Usher Shares Harry Belafonte Tattoo Following Entertainment Icon’s Passing

Usher has paid homage to singer, actor, and activist Harry Belafonte by getting a tattoo of the late entertainment icon, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 96.

The Grammy-Award-winning singer debuted his new ink via Instagram on Wednesday (April 26), showing off a large piece covering his forearm. A few of photos and videos of the pair were also included in the post.

“A world-renowned entertainer. A barrier-breaking actor. A tireless activist. A one-of-a kind friend. Inspired is the word that comes to mind when I think about you Harry,” Usher began his caption.

“A man of great strength, courage, and sense of purpose. All things that I view as admirable. When I spent time with you…I was in awe of how your presence was so powerful. You’ve been called home after many, many years of gracing this world with your amazing spirit and incomparable gifts; however, your impact on the world will be forever present.”

He continued: “I’m grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to have you in my life and I will miss you. May you rest peacefully knowing the legacy you’ve left behind.” Your passion awakened our souls. The impression you made on my heart is why I wear you on my skin.”

Additionally, Usher captioned the photo with a quote from the late actor: “Artists are the gatekeepers of truth. We are civilization’s anchor. We are the compass for humanity’s conscience.”


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Usher’s new tattoo serves as a reminder of his relationship with the late Carmen actor and his legacy — Belafonte passed away on Tuesday (April 25).

Belafonte’s longtime spokesperson, Ken Sunshine, told The New York Times his cause of death was congestive heart failure and that he passed away in his apartment in New York City’s Upper West Side.

Born in Harlem to West Indian immigrant parents, Harry Belafonte piqued Western culture’s interest in Caribbean music thanks to his 1956 smash hits “Jamaica Farewell” and “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song).”

Both tracks appeared on his Calypso LP, which topped Billboard’s Top Pop Albums chart for over 30 weeks. Calypso charted shortly before Elvis Presley’s rise, and Belafonte is often cited to have the first album by a single artist to sell more than a million copies

Usher isn’t the only to pay tribute to Harry Belafonte lately. Hip Hop legends came out in droves to pay tribute to the late icon, with Questlove, DJ Premier, Chuck D, 9th Wonder, Swizz Beatz, Nick Cannon, Rapsody and dozens of others sharing their condolences on social media.

“Shining example of how to use your platform to make change in the world,” Questlove wrote on Instagram. “Hi$ activi$m was crucial for the civil rights movement. His activism was key in the anti-apartheid movement…If there is one lesson we can learn from him it is ‘what can I do to help mankind?’”

9th Wonder added: “I had the great pleasure of talking and eating dinner with this man. We as entertainers owe him. We owe Hattie McDaniel. Sidney Poiter. Duke Ellington. Gwendolyn Brooks. So many.”

For his tribute post, Preemo simply wrote: “R.I.P. Harry Belafonte. Thank you for all of your greatness to become just as great[.] ICON.”


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