Clarence Avant is an American music executive often referred to as The Black Godfather. He has also worked as a film producer and is considered something of an entrepreneur. He has an estimated net worth of $ 50 million and below is a more detailed analysis of how he has earned this fortune.
Early career in music
When he left school, he had jobs in a lawyer directory and as a store clerk at the Macy’s New Jersey branch. He knew none of these jobs were really for him and he took a job as a weekend manager at the Teddy P’s Lounge nightclub in New Jersey. According to Variety, it wasn’t long before she realized she had a talent for the music industry. This would not be as a musician, not even as a talent scout, but as someone who could make sure artists get the best possible deals.
It was around this time that he was the first to become her mentor, Joseph Glaser. Not only did it guide him when he was just beginning his career, it also gave him an asset that today contributes quite a bit to his net worth. When Avant started working for Venture Records, he moved to an area of Los Angeles called Baldwin. Glaser believed that he would be more successful if he lived in a wealthy area, namely Beverly Hills. Avant couldn’t afford a house there, but Glaser loaned him the money to make the down payment. When Glaser passed away, he wrote in his will that the debt should be canceled. Today it is estimated that the house could be worth up to $ 10 million.
Venture Records Inc.
Venture Records was a joint venture with MGM Records and was founded to be an outlet for soul artists who signed with MGM. As part of his role for this company, he became the first person to design a joint venture between an African-American artist and a major record label. There were many occasions during his career where he worked hard to ensure that people of color were well represented in the music industry, and this is one of the reasons why he earned the nickname ‘The Black Godfather’. During his time with Venture Records, he helped Al Bell negotiate a deal to sell his record label. The deal was eventually made for $ 4.3 million and Avant would have received a percentage of this as his fee.
Sussex Records Inc.
Avant remained in Los Angeles after Venture Records came to an end and founded Sussex Records Inc. This company was in operation for six years before it was forced to close due to financial problems. This may be one of the only companies you were involved in that you lost money in. He had also recently bought a radio station, but it was badly run and never profitable. All Sussex Records assets were seized and sold by the IRS to pay off Avant’s tax debts.
Despite the financial situation Sussex Records was in just before closing, Avant still managed to achieve things with this company that he remains proud of. The failure of the label did not cause any lasting damage to his reputation and he remained a highly respected figure in the music industry. There’s also a good chance that he had learned a lesson about trying too hard by starting too many ventures at once, and this led to better financial decisions later in his career. One of the main achievements of the label was signing Bill Withers while he was still an unknown artist. Two of his best known songs, Ain’t No Sunshine and Lean On Me, were released when he was signed to Sussex Records.
One of the most successful films he produced was Save The Children, which was released in September 1973. The film was released by Paramount Pictures and Avant served as an executive producer. Filming took place at Operation PUSH Black Expo in Chicago and featured images of black children who were malnourished, along with performances by musicians who were mostly people of color. The New York Times reported at the time that musicians like Issac Hayes, Marvin Gaye, and the Jackson Five were just a few of the acts that participated. The premiere of the film took place at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
He remained involved in the music industry after the demise of Sussex Records by forming another record label called Tabu Records. One of the best known artists who signed with this label was The SOS Band. Producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis also worked for this label. This duo is better known as Jam and Lewis and they have produced records for stars like Janet Jackson like …