The Hollywood Reporter
Jackie Avant, the wife to legendary music executive Clarence Avant, was shot and killed in a home invasion robbery in Beverly Hills on Tuesday night, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. She was 81.
Jackie and Clarence’s daughter, Nicole Avant, is married to Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos. A Netflix spokesperson confirmed the news to THR, adding that Clarence was not injured.
According to documents provided to The Hollywood Reporter by the Beverly Hills Police Department, the Beverly Hills Police Communications Center received a phone call at 2:23 a.m. in response to a shooting that had just occurred on the 1100 block of Maytor Place. Upon arrival, police discovered a victim with a gunshot wound. The Beverly Hills Fire Department paramedics transported the victim to a local hospital but the victim did not survive.
The report, which does not identify Jackie as the victim, confirms the suspect(s) were no longer on the scene when police arrived. Beverly Hills Police Detectives are currently conducting an investigation, with Police Chief Mark G. Stainbrook expected to hold a press briefing later today to provide further details.
“The City of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Police Department extends our deepest sympathies to the victim’s families,” Lt. Giovanni Trejo, BHPD, said in a statement provided to THR.
Clarence, known as the “Godfather of Black music,” is a pioneering dealmaker and Grammy-winning exec who has mentored and helped to launch the careers of countless artists in the music and entertainment industries. The former Motown chairmen’s life and legacy were chronicled for the screen in the 2019 Netflix doc The Black Godfather, which was produced by daughter Nicole. He was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October.
Clarance founded Sussex Records in 1969 and Tabu Records in 1976 before becoming chair for Motown Records in 1993. He was also known for creating the first African-American-owned FM radio station in metropolitan Los Angeles.
Married in 1967 and together for more than 50 years, Jackie and Clarance have two children, former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas Nicole, 53, and Alexander Du Bois Avant, 50. Born Jacqueline Alberta Gray, Jackie was a former Ebony Fashion Fair model known for her philanthropy. Among her various philanthropic endeavors through the decades, Jackie served as president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group for the South Central Community Child Care Center, as an entertainment chairman of the NOW benefit auction and NOW membership, in addition to serving on the board of directors of the International Student Center at UCLA.
In an interview with NBCBLK around the release of her father’s Netflix documentary, Nicole described her mother as a passionate person who fostered her love of the arts. “My mom is really the one who brought to my father and our family the love and passion and importance of the arts and culture and entertainment,” Nicole recalled. “While my father was in it, making all the deals, my mother was the one who gave me, for example, my love of literature, my love of filmmaking, my love of storytelling.”