×

Barack Obama, P. Diddy, David Geffen Hail ‘Black Godfather’ Clarence Avant in Netflix Doc (Watch)

The first trailer for “The Black Godfather,” Reginald Hudlin’s documentary about black entertainment trailblazer Clarence Avant, has been released. The film features interviews with Snoop Dogg, P. Diddy, David Geffen, Clive Davis, Diane Warren, Lionel Richie and Irving Azoff, among other industry titans. Former president Barack Obama also makes an appearance.

Hudlin spent three years making what he terms “a secret movie” about Avant, the music executive who rose from a manager of jazz artists in the 1950s to discovering Bill Withers, producing black-oriented theater productions and films, launching one of the first fully black-owned radio stations and offering his advice as a mentor to countless artists and executives.

In “The Black Godfather,” premiering June 7 on Netflix and in select theaters, Hudlin chronicles Avant’s life, from fighting his way through Jim Crow America to eventually having an impact on luminaries as diverse as Quincy Jones (pictured above, at left, with Avant and Whitney Houston), Muhammad Ali and Bill Clinton. (Worth noting: Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos is Avant’s son-in-law; in 2009, Sarandos married Nicole Avant, who served as Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas.)

Watch the trailer below:

Avant was a true behind-the-scenes mover and shaker: He helped save the Stax and Motown labels at different junctures in his career; counseled MGM and ABC in the 1970s on how to deal with black American culture; and redefined the industry for entertainers of color. Today, Avant is  a go-to adviser for hit-makers such as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, L.A. Reid and Babyface. Jamie Foxx also features prominently in “The Black Godfather” — the actor starred in 2012’s Oscar-nominated “Django Unchained,” on which Hudlin served as producer, and was also on hand for Avant’s 2016 star dedication on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Black Godfather keyart
CREDIT: Netflix

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Midland Offers a Clever Take on

    Album Review: Midland's 'Let It Roll'

    At the end of 2019, if you tally up all the steel guitar playing that appeared on a mainstream country album released by a major label this year, chances are that at least 80 percent of it will have occurred solely on Midland’s new album. That’s not the only reason to buy “Let It Roll,” [...]

  • Taylor Swift: Borchetta 'Conveniently Forgets' Scooter

    Taylor Swift: Scott Borchetta 'Has 300 Million Reasons to Forget' Scooter Braun Warnings

    In an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” Taylor Swift charged that the president of her former label, Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta, has a selective memory when it came to recalling just how she’s long felt about Scooter Braun, who acquired her catalog when his Ithaca Holdings purchased the record company. “I knew he would sell [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Tanya Tucker Finds Fresh Footing With

    Album Review: Tanya Tucker's 'While I'm Livin''

    Before there was a name and a place for it, an “outlaw” was what Tanya Tucker was in the years following her gentle country smash with the gospel lilt, “Delta Dawn,” in 1972. A hellraiser and heartbreaker (Merle Haggard and Glen Campbell were just a few of her noted lovers), Tucker made as many headlines [...]

  • A pair of handcuffs

    D.C. Concert Biz Heavyweight Seth Hurwitz Arrested for Solicitation

    Seth Hurwitz, a highly regarded figure in the Washington, D.C. concert scene, was arrested Wednesday on solicitation of prostitution after a massage therapist who felt harassed by Hurwitz helped police set up a bust. Hurwitz, owner of the 9:30 Club and Anthem venues and chairman of the Merriweather Post Pavilion, was released on $5,000 bond [...]

  • Major Lazer Fortnite

    Major Lazer Remixes Fortnite Soundtrack and Releases New In-Game Skins

    Major Lazer, one of Diplo’s many creative outlets, has teamed up with Fortnite to offer fans access to a unique character skin and new remixes of the game’s Default Dance track. The Lazerism set includes the Major Lazer Outfit, Lazer Wings, Lazer Aze, the Lazer Blast emote and the EDM group’s remix of the “Default [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content