She emphasized that although she respects the status of Bennett and Turner, she thinks her father contributed more to humanity and the music world. Gina Belafonte also echoed her sister's sentiments with a tribute on Facebook to their father.

She posted, "Our family is in confusion about the Recording Academy's decision. It celebrates my father's influence on so many Grammy winners and his early, broke barrier pioneer in the music industry. She also noted that his 1956 album "Calypso" had been the first million-selling LP by a single artist.

Harry Belafonte was pronounced dead on 25th April 2023 in Manhattan. He is widely considered as the biggest pop star from the Caribbean-American region. During the 1950s, he made a great contribution to popularize Calypso music from Trinidad and Tobago to the international platform.

He is also survived by four children: Adrienne, Shari, David, and Gina, as well as five grandchildren. His influence and inspiration shall live forever in the music business and beyond.