"Island In The Sun" was the title song for a controversial 1957 film about race relations and interracial romance. Harry "King of Calypso" Belafonte starred in the film (with Joan Fontaine) and wrote and performed the song. The island is a fictional Caribbean one named Santa Marta.
The lyrics detail simple life on a Caribbean island, with hopes that this lifestyle will endure. In the film, the song is played over a montage of scenes of island life. The film, and the Belafonte album in which the song appears, were both released in 1957.
Chris Blackwell and his partners named their record label Island Records after this song. Based in Jamaica, the label was founded in 1959.
At least 40 artists have covered this song, including The Righteous Brothers, The Merrymen, and José Carreras. The Paragons, a ska group out of Kingston, Jamaica, turned the song into a Jamaican anthem with their 1967 cover of the song on their debut album On the Beach.
Belafonte released an updated version of the song in 2017 in When Colors Come Together. Belafonte's son David wrote the new lyrics, and his grandchildren sang backing vocals with a children's choir.