Jacqueline Avant, a Los Angeles philanthropist and wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant, was fatally shot at her home in Beverly Hills, California, early Wednesday morning, police said.
Police and paramedics arrived at the home after a call at 2:23 a.m. to find Jacqueline Avant, 81, with a gunshot wound, Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said in a conference call. press in the afternoon. They took her to a hospital, but she did not survive.
The suspect or suspects had left when the police arrived. No one has been arrested and the motive remains unclear, Stainbrook said. Nothing was stolen from the house and no one else was injured.
“Someone broke into the house, we don’t know the purpose behind that,” the chief said. “I don’t think it’s a random attack, but I can’t speculate on that.”
Jacqueline Avant was a longtime local philanthropist who led organizations that served low-income neighborhoods, including Watts and South Los Angeles, and served on the board of directors of the University of California Los Angeles International Student Center.
The Avants’ daughter Nicole Avant is a film producer and former United States Ambassador to the Bahamas and is married to Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.
“The whole family would like to thank everyone for their great love, support and condolences for Jacqueline Yvonne. Jacqueline was an incredible woman, wife, mother, philanthropist and resident of Beverly Hills for 55 years who has made an immeasurable positive contribution and impact on the art community, ”the Avant and Sarandos families said in a statement. “Her family, friends and all the people she has helped throughout her incredible life will miss her.”
Former President Bill Clinton also paid tribute to him.
“Jackie Avant was a wonderful woman, a great companion to Clarence and mother to Alex and Nicole, an active citizen and a dear friend to Hillary and me for 30 years,” Clinton said on Twitter. “She inspired admiration, respect and affection in everyone who met her. We are heartbroken. She will be deeply missed. “
Grammy-winning executive Clarence Avant is known as the “Godfather of Black Music” and was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The 90-year-old was also a concert promoter and manager who guided and assisted in the careers of artists such as Bill Withers, Little Willie John, LA Reid, Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
He founded Sussex Records and Tabu Records in the 1960s and 1970s, and was president of Motown Records in the 1990s.
The Avant’s married in 1967. They also have a son, Alexander Du Bois Avant.
Nicole Avant produced a Netflix documentary about her father, “The Black Godfather” from 2019. In an interview with NBC News about the film, she spoke about her mother’s role in the family.
“My mother is really the one who brought my father and our family the love, passion and importance of art, culture and entertainment,” he said. “While my father was in it, making all the deals, my mother was the one who gave me, for example, my love for literature, my love for cinema, my love for storytelling.”
TMZ first reported on the death of Jacqueline Avant.
Stainbrook, who is in his first week as chief, said no one else was injured in the shooting. A security guard was at the house. He did not further describe the interaction between the shooter and Jacqueline Avant.
“I want to assure the Beverly Hills community that the city remains safe and one of the safest in the nation,” said the chief.
Basketball icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson wrote on Twitter that he and his wife were “devastated” by the news of Avant’s death, calling her “one of our closest friends.”
“This is the saddest day of our lives,” he wrote.