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Avant: A Profile

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Avant: A Profile
Image © MCA Records.

Born & Raised:

Born: Myron Avant on April 26, 1978. Raised in Cleveland, Ohio.

Early Life:

Avant is the youngest son in a family of six. Growing up, he watched his mother sacrifice mightily to provide the best for her children. She encouraged Avant to develop his musical gifts and played classic R&B artists like Smokey Robinson, The Supremes and Marvin Gaye, who later influenced his creative direction. At 14, Avant began writing his own songs. After graduating high school, he worked a few factory jobs while still holding on to his dreams of music industry success.

Big Break:

Avant's big break came in 1998 when he made his professional debut with the independent release of his first single “Separated,” which was based on his feelings following a failed romantic relationship. Radio stations embraced the song and the resulting buzz helped him land a deal at the now defunct label, Magic Johnson Music. His debut album, My Thoughts, was released in 2000 and to date has sold over a million copies. His two later releases, Ecstasy and Private Room were also well received.

Critical Backlash:

Although successful, the singer has had to contend with critical backlash that much of his style was borrowed from other crooners, particularly R. Kelly. And though his music was unquestionably well received, even the singer acknowledges that his musical gifts weren't always properly showcased in his earlier material. One thing that does separate him from others is that while some singers get too sexually graphic in their songs, Avant leaves much to the listener's imagination.

Currently:

In 2004, Avant's fourth LP, Director, was released in April, 2006. Avant has said his main goal now is to do a duet album with Keke Wyatt, where they sing cover material, and do a couple of original songs. Avant's latest album, which is self-titled, comes out in December 2008.

Quote:

"Being compared to R. Kelly is a compliment in itself. He's been in the game for about twelve years. He is Mr. R&B. To be in the game, and to be named in the same sentence as that man is truly a privilege. I respect the game, but I'm also looking forward to stretching out, and letting people know who I am as an artist as well." -- Avant, 2004.

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