Music legend Clarence Avant's wife shot and killed in Beverly Hills home

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Jacqueline Avant died Wednesday after being shot at her Beverly Hills home that she shared with her husband, music icon Clarence Avant, police confirmed. The 81-year-old was transported to a local hospital but did not survive.

"The Entire Avant and Sarandos families wish to thank everyone for their outpouring of love, support and heartfelt condolences for Jacqueline Avant," the Avant and Sarandos families said in a statement to CBS News. "Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother and philanthropist and a 55 year resident of Beverly Hills who has made an immeasurable positive impact on the arts community. She will be missed by her family, friends and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life."

Authorities said they received a call just before 2:30 a.m. about a shooting in the 1100 block of Maytor Place. When they arrived, police discovered a woman, later identified as Avant, had been shot. No suspects were still at the scene and no one has been arrested.

Jacqueline Avant, left, and Clarence Avant appear at the 11th Annual AAFCA Awards in Los Angeles on January 22, 2020. Jacqueline Avant  was fatally shot early Wednesday, December 1, 2021, in Beverly Hills, California. / Credit: Mark Von Holden/AP
Jacqueline Avant, left, and Clarence Avant appear at the 11th Annual AAFCA Awards in Los Angeles on January 22, 2020. Jacqueline Avant was fatally shot early Wednesday, December 1, 2021, in Beverly Hills, California. / Credit: Mark Von Holden/AP

The Avants had a security guard at their home at the time of the shooting, authorities said.

"This is a difficult day for our City. First and foremost, on behalf of our entire department, our City Council and community, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the victim's family in this case," Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said in a press release Wednesday.

A motive was not announced, but the chief said at a press briefing on Wednesday that he does not believe the shooting was random. The incident remains under investigation.

"I want to reassure the Beverly Hills community that your City remains one of the safest in the nation. Crime of any type will not be tolerated in our City and we will not rest until the suspects or suspect in this case are brought to justice," Stainbrook said.

Avant was a longtime philanthropist who helped low-income neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area, and was on the board of directors of the International Student Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported.

The Avants have a daughter, Nicole Avant, and a son, Alexander Du Bois Avant. Nicole is a film producer and former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, according to the AP. She is married to Netflix co-CEO and COO Ted Sarandos.

Clarence Avant is known as the "Godfather of Black Music" and was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Grammy-winning 90-year-old was also a concert promoter and manager who mentored and helped the careers of artists including Bill Withers, Little Willie John, L.A. Reid, Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the AP reported.

Tributes to Avant poured in on social media throughout the day Wednesday.

Jackie Avant was a wonderful woman, a great partner to Clarence and mother to Alex and Nicole, an active citizen & a dear friend to Hillary and me for 30 years. She inspired admiration, respect & affection in everyone who knew her. We are heartbroken. She will be deeply missed.

— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) December 1, 2021

So sorry for the Avant family. My heart goes out to you!!! OMG!!!! Where are we??!!! WHAT are we?!! 🙏🏿💔https://t.co/mhyGK4Nm3j

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) December 1, 2021

Cookie and I are absolutely devastated at the loss of one of our closest friends Jackie Avant. She was senselessly murdered last night in a home invasion.💔😢 This is the saddest day in our lives.

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) December 1, 2021

Jackie was the sweetest person you could ever meet. She had a beautiful soul, kind heart, & always had a kind word for everybody. She was quiet, yet powerful, & very smart. We are crying for Clarence, Nicole, & Alex’s loss. Our thoughts & prayers go out to the entire family. 🙏🏾

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) December 1, 2021

My heart breaks for Clarence and Nicole and all the Avant family. This world can be so cruel and cold!! I have no idea what kind of sub-human could shoot an 81 year old woman, and in her own home. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/bq6ApaN12a

— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) December 1, 2021

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