BlackMusicMonth: CLARENCE AVANT

When most people think of the music industry, they only think of the famous celebrities, the lavish lifestyles, the management teams (for some), and the record labels (for many). But, not too often do many give respect to the names and faces behind the scenes that help to orchestrate and make powerful moves that affect the entire industry for ages to come.

Mr. Clarence Avant, the famed Black music industry executive must be the most respected man in the culture and business of the Black music industry itself. When we research this historical man, we learn that he was like the "Casper" of the industry; somewhat of a mystery. You heard his name but didn't see him so often. And, when you heard his name, it was more than likely on the account that he was still helping to shape Black popular culture BEHIND THE SCENES.

REGINALD HUDLIN ( 'House Party" Film Director):

Clarence Avant has been one of those guys who's been shaping Black popular culture for 50years. But, you've never heard of him. He's behind the scenes making things happen. Most of your favorite hit records is because of Clarence...

Clarence didn't want you to know who he was... real bad boys move in silence.

Reginald Hudlin interview with The Tom Joyner Morning Show

According to BlackAmericaWeb, Hudlin says Avant is “one of those guys who has been shaping Black popular culture but you’ve never heard of him.” That’s how he wanted it to be, he never wanted to be famous. Avant enjoyed being “behind the scenes making things happen,” Hudlin explained, “Clarence didn’t want you to know who he was.”

Clarence Avant "THE BLACK GODFATHER" by Netflix

The Black Godfather charts the exceptional and unlikely rise of Avant, a music executive whose trailblazing behind-the-scenes accomplishments impacted the legacies of icons such as as Bill Withers, Quincy Jones, Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron, and Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Driven by a sense of equality, loyalty, and justice, Avant left the Jim Crow south behind to emerge as a powerhouse negotiator at a time when deep-seated racism penetrated every corner of America. Avant defied notions of what a black executive could do, redefining the industry for entertainers and executives of color, and leaving a legacy of altruism for others to emulate.

Netflix Press Release



Clarence Avant attends Netflix world premiere of "The Black Godfather"at the Paramount Theater on Monday in Los Angeles. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)

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