Legendary music executive Clarence Avant dies at the age of 92

Clarence Avant
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Beloved recording industry executive Clarence Avant, who is known as the “Godfather of Black Music,” has died at the age of 92.

Clarence died on Sunday (Aug. 13) at his home in Los Angeles, according to his children, Nicole and Alexander Avant, and son-in-law Ted Sarandos. “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 worlds of music, entertainment, politics, and sports,” his family said in a statement. “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, Aug. 13, 2023. He was 92.”

Clarence, who managed so many musical talents, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Lionel Richie in 2021 and was honored with the 2019 Grammy Salute To Industry Icons Award during the annual pre-Grammys party. “Top artists and executives like Quincy Jones, JAY-Z, Whitney Houston, Pharrell 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 Hudlin, Benny Medina and Queen Latifah all credit Avant for his inspiration and guidance,” the statement continued.

This news comes nearly a year and a half after his wife, Jacqueline Avant, was killed during a home invasion. As previously reported by REVOLT, the philanthropist was gunned down by an intruder who entered the couple’s Beverly Hills home on Dec. 1, 2021. Jacqueline, who was Clarence’s wife of 54 years, was 81 years old. Aariel Maynor was arrested one day after the shooting, thanks to security footage. He later pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon, and was sentenced to a minimum of 150 years in prison in 2022.


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