Clarence Avant is a reverred man when it comes to the black entertainment industry and rightly so. He is a man difficult to describe in a sentence.
According to former president of the United States, Barak Obama, Clarence is “the bridge from a time where there was no opportunity to a time when doors began to open.”
He is a man who holds a lot of respect amongst the old and young in black entertainment.
Jamie Foxx says of him, “An African-American man anyone can call concerning anything – that takes a lot, and for a man who opens his house, heart and his mind up to you, a man who sees something special in you and helps you go for it. You seldom see people in today’s world who look for the best in people but Clarence Avant is a man who you can call on the phone, get a real voice and get a real knowledge on something.”
An integral part of entertainment in America, Ludacris summarizes Avant’s life as a person who believes that “The bigger we are together, the bigger we will be as a culture.”
Born February 25, 1931, Clarence Avant began a business in music in the 1950s as a manager of Teddy P’s Lounge in Newark, New Jersey, owned and promoted by Teddy Powell.
The 88-year-old who grew up in a tiny town in North Carolina before moving to New York. He started as the manager of pianist-composer Lalo Schifrin and later founded two independent record labels in L.A. that were short-lived – Sussex Records and Tabu.
He developed his career after he moved to New York where he worked under music manager Joe Glaser. Avant has served as a concert organizer and produced special events including fund-raisers for Democratic politicians while serving as a mentor to African American executives in the entertainment industry.
Avant established himself as the person those in the spotlight could turn to and he helped many of them – folks like Hank Aaron and the late Soul Train host Don Cornelius to David Geffen and former President Bill Clinton. He helped them all without inserting himself into the glitz and glam of Hollywood—an aspect Avant prided himself on.
“Sometimes real power is behind the scenes, helping people achieve their dreams,” Nicole Avant, Clarence Avant’s daughter and producer of The Black Godfather, told The Hollywood Reporter