The “Godfather of Black Music,” Clarence Avant, a music industry innovator, passed away at age 92. 

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the composer Titian passed away on Sunday at his Los Angeles residence.

“Through his revolutionary business leadership, Clarence became affectionately known as ‘the Black Godfather’ in the worlds of music, entertainment, politics, and sports,” his family stated. “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.”

Source: Photo by: Paul Archuleta/Stringer

Avant was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, on February 25, 1931.  

The “Godfather of Black Music,” Clarence Avant, collaborated with artists including Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Babyface, and the SOS Band.

In the 1980s, Avant co-promoted “Bad,” Michael Jackson’s debut solo world tour, and discovered and signed “Ain’t No Sunshine” vocalist Bill Withers.

He received the Industry Icon Award at the Grammys, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Top artists and executives like Quincy Jones, Jay-Z, Whitney Houston,Pharell Williams, Lionel Richie, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Sean Combs, L.A. Reid, Suzanne de Passe, Kenny ‘Baby Face’ Edmonds, Jon Platt, Irving Azoff, Snoop Dogg, Reginald Hudland, Benny Medina and Queen Latifah all credit Avant for his inspiration and guidance,” the statement continued.

Source: Host and Radio One, Inc. Founder and Chairperson Cathy Hughes and Clarence Avant at the URBAN ONE HONORS on Thursday, December 5, 2019 in Oxon Hill, MD at the MGM National Harbor.

This news follows his late wife Jacqueline Avant’s murder. She was fatally shot in their Beverly Hills home as a house invasion in December 2021 took place. 

The couple was married for 54 years.

He is survived by his daughter, Nicole Avant, his son-in-law Ted Sarandos, and his son Alex Avant.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Avant family during this time.

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