Music Executive Clarence Avant Dies At 92

August 14, 2023 ·

BEVERLY HILLS—Music executive Clarence Avant, who has been coined by many in the industry as the ‘Black Godfather’ of music died at his Beverly Hills home on Sunday, August 13. Avant was surrounded by children, Nicole and Alexander, at the time of his passing. Nicole’s husband, Netflix co-CEO, Ted Sarandos was also at his side at the time of his death. A cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

“It is with a heavy heart that the Avant/Sarandos family announce the passing of Clarence Alexander Avant. Through his revolutionary business leadership, Clarence became affectionately known as ‘The Black Godfather’ in the world of music, entertainment, politics, and sports.” The joint statement was made by Clarence’s children Alexander and Nicole Avant, and Nicole’s husband, Ted Sarandos.

Clarence was born in North Carolina on February 25, 1931, and was the oldest of 8 siblings. He got his start in the music industry in the 1950s in New Jersey. He was mentored by music producer Joseph G. Glaser. Avant has worked with musicians like Sarah Vaughan, Kim Weston, Johnny Nash, Billy Woods and Tom Smith to name a few. He established Avant Garde Enterprises, Inc. in November 1962 and later worked with Venture Records Inc. in 1962 to help lure deals with Blacks and major record companies.

He founded Sussex Records in 1969, but it later folded in 1975 when the IRS seized and auctioned off the company’s assets. The company was featured in the 2012 Oscar-nominated “Searching for Sugarman” documentary that featured Detroit-born musician Sixto Rodriguez who died on August 8, 2023. Netflix released the film “The Black Godfather” in June 2019 documenting Clarence’s life story in the music industry.

His company purchased the first Black owned FM Radio station in Los Angeles in March, 1973. He served on the Board of Directors for the UCLA International Student Center and produced the 1973 documentary film “Save the Children” for Paramount Pictures. He was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.

Clarence’s wife, Jacqueline was murdered in 2021, after a burglar broke into their home in December 2021, and shot her. He was married to Jacqueline for 54 years. He earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016. He was honored with the President’s Merit Award during Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy ceremony in 2018.

Clive Davis posted on social media the following statement:

“Clarence Avant was truly one of a kind. His passing is a great loss of someone who is irreplaceable. Clarance’s extraordinary contribution to music and the barriers he broke throughout his career are unrivaled. He was the mentor to all Black executives in the music industry for decades, providing invaluable guidance and support while always standing up for equal rights. Clarence was humane and fair and inspired love and respect from all who knew him. I personally loved him and will miss him forever.”

“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 family statement added.

By Trevor

Next Post

Man Charged With Raping Several Unconscious Women

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Andrey Thanh Nguyen, 37, was arrested on Wednesday, August 9th, for suspicion of drugging and raping several women in West Hollywood and Los Angeles, between the years of 2021 through 2023. The victims were all between the ages of…
Read
Previous Post

Skeletonized Remains Found In Malibu Canyon

MALIBU—Two hikers discovered skeletonized remains in Malibu Canyon on Monday, August 7, and an investigation is now underway. The two hikers were in what was described as an “extremely rugged area with heavy foliage” in Malibu Creek State Park and…
Read
Random Post

Kids Invited To Malibu’s Halloween Bu-Bash Carnival

MALIBU—The city of Malibu announced that the family-friendly Halloween Bu-Bash Carnival will transpire on Friday, October 27, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Malibu Bluffs Park located at 24250 Pacific Coast Highway. The event is open to the public…
Read
Random Post

Affordable And Permanent Supportive Housing Coming To Santa Monica

SANTA MONICA—On Thursday, April 11, the city of Santa Monica disclosed in a press release that City Council on April 9 took a step forward in bringing more than 120 affordable apartments, including 50 with supportive services, to the city-owned…
Read
Random Post

Santa Paws Celebration Taking Place December 10

MALIBU—The city of Malibu announced on November 30 that residents can bring their pets to the Santa Paws event, a Holiday Celebration for Dogs and their Humans on Sunday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Malibu Bluffs…
Read
Random Post

West Hollywood Moves Forward With Log Cabin Renovation

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, March 19, the city of West Hollywood announced in a press release it is moving forward with the next steps in the renovation of the historic Log Cabin building, that houses the West Hollywood Recovery Center (WHRC)…
Read