Clarence Avant reportedly passed away in his Los Angeles home on Sunday, August 13. The entertainment pioneer was 92 years old.
“It is with a heavy heart that the Avant/Sarandos family announce the passing of Clarence Alexander Avant,” a statement from Avant’s representatives reads.
“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. Clarence passed away gently at home in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 13, 2023.”
Avant is known to the world of entertainment as the Black Godfather. Not only did he help found of the first Black-owned radio stations, but he also served as the chairman of Motown Records. In addition, he was the first Black board member at PolyGram and worked as a consultant for companies such as MGM and ABC. Along the way, he served as an advisor to four U.S. Presidents and mentored the likes of Jimmy Iovine, L.A. Reid and Babyface.
“Everyone in this business has been by Clarence’s desk, if they’re smart,” Quincy Jones once said about Avant.