Jay-Z Says Oprah, Belafonte Are Inspirations During 'Decoded' Reading
Harry Belafonte visits a conversation with Jay-Z, Cornel West and Paul Holdengräber at the NYPL on November 15th, 2010 in New York.

Although he announced a retirement from performing in 2007, Harry Belafonte (famous for his "Day-O" chant from his trademark track "The Banana Boat Song") claims to be sharp as ever, even at age 84. Yet Belafonte was caught in an uncomfortable techincal error during a satellite interview with KBAK in Bakersfield, Calif. on Friday (Oct. 14), leading many to believe that he had fallen asleep during the broadcast. Watch below.

When cueing Belafonte in New York for the interview which would discuss his new memoir "My Song" and an HBO documentary about his life (titled "Sing Your Song"), the singer and avid political activist appeared to be serenely sleeping upright in his chair. Newscaster Layla Santiago shouted to the Calypso singer, "This is your wake up call! He's meditating, he's taking a little nap," which elicited non-stop chuckles and puns about his famous song from the three newscasters.

According to USA Today, Belfanote was unable to hear his introduction due to "dropped out" audio. Belafonte rep Kristin Clifford says the singer was resting his eyes but would have conducted the interview. "Their technical difficulty was used to embarrass Mr. Belafonte," Clifford said "This was 100% their error."

Belafonte's publicist, Ken Sunshine, spoke further: "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, Calif. His earpiece wasn't working, so he decided to take the time to mediate before the rest of his Day-O."

Sunshine added: "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."

Daylight come and KBAK gets another interview with Harry? Not a chance.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print