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The Recording Academy and Clive Davis will honor Clarence Avant with the 2019 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons Award at the Pre-Grammy Gala on 2/9 at the Beverly Hilton.

"We are incredibly excited to honor Clarence Avant with this year’s Grammy Salute to Industry Icons Award," said Neil Portnow, who’ll be co-hosting his final Pre-Grammy bash. "His pioneering work in the industry has redefined what it means to be a leader and opened countless doors for musicians from all backgrounds." "For several decades, Clarence Avant has been the quintessential adviser to almost every successful African-American music executive and artist," Clive chimed in. "He defined the term master mentor and definitely has played a vital role in music history."

Avant joins such heavyweight past recipients as Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss, Irving Azoff, Marty Bandier, Sir Richard Branson, Jay-Z, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Berry Gordy, Lucian Grainge, Debra L. Lee, Doug Morris, Mo Ostin, L.A. Reid and His Cliveness himself. Known as the Godfather of Black Music, Avant is one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry. He began his career as a manager in Teddy P’s Lounge in Newark during the 1950s, which led to him managing the careers of some of the most talented musicians during that time, including Sarah Vaughan, Freda Payne, Jimmy Smith and Lalo Schifrin. Avant later worked at Venture Records and eventually formed his own Sussex label, releasing records by Bill Withers and guitarist Dennis Coffey, among others.

In 1976, he launched Tabu Productions, where he worked with the S.O.S Band, Alexander O’Neal and Cherrelle. Avant continued on the management side as well, working with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Kenneth "Babyface” Edmonds and L.A. Reid.

The esteemed entrepreneur has received numerous accolades, including a Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award, an NAACP Image Awards Hall Of Fame Award and a BET Honors Entrepreneur Award. In 2008, the Recording Academy awarded Avant its Trustees Award.

Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for NAACP