Harry Belafonte meditates through TV interview glitch

Update: Harry Belafonte meditates through TV interview glitch

By Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY


Harry Belafonte has been in the news lately for several reasons. His new memoir, My Song, is just out. He has lent his support to the Occupy Wall Street protests. And now, he's going viral in a video in which a newscaster caught him sleeping as he was supposed to go on the air.


The 84-year-old singer was supposed to do an early-morning satellite interview with the KBAK in Bakersfield, Calif., on Friday. But as he waited to go on the air, he was shown with his eyes closed, unresponsive.


"Hey, good morning Harry!" says Layla Santiago to a snoozing Belafonte. She continues, "Wake up, wake up! This is your wake-up call! OK, I'll tell you what, he's meditating. He's taking a little nap."


UPDATE: What happened? A technical glitch. Lifeline Live has been told that the audio "dropped out" and Belafonte couldn't hear his introduction. Publicist Kristin Clifford says Belafonte was resting his eyes, but would have conducted the interview had he heard the newscaster. She adds that it's upsetting that "their technical difficulty was used to embarrass Mr. Belafonte. This was 100% their error."


UPDATE NO. 2: "After weeks of literally hundreds of interviews promoting his HBO documentary, memoir and CD, Mr. Belafonte had an early morning satellite TV tour this past Friday. True to form, there was a technical glitch in the feed to a local station in Bakersfield, CA. His earpiece wasn't working, so he decided to take the time to meditate before the rest of his Day-O," says Ken Sunshine, spokesperson for Harry Belafonte. "Mr. Belafonte is 84 years young, but sharper and more awake than most who have been interviewing him. Maybe the world would be a better place if more people took a moment to meditate." (Source: USA TODAY)


Who is Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr.?

He (originally "Belafonete"; born March 1, 1927) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song," with its signature lyric "Day-O." Throughout his career he has been an advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes and was a vocal critic of the policies of the George W. Bush Administration.


Born Harold George Belafonte,[1] Jr., at Lying-in Hospital, New York City, New York, Belafonte was the son of Melvine (née Love) – a housekeeper (of Jamaican descent) – and Harold George Belafonete, Sr., a Martiniquan who worked as chef in the Royal Navy.[2][3][4][5] From 1932 to 1940, he lived with his grandmother in her native country of Jamaica. When he returned to New York City, he attended George Washington High School[6] after which he joined the Navy and served during World War II.[4] In the 40s, he was working as a janitor's assistant in NYC when a tenant gave him 2 tickets to the theater as a gratuity. He fell in love with the art form and also met Sydney Poitier. The financially struggling pair regularly purchased a single seat to local plays, trading places in between acts, after informing the other about the progression of the play. [7] At the end of the 1940s, he took classes in acting at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York with the influential German director Erwin Piscator alongside Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Walter Matthau, Bea Arthur and Sidney Poitier, while performing with the American Negro Theatre. He subsequently received a Tony Award for his participation in the Broadway revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac. (Wikipedia).

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