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'A Beautiful Soul': Messages Of Shock At Murder Of Jacqueline Avant Pour In From Bill Clinton, Tyler Perry, Magic Johnson

BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) — Former President Bill Clinton, media mogul Tyler Perry, and Lakers icon Earvin "Magic" Johnson are among those mourning Jacqueline Avant, the wife of music legend Clarence Avant, who was killed in a home invasion robbery in Beverly Hills Wednesday.

Avant, 81, was fatally shot at about 2:30 a.m. in a home invasion robbery in the 1100 block of Maytor Place. Beverly Hills police say Avant died at a hospital.

Syndicated radio host Tavis Smiley and TV and movie producer Tyler Perry both asked the question that was on many minds upon hearing the news – "Who murders an 81 year old woman?"

Actress Viola Davis expressed shock and horror at the news.

"Where are we??!!! WHAT are we?!!!" she wrote, adding a praying hands and broken heart emoji.

Avant may be best known for having been married to 90-year-old Clarence Avant – known as the "Godfather of Black Music" who was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October -- for 54 years. But she was a generous philanthropist in her own right, serving as president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group focused on child care, and on the board of directors of UCLA's International Student Center.

Johnson, the former Laker and Los Angeles business mogul, said Avant was the sweetest person one could ever meet.

"She had a beautiful soul, kind heart & always had a kind word for everybody. She was quiet, yet powerful, & very smart," he wrote.

Rep. Karen Bass called Avant a "force of compassion and empowerment locally and nationally for decades, as well as a model of service and giving back to those who need it most." She also called for those responsible to be held "fully accountable."

Former President Clinton said Avant had been a dear friend to him and his wife, Hillary Clinton for 30 years.

"She inspired admiration, respect & affection in everyone who knew her," he wrote. "We are heartbroken. She will be deeply missed."

Avant is survived by her husband and two adult children, Alexander, and Nicole Avant, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas and wife of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos.

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