LOS ANGELES — Jacqueline Avant, wife of the music executive known as the “Godfather of Black Music,” was shot and killed in at the couple’s home early Wednesday.
Beverly Hills police responded to calls regarding a shooting at the home of Jacqueline and Clarence Avant at about 2:23 a.m., according to a press release with the address. Police said the victim was taken to a nearby hospital by paramedics but did not survive.
A spokesperson for Netflix confirmed to NBC News that Jacqueline Avant was shot and killed. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos is Jacqueline Avant’s son-in-law.
Potential suspects were not at the scene when officers arrived. A homicide investigation has been opened into the incident, Beverly Hills police said in a press release.
Jacqueline Avant, who once modeled in the Ebony Fashion Fair, married Clarence Avant in 1967 and the couple had two children together. Their daughter, Nicole Avant, credited her mother for helping keep her father balanced in the 2019 documentary “The Black Godfather.”
“Well, they’ve been married for 52 years, and my mom is really the one who brought to my father and our family the love and passion and importance of the arts and culture and entertainment,” Nicole said in the 2019 film. “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 of filmmaking, my love of storytelling.”
She called her mother the “the umbrella” in Clarence Avant’s life.
Serving as a manger, producer and mentor, Clarence Avant has been credited as the influencer who helped launch the careers of some of the most notable Black musicians of all time, including Bill Withers.
Clarence Avant was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, with Lionel Richie giving a speech honoring him during the ceremony. Richie called him a “teacher” and “master communicator.”
“What he did for us, the sons and daughters of the Afro-American community, he was the one that brought us to some understanding of what the music business was all about,” Richie said.
Former President Barack Obama called Clarence Avant one of his favorite people during a video tribute that aired in last month’s ceremony.
“Clarence and others, they are really the bridge from a time where there was almost no opportunity to a time where doors began to open,” Obama said. “They led the way: in politics, in business, in the arts, in saying ‘no, make room for us.'”
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.