Avant Biography

All about the R&B singer

Image © MCA Records.

The youngest of six, Myron Avant was born on April 26, 1978 in Cleveland, Ohio. As a child he watched his mother sacrifice and struggle 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 is 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 has sold more than 1 million copies to date.

My Thoughts also provided a second wind of publicity for "Separated," which went on to top the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart. The album also features a duet with the 1983 René & Angela classic "My First Love." Avant's version with R&B singer KeKe Wyatt was a sophisticated cut that cracked the Top 5 and helped boost Wyatt's career.

Career Overview:

In 2002 he released Ecstasy, bolstered by the single "Makin' Good Love," which marked Avant's third Top Ten hit. The album is by no means perfect, but it contains a more solid set of songs than his debut.

He followed up in 2003 with Private Room. It peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the single "Read Your Mind" peaked at No. 13 on the Hot 100. Director was issued in 2006, soaring to No. 1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 4 of the Billboard 200. Its three singles, however, didn't perform as well: none of them cracked the Top 40.

He kept the momentum going with Avant in 2008 and The Letter in 2010. Though the albums were each successful, they both failed to produce hits. He issued Face the Music in 2013, in which he reunited with KeKe Wyatt in "You & I."

Avant released The VIII in September 2015, proving that he is an industry survivor.

Critical Backlash:

Although successful, the singer has had to contend with critical backlash that much of his style is borrowed from other crooners, particularly R. Kelly. Though Avant's music was unquestionably well received, even he acknowledges that his musical gifts weren't always properly showcased in his earlier work. One thing that does separate him from others is that his lyrics leave much to the listener's imagination, while some artists take a more graphic route.

Unlike fellow artists who emerged during an era when R&B content was either outdated, dirty, or too pop-y, Avant never fell into one specific archetype, which ultimately contributed to his longevity. His sound has certainly matured since his debut, but his talent and dedication to churning out quality music are what have kept him relevant.

Popular Songs: