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Jacqueline Avant, wife of music executive Clarence Avant, killed in home invasion

The 81-year-old philanthropist was fatally shot at home on Wednesday

By Rolling Stone UK

Clarence Avant and Jacqueline Avant pose at the premiere of 'Hitsville: The Making of Motown'
Clarence Avant and Jacqueline Avant. (Picture: Sheri Determan/ via Alamy Stock Photo)

Jacqueline Avant, the wife of music industry legend Clarence Avant, has been killed during a home invasion in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

According to reports by TMZ, the philanthropist, 81, was shot in the stomach in the early hours of Wednesday (December 1). Authorities said at least one suspect was involved.

Sources with direct knowledge added to the publication that Jacqueline was alert and speaking when paramedics arrived at the house and claimed that her family was shocked that she didn’t survive.

Jacqueline’s husband, Clarence aka ‘The Godfather of Black Music’, is known for his work with record labels including Motown Records and is a celebrated figure for driving Black artists’ careers including that of Bill Withers.

Last month Clarence was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for his services to the music industry. He received the Ahmet Ertegun Award, which is given to non-performing industry professionals who “have had a major influence on the creative development and growth of rock & roll and music that has impacted youth culture”.

Jay-Z, Diddy and others have been vocal supporters of Clarence’s work.

The Avants’ daughter, Nicole, is married to Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos. Two years ago she produced a 2019 documentary for Netflix centred on her father called ‘The Black Godfather’.

Lt. Giovanni Trejo said in a statement: “The City of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Police Department extends our deepest sympathies to the victim’s families.”

Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook held a press conference yesterday afternoon in which he shared “a touching message from the Avant family”, according to TMZ, but didn’t share many more details about the incident.

Stainbrook said that he couldn’t yet speculate on how many suspects were involved or if they knew the Avant family. However, he added that it appeared to be a random attack.

Jacqueline was known for her philanthropic efforts including being on the board of directors of UCLA’s International Student Center. She also acted as president of the Neighbors of Watts, which supports the South Central Community Child Care Center, and was an entertainment chairman of the NOW benefit auction.