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The Black Godfather (Netflix) … Doc Traces Rise of Music Exec Clarence Avant

June 7, 2019

There’s no singular title that describes Clarence Avant. He was a music exec who managed tons of jazz, r&b and rock-and-roll acts, including jazz great Sarah Vaughn. He steered film soundtracks, launched record labels, own a radio station and executive produced motion pictures.  Basically, he had his hand in everything, which earned him the industry nickname, Godfather of Black Music.

In the upcoming Netflix documentary The Black Godfather, director Reginald Hudlin navigates his storied career with imput from former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, peer and fellow Netflix documentary subject Quincy Jones, plus Snoop Dogg, P. Diddy, Diane Warren, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Lionel Richie, Suzanne de Passe, David Geffen, Jerry Moss, Sir Lucian Grainge, Cicely Tyson, and Jamie Foxx, among others.

Nicole Avant, Byron Phillips, Nelson George and Caitrin Rogers produce.

Watch the trailer below:

Synopsis from Netflix:

For decades, the world’s most high profile entertainers, athletes and politicians have turned to a single man for advice during the most pivotal moments in their lives and careers, including Grammy Award® winners, Hall of Famers, a Heavyweight Champion of the World and two U.S. Presidents. That man is Clarence Avant.

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 Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

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.

Directed by Academy Award nominee Reginald Hudlin and featuring interviews with Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Bill Withers, Snoop Dogg, P. Diddy, Lionel Richie, Suzanne de Passe, David Geffen, Jerry Moss, Cicely Tyson, and Jamie Foxx, among others, The Black Godfather pulls the curtain back on the maestro himself, projecting a spotlight on the man who’s spent his entire career ensuring that it shined on others.

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