A Beverly Hills police spokesperson confirmed that Clarence Avant’s philanthropist wife, Jackie Avant, was shot and killed in their home on Wednesday. Her age was 81.
Nicole Avant, daughter of Jackie and Clarence Avant, is married to Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and CCO. Claire Avant was not injured, according to a Netflix spokesperson.
Police Chief Mark G. Stainbrook of the Beverly Hills Police Department believes the attack was not random. Crime of any kind will not be tolerated, and we will not stop working to find and prosecute those responsible.
As the investigation is still “very fluid,” Stainbrook appealed to the general public to come forward with any information they may have. Also, he stated that it was too early to speculate about the motive or whether the shooting was part of an attempted robbery at this time.
The Beverly Hills Police Department’s communications center received a call at 2:23 a.m. in response to a shooting in the high-end Trousdale Estates neighborhood, according to documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. There was a gunshot wound on the victim, and he or she was taken to Cedars-Sinai Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
According to the report, the suspect(s) had fled the scene by the time police arrived.
According to TMZ, the shooting took place during a home invasion.
“It’s a difficult day for our city,” Stainbrook said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, referring to the shooting and sharing a message from the Avant family, which called their contributions to the city and entertainment industry “unmatched.”
In a statement provided to THR, Jacqueline Avant’s family thanked everyone for their outpouring of love, support, and heartfelt condolences. A 55-year Beverly Hills resident, Jacqueline was an incredible woman, wife, mother, and philanthropist who has had an immeasurable impact on the arts community.” Her family, friends, and the many people she’s helped over the course of her incredible life will miss her.
A pioneering dealmaker and Grammy-winning exec, Clarence Avant, 90, is known as the “Godfather of Black Music,” and he has mentored and helped launch the careers of countless artists in the music and entertainment industries, including Little Willie John and Bill Withers.
Motown Records’ first African American-owned FM radio station in Los Angeles was established by him in the 1970s and he founded two record labels: Sussex Records and Tabu Records. In 1993, he became chairman of Motown Records.
The Black Godfather, a Netflix documentary about the life and legacy of Avant, was produced by his daughter Nicole and featured the voices of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Snoop Dogg, and more. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced in May that he had received the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
Jackie and Clarence Du Bois Avant, who have been married since 1967, have two children, Nicole, 53, and Alexander Du Bois Avant, 50.
Former Ebony Fashion Fair model and philanthropist Jackie was born Jacqueline Alberta Gray. A support group for South Central Community Child Care Center, she served as president of the Neighbors of Watts and as entertainment chairman for the NOW benefit auction and membership in NOW. On top of that, she was a director at the University of California at Los Angeles’s International Student Center.
Nicole described her mother as a passionate person who encouraged her to pursue a career in the arts in an interview with NBCBLK prior to the release of her father’s Netflix documentary.
As she recalled, her mother was the one who instilled in her father a love for the arts and a passion for culture and entertainment in her family. I was given a love for literature, filmmaking and storytelling by her while my father was in the business of making deals, he says.
Immediately following the news, Tyler Perry, Quincy Jones, Viola Davis, Magic Johnson, and a host of other Hollywood stars paid tribute to Avant on social media.
My heart goes out to Clarence and Nicole and the entire Avant family. My thoughts and prayers are with them all. What a cruel and icy world we live in! A subhuman could shoot an 81-year-old woman in her own home, and I have no idea. This nightmare will be solved, but you can rest assured that every available resource will be used to track down the perpetrators. “This is heartbreaking,” he said.
What I feel today is unlike any heaviness I’ve ever felt in my life….”
Jones posted a photo of herself with Avant alongside a tweet about the tragic death of her beautiful “sister-in-law” Jacquie Avant. “She was the Rock of Gibraltar for Clarence, their children, her friends, and her community. She was the purest of souls in every sense.” Because of Jacquie’s presence in our lives, we have all become better people. Jacquie, I’ll always remember your gentle smile, your “side-eye” glances, and the beauty that permeated every pore of your being. “God’s blessings be with you.” ”
One of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, according to Magic Johnson: Avant. “Cookie and I are devastated at the loss of one of our closest friends Jackie Avant,” he wrote on Twitter. Last night, a home invasion resulted in her senseless death. This is the most heartbreaking day of our lives so far. I’ve never met anyone as kind and caring as Jackie. A beautiful soul, a kind heart, and a kind word for everyone were just some of the qualities she had. She was enigmatic, powerful, and extremely intelligent. We are inconsolable over Clarence, Nicole, and Alex’s tragic deaths. We send our condolences and best wishes to the entire family.
“So sorry for the Avant family,” Davis tweeted in response to learning of Avant’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you! OMG!!!! What’s going on? WHAT are we?!!”
Also on Wednesday, ex-President Clinton paid tribute to her on social media, writing that she was “a wonderful woman, a great partner to Clarence and mother to Alex and Nicole, an active citizen and a dear friend to Hillary and me for 30 years. Everyone who knew her admired, respected, and loved her. We’re devastated. “She’ll be sorely missed,” a family member said.