Music

Clarence Avant, The ‘Black Godfather’ Of The Music Industry, Has Died At 92

todayAugust 14, 2023 3

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Clarence Avant, a music industry impresario with fingerprints all over the past 50 years of pop culture, has died at the age of 92. His death was announced via a statement from his family to The Hollywood Reporter, which read:

Clarence leaves behind a loving family and a sea of friends and associates that have changed the world and will continue to change the world for generations to come. The joy of his legacy eases the sorrow of our loss.

The subject of the Netflix documentary The Black Godfather, Avant has acted as a record executive, a manager, a promoter, an advisor, and a behind-the-scenes titan of the music industry. In addition to founding Sussex Records and leading Motown Records beginning in 1993, he’s credited with discovering Bill Withers, managing Sarah Vaughn and silently working deals with the likes of LA Reid, Jay-Z, Quincy Jones, Pharrell Williams, Snoop Dogg, Whitney Houston, and more.

Even former President Barack Obama praised Avant’s power to pull strings, crediting him with helping Obama land a primetime appearance at the 2004 Democratic convention, which boosted him politically and put him in position for his successful run in 2008.

Sadly, Avant’s death comes just under two years after the death of his wife of 54 years, Jacqueline Avant, who was shot and killed at the age of 81 during a home invasion in December 2021.

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