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R&B singer Avant talks with Cleveland School of the Arts students, sings at Rock Hall

Thursday, 12/12/13
R&B singer Avant, a 2005 graduate of the Cleveland School of the Arts, came back home Thursday to talk with an enthusiastic crowd of current CSA students at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, reminding them to dedicate themselves to the quality of their art and never give up.
Avant, whose given name was Myron Avant, also performed a handful of songs, prompting students, teachers and visitors to get up and sing along or dance in the fourth-floor auditorium at the Rock Hall, which coordinated the event as part of its educational outreach.
Avant said he actually did not take music courses in high school, but instead took drama courses. He laughed as he remembered aloud dressing in tights during one performance.
He also promised to try to come back to the school itself to work with students more directly.
The Rock Hall's John Goehrke interviewed Avant, with help from students in the audience from CSA and others online from John Marshall High School and from across the country.
"The thing I really want to put in your head is to learn about music," he told the students. "Don't just do it because you think you have the talent and you can be lackadaisical -- no, learn it and understand it.
"We need that in the industry more than anything."
Avant is probably best known for hits such as "Separated," "My First Love," featuring KeKe Wyatt, and "Read Your Mind."  He also had a cameo appearance in the 2004 feature film "BarberShop 2: Back in Business."