Jacqueline Avant, Wife of Music Executive Clarence Avant, Fatally Shot in Beverly Hills Home
By Miguel A. Melendez
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Jacqueline Avant, the wife of music legend Clarence Avant, was fatally shot early Wednesday morning. She was 81.
The couple’s daughter, Nicole Avant, is married to Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. A rep for Netflix confirmed to ET that Jacqueline was shot and killed. According to multiple reports, authorities believe the shooting happened during a home invasion robbery at the Avant residence in Beverly Hills.
Jacqueline's family told ET in a statement, "The entire Avant and Sarandos families wish to thank everyone for their outpouring of love, support and heartfelt condolences for Jacqueline Avant. Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother and philanthropist and a 55-year resident of Beverly Hills, who has made an immeasurable positive impact on the arts community. She will be missed by her family, friends and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life."
A spokesperson for the Beverly Hills Police Department said they received a phone call at 2:23 a.m. regarding a shooting that had just occurred on the 1100 block of Maytor Place.
Police say units arrived and discovered a victim with a gunshot wound. The suspect or suspects were no longer at the scene by the time police arrived. Paramedics from the Beverly Hills Fire Department transported the victim to a local hospital but the victim did not survive. Beverly Hills Police detectives are now conducting a homicide investigation.
Clarence, who was reportedly not hurt during the deadly incident, is synonymous with music royalty. He's affectionately known as the "Godfather of Black Music" given his storied influence in the genre. He has worked with music's biggest acts, including Michael Jackson, Bill Withers, Babyface, L.A. Reid, Jimmy Smith and Sixto Rodriguez, to name a few.
Clarence received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016 and, most recently, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021. His influence is of such stature, former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris were just some of those who paid tribute to him in a video that played at his October induction ceremony.
Nicole Avant married Sarandos in 2009. Most recently, she helped produce the 2019 Netflix documentary about her father, aptly dubbed "The Black Godfather."
Nicole told ET, "Every year at Christmas I watch It's a Wonderful Life and when I found out that the angel's name was Clarence, I thought, 'That's what my dad does.' My father must be an angel because he helps people's dreams come true."
But there was no denying Jacqueline's influence also had a seismic impact on her daughter. Nicole once told NBC News that it was her mother who brought to their family "the love and passion and importance of the arts and culture and entertainment." She added, "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 for filmmaking, my love of storytelling."
Viola Davis, former President Bill Clinton, Magic Johnson and Halle Berry are just some of the many who are reacting to the devastating news.
So sorry for the Avant family. My heart goes out to you!!! OMG!!!! Where are we??!!! WHAT are we?!! 🙏🏿💔https://t.co/mhyGK4Nm3j
Jackie Avant was a wonderful woman, a great partner to Clarence and mother to Alex and Nicole, an active citizen & a dear friend to Hillary and me for 30 years. She inspired admiration, respect & affection in everyone who knew her. We are heartbroken. She will be deeply missed.