Jacqueline Avant, wife of music legend, killed in shooting
EVER HILLS, CALIF. – Jacqueline Avant, a Los Angeles philanthropist and wife of music legend Clarence Avant, was fatally shot in Beverly Hills, California, early Wednesday, according to authorities and a Netflix spokeswoman.
Netflix spokeswoman Emily Feingold confirmed that Jacqueline Avant was killed in the shooting. Avant’s daughter, Nicole, is married to Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer.
Jacqueline Avant, 81, is a local philanthropist, president of Neighborhood of Watts and serves on the board of directors for the Center for International Students at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Her husband, Clarence Avant, is known as the “Godfather of Black Music” and was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris were among those who paid their respects in a video made for the introduction ceremony in October.
Nicole Avant, who served as the US ambassador to the Bahamas from 2009 to 2011, is now a film producer whose work includes the 2019 Netflix documentary about her father, “The Black Godfather”. In an interview with NBC News about the documentary, she praised her mother.
“My mom is really the one who brought my dad and our family the love, passion and importance of art, culture and entertainment,” she said. “While my father did all the dealings, it was my mother who gave me, for example, my love of literature, my love of filmmaking, my love of storytelling.”
Beverly Hills police have not identified Jacqueline Avant as a victim of Wednesday’s assault. They only said that detectives were investigating a shooting that killed one person.
The coroner’s office has yet to officially identify the person, but says the victim is reported to be a woman in her 80s.
The suspect – or suspects – fled the scene and has yet to be found, Beverly Hills police said in a press release.
Police received a call at 2:23 a.m. reports of a shooting in a neighborhood. Officers found one person with a gunshot wound, who was later pronounced dead.
According to voter registration records, the shooting was reported on the street where Avants lived.
The sheriff is expected to hold a briefing later in the day to provide more information.
TMZ first reported on Jacqueline Avant’s death.
The Avants were married in 1967. They have two children, Nicole Avant and Alexander Du Bois Avant.
Clarence Avant, 90, is a Grammy Award-winning executive, promoter and concert manager who has mentored and helped the careers of artists including 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.
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.
Representative Karen Bass, a Democrat from California, said she was heartbroken by the violence.
“Mrs. Avant has been a force of compassion and empowerment locally and nationally for decades, as well as a role model in service and giving back to those who need it most,” Bass wrote on Twitter.
Dalton and Dazio reported from Los Angeles.