Jacqueline Avant, Philanthropist and Wife of Music Producer Clarence Avant, Is Fatally Shot

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Ms. Avant, 81, was recovered with a gunshot coiled aft the constabulary received a study of a shooting astatine her location successful Beverly Hills aboriginal Wednesday, the constabulary said.

Jacqueline Avant with her husband, the euphony  enforcement  Clarence Avant, successful  2019. Mrs. Avant was fatally changeable  astatine  her location  successful  Beverly Hills aboriginal  Wednesday.
Credit...Michael Tran/Getty Images

Dec. 1, 2021Updated 9:17 p.m. ET

Jacqueline Avant, a philanthropist and the woman of Clarence Avant, an influential euphony shaper and executive, was fatally changeable astatine the couple’s location successful Beverly Hills, Calif., connected Wednesday morning, according to the police.

Ms. Avant, 81, was recovered with a gunshot coiled aft the constabulary received a study of a shooting astatine the location astatine 2:23 a.m., Chief Mark Stainbrook of the Beverly Hills Police Department said astatine a quality league connected Wednesday afternoon.

The fishy oregon suspects were nary longer connected the country erstwhile the constabulary arrived, Chief Stainbrook said.

Chief Stainbrook said that the constabulary would not speculate connected whether Ms. Avant had been changeable during an attempted robbery, and helium declined to picture the shooting arsenic portion of a location invasion. He repeatedly urged anyone with accusation astir the transgression to interaction the police.

“Obviously, idiosyncratic went into the home,” Chief Stainbrook said. “We conscionable don’t cognize what the intent was oregon what the motive was down it.”

Chief Stainbrook said that a information defender was astatine the location during the shooting. He would not remark connected what Mr. Avant mightiness person witnessed. “I don’t deliberation it’s a random attack, but I can’t speculate connected that close now,” helium said.

A erstwhile exemplary progressive successful the arts and philanthropy, Ms. Avant was joined for much than 50 years to Mr. Avant, a highly regarded euphony producer who advised Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and was known arsenic “the Godfather of Black Music.”

“Jacqueline was an astonishing woman, wife, parent and philanthropist and a 55-year nonmigratory of Beverly Hills who has made an immeasurable affirmative interaction connected the arts community,” Ms. Avant’s household said successful a statement. “She volition beryllium missed by her family, friends and each of the radical she has helped passim her astonishing life.”

Chief Stainbrook described the shooting arsenic a “difficult time for our city” and said that the Avant family’s “contributions to the satellite of amusement and to amended communities crossed Los Angeles are unmatched.”

In the 1960s, Ms. Avant was a exemplary for Ebony Fashion Fair, a traveling manner amusement that hired Black models wearing apparel made by Black designers. It was astir that clip that she began dating Mr. Avant, according to the Netflix documentary “The Black Godfather,” which was astir Mr. Avant.

“He’d ever person a car prime maine up and I thought: ‘Who is this guy?’” Ms. Avant said. “One day, I guess, helium was truly trying to triumph maine implicit and, for immoderate reason, helium mentioned however overmuch helium had paid the Internal Revenue Service.”

In the documentary, actors and producers who knew the mates marveled astatine the longevity of their matrimony and their fierce loyalty to each other.

“They look truthful amazing,” the histrion Jamie Foxx said. “They inactive look similar they’ve got wedding barroom connected their feet, similar they conscionable walked disconnected a psyche wedding cake.”

Ms. Avant was a past president of the Neighbors of Watts, a charitable enactment that threw star-studded benefits to enactment kid attraction and different needs. She was besides an simple schoolhouse tutor and an avid collector of Japanese lacquered boxes.

Mr. Avant started Sussex Records successful 1969 and signed Bill Withers, releasing immoderate of his best-known songs, including “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Use Me” and “Lean connected Me.” In 1971, helium started Avant Garde Broadcasting, 1 of the archetypal Black-owned vigor stations successful the country, according to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Mr. Avant was inducted into the hallway successful May.

Over the years, Mr. Avant besides worked with Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Babyface. He helped beforehand Michael Jackson’s “Bad” satellite circuit successful 1987, and was president of the committee of Motown Records, according to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The couple’s daughter, Nicole A. Avant, was a shaper of “The Black Godfather,” which featured testimonials from Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton, arsenic good arsenic Vice President Kamala Harris, who was past a statesmanlike candidate. Nicole Avant is joined to Ted Sarandos, a co-chief enforcement of Netflix, and is simply a erstwhile U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas.

“Jackie Avant was a fantastic woman, a large spouse to Clarence and parent to Alex and Nicole, an progressive national & a beloved person to Hillary and maine for 30 years,” Mr. Clinton wrote connected Twitter connected Wednesday. “She inspired admiration, respect & affection successful everyone who knew her. We are heartbroken.”

Magic Johnson, the erstwhile prima of the Los Angeles Lakers, called Ms. Avant “the sweetest idiosyncratic you could ever meet.”

“She had a beauteous soul, benignant heart, & ever had a benignant connection for everybody,” helium wrote connected Twitter. “She was quiet, yet powerful, & precise smart. We are crying for Clarence, Nicole, & Alex’s loss. Our thoughts & prayers spell retired to the full family.”

Susan Beachy contributed research.

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