The loss of Clarence Alexander Avant, popularly known as “The Black Godfather,” who quietly died at his Los Angeles home on August 13, 2023, at the age of 92, has shocked the whole worlds of music, entertainment, politics, and sports.

It is with a heavy heart that the Avant/Sarandos family announces the demise of Clarence Alexander Avant, according to a formal statement from Nicole Avant, Ted Sarandos, and Alex Avant. In the fields of music, entertainment, politics, and sports, Clarence earned the nickname “The Black Godfather” thanks to his innovative corporate leadership. Clarence is survived by a devoted family as well as a large network of friends and colleagues who have impacted the world and will do so for many years to come. His legacy brings happiness, which lessens our loss’s pain. On Sunday, August 13, 2023, Clarence died away peacefully at home in Los Angeles. He was 92.”

Avant, who was born on February 25, 1931, in Greensboro, North Carolina, had a tremendous trip through a hostile and segregated environment. As he rose through the ranks in the 1960s, he managed the careers of notables like Little Willie John, jazz virtuosos Lalo Schifrin and Jimmy Smith, and he oversaw the 1968 sale of Stax Records, which was historically significant.

Avant’s influence extended beyond music to include sports, movies, and societal advancement. The careers of people like Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Jackie Robinson, and Hank Aaron were significantly influenced by him. His negotiating talent and strategic acumen produced ground-breaking agreements that permanently altered these fields.

With the establishment of Tabu Records in the 1980s, Avant’s artistic vision developed. Tabu Records produced albums that early DJs sampled, helping to lay the groundwork for hip-hop. Super producers Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam were given a career boost by his advisory position, which resulted in Janet Jackson’s classic Control album.

Avant also had an impact on politics, where he helped Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama launch their early careers. He advised politicians on both sides of the aisle, reaching beyond party boundaries, and demonstrating his capacity to bring together various viewpoints in pursuit of common objectives.

Avant ran his music and publishing businesses throughout his illustrious career until Universal Music Group bought them in 2018. His impact is indelible, and he has received accolades including the Grammy Industry Icon Award, entry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Enjoy your tranquility, It’s Clarence Avant.


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