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NC native Clarence Avant named to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
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NC native Clarence Avant named to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

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Clarence Avant (copy)

Clarence Avant (blue suit), the former chairman of the board of Motown Records, attended the segregated Goshen and Dudley high schools.

Clarence Avant, a Climax, N.C. native who went on to become a behind-the-scenes Grammy Award winning legend, will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Avant was named among the 2021 honorees on Wednesday. He will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award, named for the co-founder and president of Atlantic Records.

Now 90, Avant is a music executive, entrepreneur and film producer.

A former chairman of the board of Motown Records, he attended the segregated Goshen and Dudley high schools in Greensboro. He moved to New Jersey as a teenager in 1947. 

Years later, he would manage acts — but also serve as the first African American board member or executive at several record companies, including Motown Records.

In 2014, he visited the city to receive the Trailblazer Award from the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.

Avant has formed humanitarian bonds with former Presidents Obama, Clinton and Carter, Oprah Winfrey, and former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, to name a few.

Other Hall of Fame inductees in this year's class include performers Jay-Z, Carole King, Foo Fighters, The Go-Go's, Todd Rundgren and Tina Turner.

The 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. Oct. 30 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

It will be simulcast on SiriusXM and air later on HBO.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane atdawn.kane@greensboro.com or 336-373-5204 and follow @dawndkaneNR on Twitter.

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