December 2, 2021
Photo by: Jeff Kravitz/Contributor
Clarence Avant’s wife, Jacqueline Avant was fatally shot and assassinated at their Beverly Hills home on the morning of Dec.1st. She was 81 years old.
Original reports indicated a house invasion, but newly sworn in Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook is unclear whether to classify the incident as one.
“The motives in this case are still unknown, and we’re investigating all possible motives,” Stainbrook stated during a news conference. “We will not speculate on anything that’s out there, including if this was a robbery attempt or not.”
It’s unclear how many individuals entered the house or what their motivation was at this time. Allegedly, at least one individual is thought to have entered the house.
Photos that TMZ received of the Avant’s Trousdale Estates estate, which show a busted sliding door through which the suspect(s) may have broken in and fired shots approximately 2:23 a.m.
“Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother, philanthropist, and a 55-year resident of Beverly Hills, who has made an immeasurable positive contribution and impact on the arts community,” Stainbrook stated.” She will be missed by her family, friends, and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life.”
Born Jacqueline Alberta Gray was a well-known philanthropist and Ebony Fashion Fair model. She was president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group for the South-Central Community Child Care Center. She also served on the International Student Center board at the University of California and was a chairman of the NOW benefit auction.
The couple met in the mid-1960s while Jacqueline was modeling at an Ebony Fashion Fair. They married in 1967 and had two children, Alexander, and Nicole.
Clarence Avant is known as the “Godfather of Black Music.” The 90-year-old was the chair of Motown Records in the 1990s and founded Sussex Records Tabu Records in 1976.
He also created the first Black-owned FM radio station in Los Angeles.
The couple’s daughter, Nicole married Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO of Netflix produced a 2019 Netflix documentary on her father entitled “The Black Godfather.” Personal friends such as Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, L.A. Reid, Snoop Dogg, Barack Obama, Cicely Tyson, and others also paid tribute to Clarence’s accomplishments and influence within the industry.
We send our condolences to the Avant family, and their loved ones at this time.