Celebrities Pay Tribute To Late Director John Singleton: ‘One Of The Greatest’

John Singleton attends the 71st Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Several celebrities from across all entertainment fields have paid tribute to late director John Singleton, who passed away at the young age of 51.

The Oscar-nominated director, best known for his 1991 film Boyz n the Hood, died “peacefully” surrounded by his family after he was removed from life support at a hospital in Los Angeles, as reported by the BBC. Singleton had been in intensive care at Cedars-Sinai hospital after suffering a stroke last week.

Stars from the movie and music industry lined up to pay homage to Singleton, with Janet Jackson leading the way by praising him for “all you have done for Black culture, women and young filmmakers.” The two had worked together in the 1993 movie Poetic Justice, which earned Jackson her first Oscar nomination.

“I will miss you John,” she added.

Rapper and actor Ice Cube, who had his first movie role in Singleton’s powerful debut film Boyz n the Hood, also took to Instagram to describe the director as not only his “brother, friend, & mentor,” but also as a “master filmmaker” who “loved [to] bring the black experience to the world.”

Fellow filmmakers Jordan Peele, known for his movies Get Out and Us, and Spike Lee, also reacted to the news of Singleton’s death by sharing touching messages on social media. Peele dubbed him a “brave artist and true inspiration,” while Lee recalled the moment he met his colleague when he was still a film student.

“From Day One, We Have Remained Close Over The Decades, Cheering Each Other On In This Industry That Is Not Set Up For Us To Win.”

Regina King, who just recently won a Best Actress Oscar, worked with Singleton in a series of movies. She took to Instagram to share several old photos of the two of them, expressing her sorrow and admitting to struggling in this moment of grief for her friend and collaborator.

Other A-listers who paid tribute to the late director included actor Samuel L. Jackson, rapper Busta Rhymes, who starred in his remake of the movie Shaft, musician Quincy Jones, and artist Chance the Rapper.

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Singleton, who was born in Los Angeles, has often been described as a trailblazer for African-American filmmakers in the 1990s. In 1992, he became the first African-American director to be nominated in the Academy Awards’ Best Director category with his debut film Boyz n the Hood. Apart from that, he was also the youngest ever director to be nominated in that category, as he had just finished college. The movie also received another nod for Best Original Screenplay.

On Monday, the father of seven’s family announced that they had decided to remove him from life support, thanking all the doctors at Cedars-Sinai for their help, and offering thanks Singleton’s colleagues and coworkers, fans, and friends for their support and “outpour of love and prayers.” Later in the day, a spokesperson for the family confirmed that he had passed away surrounded by his loved ones.