LOS ANGELES — Jacqueline Avant, the wife of the music executive known as the “Godfather of Black Music,” was shot and killed in the couple’s home early Wednesday.
Beverly Hills police responded to calls about a shooting at the home of Jacqueline and Clarence Avant at 2:23 a.m., they said in a statement. Police said the victim was taken to a nearby hospital by paramedics but did not survive. It was unknown if Clarence Avant was home at the time. Police assured that this incident will be under investigation. The press conference was held this afternoon to give some clarity on the event that occurred.
Avant manager, label owner, concert organizer and event producer, he created the first African American-owned FM radio station in metropolitan Los Angeles during the 1970s and founded Sussex Records in 1969 and Tabu Records in 1976 before becoming chair of Motown Records in 1993.
His life and legacy were chronicled on-screen in the 2019 Netflix doc The Black Godfather, which was produced by daughter Nicole and explored how Avant championed impressive deals for Black talent through the narrations of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Snoop Dogg and more. In May, he was announced as the recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Award from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Married in 1967 and together for more than 50 years, Jackie and Clarence 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. She served as president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group for the South Central Community Child Care Center and as an entertainment chairman of the NOW benefit auction and NOW membership. She also served on the board of directors of the International Student Center at UCLA.
Rest In Peace Mrs. Avant you were respecting and will be missed and to Mr. Avant our heart goes out to from @imuimpactintl