Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
'The Black Godfather': Snoop Dogg, Barack Obama, Diddy & More Talk Clarence Avant In New Doc
Today, a powerful new documentary telling the decades-spanning story of visionary music executive Clarence Avant, was released on Netflix. The Black Godfather, directed by Reginald Hudlin and produced by Avant's daughter Nicole Avant, features interviews from Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Lionel Richie and Former President Barack Obama, to name a few, all of whose lives were touched by Avant.
"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," a press release explains.
The filmmakers also spoke with Geffen Records' David Geffen, actress Cicely Tyson, film/TV producer Suzanne de Passe and GRAMMY winners Jamie Foxx and Quincy Jones, who earned his 28th GRAMMY Award this year, for Quincy, the doc directed by his daughter Rashida Jones.
"This story is important to me not just because it's my father, but it's a story of civic engagement, social activism and the power of giving back. I want people to be inspired to help others and share the blessing," Nicole Avant told The Hollywood Reporter during the film's premiere on Monday. "Sometimes real power is behind the scenes, helping people achieve their dreams."
Avant was honored by the Recording Academy earlier this year, with the GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons Award at the Clive Davis-hosted Pre-GRAMMY Gala. He also received the Academy's Trustees Awards back in 2008, celebrating individuals whose music careers (outside of performing) have made "significant contributions" to the recording industry.
Music. Power. Respect. Clarence Avant used them to empower people of all colors to change the world. "Letter To My Godfather" is an original song by me and @ChadHugo from the @Netflix documentary #TheBlackGodfather in select theaters and on Netflix.https://t.co/HEqhKlBBSY pic.twitter.com/WXUu2QNZvf
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) June 7, 2019
The ever multifaceted GRAMMY winner Pharrell Williams paid tribute to Avant today, releasing a new track featured in the film, called "Letter To My Godfather." He wrote on Twitter: "Music. Power. Respect. Clarence Avant used them to empower people of all colors to change the world." Neptunes co-founder Chad Hugo assisted production on the shimmering song.
The Black Godfather is available to watch now on Netflix. The GRAMMY Museum in downtown Los Angeles will be screening the film on June 25, followed by a conversation with the director and producer; more info here.