Clarence Avant, known as “The Black Godfather,” is a music legend. He founded two record companies (Sussex Records and Tabu Records) and went on to become the chair of the famous Motown Records in 1993.
Clarence also founded the first African-American owned FM radio station in the city of Los Angeles.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently recognized Avant’s contributions to the music world by inducting him into its 2021 class. He was the recipient of the Hall’s Ahmet Ertegun Award and was honored during the induction ceremony on October 30.
Throughout his life and career, Clarence was supported by his wife, Jacqueline. The couple married in 1967 and share two children, Nicole and Alexander.
Jacqueline was a model for Ebony Fashion Fair when she began dating Clarence. After they married, Jacqueline went on to serve as the president of the charitable organization Neighbors of Watts, which held benefits to support child care. She also served as an elementary school tutor.
Sadly, on Wednesday (December 1) 81-year-old Jacqueline was shot and killed in her and Clarence’s home in Beverly Hills, California.
beautiful obit for a woman who meant so much to LA >>> Philanthropist Jacqueline Avant helped unite the worlds of Black politics and entertainment https://t.co/9A2lOVuqyE @LilEdit @RaineyTime @MegJamesLAT
— Shelby Grad (@shelbygrad) December 2, 2021
“Ms. Avant, 81, was found with a gunshot wound after the police received a report of a shooting at the home at 2:23 a.m., Chief Mark Stainbrook of the Beverly Hills Police Department said at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon,” The New York Times reports.
The Beverly Hills Police released a statement about Jacqueline’s death.
“Police units arrived and discovered a victim with a gunshot wound. The suspect(s) were no longer on the scene. Beverly Hills Fire Department paramedics transported the victim to a local hospital. Unfortunately, the victim did not survive.”
Media Release: Beverly Hills Police are Conducting a Homicide Investigation pic.twitter.com/GjYJTxkAT1
— Beverly Hills Police (@BeverlyHillsPD) December 1, 2021
In a new update, police announced on Thursday (December 2) they arrested a suspect in relation to Jacqueline’s death.
“About an hour after Ms. Avant, 81, was killed, the suspect, Aariel Maynor, 29, of Los Angeles, was arrested when he accidentally shot himself in the foot while burglarizing a home in Hollywood, about 7 miles from Ms. Avant’s home, Chief Mark Stainbrook of the Beverly Hills Police Department said at a news conference on Thursday,” The New York Times states.
The New York Times reports that police recovered a rifle that “is believe to have [been] used to shoot” Jacqueline. Surveillance cameras captured Aariel’s vehicle heading out of Beverly Hills not long after Jacqueline was shot in her home.
Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark G. Stainbrook addressed the arrest during a press conference on Thursday (December 2). You can watch part of that press conference in the news report below.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jacqueline’s family during this difficult time.