Clarence Avant Dead: ‘Godfather of Black Music’ Was 92

Clarence Avant, the “Godfather of Black Music,” passed away at 92. According to his family, Avant passed away on August 13 at home in Los Angeles. 

He died 20 months after his wife, Jacqueline Avant, was shot and killed in their Beverly Hills home on December 1, 2021.

Avant’s survivors include his daughter, Nicole Avant (former U.S. ambassador and wife of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos), and son Alexander (producer and talent rep). Avant managed various artists and facilitated the sale of Stax Records.

He discovered Bill Withers and co-promoted Michael Jackson’s tour. He also served as Motown’s chairman in the ’90s. Avant advised many producers, executives, and artists over the years, including Quincy Jones, David Geffen, Jay-Z, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Pharrell Williams, Whitney Houston, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Lionel Richie, Jimmy Iovine, Irving Azoff, Reginald Hudlin, Sylvia Rhone, Queen Latifah, Jheryl Busby, Jon Platt, Sean Combs, Snoop Dogg, and Jamie Foxx.