20 Ways Clarence Avant Influenced Black Music

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  • S.O.S. Band, Clarence Avant
  • Cherrelle
  • Alexander O'Neal
  • Michael Jackson, Clarence Avant
  • Motown Records, Clarence Avant
  • Jheryl Busby, Clarence Avant
  • George Jackson
  • Clarence Avant
  • Clarence Avant
  • Little Wille John, Sarah Vaughan
  • Venture Records, Clarence Avant
  • Ja'Net Dubois, Clarence Avant
  • Stax Records, Clarence Avant
  • Sussex Records
  • Bill Withers, Clarence Avant
  • Dennis Coffey, Clarence Avant
  • Clarence Avant, Avant Garde Broadcasting
  • Chuck Brown
  • Tabu Records, Clarence Avant
  • Kool & the Gang
  • Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Clarence Avant

Alexander O'Neal

Soul crooner Alexander O'Neal was a Tabu Records superstar who scored late '80s radio hits like "Fake," "If You Were Here Tonight" and "Criticize." With his smooth, baritone vocals and a look tinted with urban edge, O'Neal's success was a precursor to the stardom of up-and-coming soul men like Brian McKnight, Eric Benét and R. Kelly. 

(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)