The world lost a triple-threat talent and fierce activist with the passing of the great Harry Belafonte this past Tuesday (April 25th). Many eulogized the legend via social media with an outpouring of love, memories and condolences. Lenny Kravitz did them one better by giving a musical tribute to the real-life hero by performing one of Mr. Belafonte’s favorite songs to perform in during the 1980s, “How Long Have You Been Blind.”
The song, originally performed by Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman, is a 1984 protest song about the ills of the world and how soon they will come to roost. It’s a fitting track for someone like Mr. Belafonte, and it’s also something in the wheelhouse of Kravitz as well. He decided to record himself recreating the song on several instruments — including bongo, drums, keys and bass — as well as contributing a searing vocal to tie it all together.
While the many instances of homage to the late, great icon were heartfelt, Lenny’s decision to honor him with a bit of the good trouble that he stirred up in his quest for equality is perhaps the best way to honor someone so meaningful.
Watch Lenny Kravitz keep the fire of Harry Belafonte burning on in the clip below.