Music Exec Clarence Avant “Grieving But Resting” Following “Brutal Murder” Of Wife Jackie Avant, Says Family Friend – Update

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UPDATE Music executive Clarence Avant is “grieving but resting” following this morning’s shooting death of his wife of 54 years, Jackie Avant.

According to a statement released by Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., Chairman of Los Angeles Sentinel owner Bakewell Media and a longtime friend of the Avant family, Clarence Avant is resting with family today following the “brutal murder” of Jackie Avant during what police have described as an apparent home invasion robbery.

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The following statement was released by the Sentinel News Service:

Words cannot express the pain and devastation we felt this morning over the senseless murder of our beloved friend/family member Mrs. Jackie Avant. Her brutal murder is not only a loss to her entire family but is a terrible loss to everyone who met her.

Her warm and kind personality was evident to everyone who came into contact with her, and her loving smile was a Blessing to us all.

Clarence Avant her husband of 54 years while safe is currently grieving but resting with his family. Our prayers go out to Clarence, Nicole, and Alex as they try and navigate through what has to be the most difficult time in their lives.

“I cannot express how overwhelmingly pained I am at the loss of such a beautiful person as Jackie Avant. For her to be killed in such a senseless way is unfathomable. There are no 2 more kind and generous people than Clarence and Jackie and for their home and their lives to be violated in such a violent manner is unconscionable. My thoughts and prayers go out to them and their children as we all work to get through this most difficult time.” – Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., Chairman of Bakewell Media

PREVIOUS, 8:55 a.m. Jacqueline Avant, the 81-year-old wife of veteran music executive Clarence Avant, was shot and killed in a home invasion robbery at the couple’s Beverly Hills-area house last night.

According to reports, confirmed by Deadline, Jacqueline Avant was killed when multiple shots were fired during an attempted robbery at the Avant home in the Trousdale Estates near Beverly Hills.

Jacqueline and Clarence Avant are the parents of Nicole Avant, who is married to Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos.

Beverly Hills police confirmed a shooting death in the neighborhood, but have not yet confirmed the name of the victim. Police received a call about a shooting at 2:23 a.m. and arrived to find a victim with a gunshot wound. The suspect or suspects were no longer at the scene.

Beverly Hills Fire Department paramedics transported the shooting victim to a local hospital, but the victim did not survive.

Netflix confirmed that the victim was Jacqueline Avant.

Police are expected to hold a press briefing on the shooting later today.

Clarence Avant, who received the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Ahmet Ertegun Award in May, was the subject of a 2019 Netflix documentary titled The Black Godfather. The film, produced by Nicole Avant, chronicled Avant’s huge influence on the recording industry, including his 1969 founding of Sussex Records and the signing of Bill Withers, a former airplane mechanic with dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter who went on to write such 1970s classics as “Lean on Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine.”

Withers, Vice President Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama spoke about Avant in a video presented at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2021 ceremony.

The Black Godfather film recounts how Avant went up against Dick Clark after the American Bandstand producer tried to launch a Black music-oriented show to rival Soul Train. Avant managed to convince ABC not to back Clark’s venture, allowing for the continued success off Soul Train which—unlike Clark’s project—was an authentically Black-owned and Black-run show.

The Black Godfather included appearances from Presidents Clinton and Obama, who praised Avant’s political acumen and his role in getting them to the White House.

Jacqueline and Clarence Avant have been married since 1967, and have two children: Nicole Avant, the film producer and former United States Ambassador to the Bahamas, and Alexander Du Bois Avant.

Jacqueline Avant previously served as president of the Neighbors of Watts, the support group for the South Central Community Child Care Center, and is on the board of directors of the International Student Center at UCLA.

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