Monday, August 14, 2023 2:18PM
LOS ANGELES — Clarence Avant, the music executive known as the “Godfather of Black Music,” has died at the age of 92, according to his family.
The label owner and music industry mentor died at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to a statement from Nicole Avant, Ted Sarandos and Alex Avant.
“Through his revolutionary business leadership, Clarence became affectionately known as “The Black Godfather” in the worlds of music, entertainment, politics, and sports. 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 statement read.
Avant discovered and signed “Ain’t No Sunshine” singer Bill Withers, and co-promoted “Bad,” Michael Jackson’s first solo world tour, in the 80s.
His death comes about 20 months after his wife, philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, was shot and killed by an intruder in their Beverly Hills home.
Following the announcement of his death, former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in a statement called Avant “skillful, savvy, warm, and wise.”
“It was impossible to spend time with him and not come away feeling more positive and wanting to follow his example. We just loved him. We give thanks for his long, good life and our decades of friendship, and we’re grateful that his legacy will endure-in the music he helped bring into the world, and in all those who were touched by his compassion, mentorship, and generosity,” the statement read.
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