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Clarence Avant, ‘Godfather Of Black Music’ Dies At Age 92

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‘The Black Godfather’ of the entertainment business, Clarence Avant, passed away on Monday. He was 92.

“Through his revolutionary business leadership, Clarence became affectionately known as “the Black Godfather” in the worlds of music, entertainment, politics, and sports,” read a statement released by his family. “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.”

Avant, who was born in South Carolina in 1931 and later emigrated to New Jersey, founded Sussex Records and worked as a manager and promoter for a variety of performers, including Michael Jackson.

Jacqueline Avant, Avant’s 54-year-old wife, was fatally murdered by an intruder in their LA home in 2021.

“Clarence Avant was a revolutionary. When people in the entertainment world were delegated to a near master/slave relationship, he broke through the wall of exploitation and made us respected businesspeople,” said civil rights leader, the Reverend Al Sharpton. “I can’t count the enormous amount of situations that he negotiated. I can’t count the moves he made happen that I was personally involved in. He was indeed the Black Godfather!”

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