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Music executive Avant honored at star ceremony

HOLLYWOOD — Music executive Clarence Avant received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Oct. 7, honoring a career of more than 50 years career that led him to be known as the “godfather of black music.”

Joining Avant in the late-morning ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard were Oscar winner Jamie Foxx; producer and musician Quincy Jones; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter Bill Withers, best known for recording “Lean on Me”; and music producers Jimmy Jam Harris and Terry Lewis.

Avant’s star is next to the one honoring Harris and Lewis, who he worked with for many years.

“We are thrilled to add Clarence Avant to the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” said Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Walk of Fame. “He has been an inspiration to many musical performers and has added so much to the history of American music.”

Gubler called the turnout of Walk of Fame honorees for the ceremony the largest he could remember.

Avant was born in 1931 in Greensboro, N.C., and dropped out of high school when he was 16 years old.

Avant’s career in the music industry began in the late 1950s as the manager of Teddy P’s Lounge in Newark, New Jersey, representing blues artist Little Willie John, a frequent act at the lounge.

Avant would manage a slew of other artists, launch several record labels, promote Michael Jackson’s “Bad” tour and serve as the chairman of the board of Motown Records.

 

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