Hollywood Pays Tribute to John Singleton: "A Brave Artist and a True Inspiration"
A number of Hollywood stars, including Jordan Peele, Chance the Rapper, Samuel L. Jackson, Janelle Monae and Regina King, took to social media on Monday to pay tribute to the late director, screenwriter and producer.
Hollywood stars and public figures took to social media on Monday to pay tribute to director, screenwriter and producer John Singleton, who died Monday following a "major stroke" on April 17, which left him hospitalized in a coma. He was 51.
Singleton was known for helming a number of films, including Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Baby Boy, Rosewood, Shaft and 2 Fast 2 Furious. He made history as the first African-American and youngest person to be nominated for a best director Oscar in 1992 for Boyz n the Hood.
In addition to his work on films, Singleton directed episodes of the television shows Empire, Billions, 30 for 30 and American Crime Story. He also created and executive produced the FX series Snowfall, which was filming its third season early this month.
Prior to his death, Singleton's conservator Sheila Ward disclosed that he "was engaged in several business projects and was prepared to sign a lucrative settlement agreement on or about April 30, 2019" at the time of his stroke.
ICM Partners said in a statement, "John Singleton left an indelible mark on the world through his masterful artistry and uncompromising humanity. He was a visionary filmmaker and social commentator who created a path for a new generation of filmmaker, many of whom he mentored, in a way they never saw possible. His films and the incredible influence they had will be studied forever. John was a consummate professional in every way and an extraordinary friend. We were blessed to have had John in our lives. He is simply gone too soon. We send our love to his family, along with our prayers for comfort and peace."
Said DGA president Thomas Schlamme: "John didn’t just make his feature film debut in 1991 with Boyz n the Hood, he exploded into Hollywood, our culture and our consciousness with such a powerful cinematic depiction of life in the inner city. The groundbreaking film would go on to make him the youngest person and the first African American ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director."
Continued Schlamme: "For the next three decades, John’s career as a film director flourished with such culturally resonant films ranging from Poetic Justice and Rosewood to Shaft and 2 Fast 2 Furious. His expansion into television was no less powerful, with his direction of American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson earning him a DGA Award nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Dramatic Series in 2016. I was so fortunate to be a collaborator with John on the show Snowfall, and witnessed first-hand the enormous impact he had on so many."
John Landgraf, chairman at FX Networks, wrote in a statement: “On behalf of my colleagues at FX, we are heartbroken about the passing of our friend and partner, John Singleton. For almost three decades, John was one of the most important filmmakers in this business, dating back to his masterwork, Boyz n the Hood. Over the course of his illustrious career, John remained steadfast in telling stories that illuminate the daily challenges faced by African Americans, particularly those living in the inner city."
He continued: "We are honored and fortunate to have worked with John on The People v. O.J. Simpson and the drama series Snowfall, which he co-created and on which he is an executive producer and director. I know that the cast and crew loved John as much as we did, and that they are heartbroken over this news. Today we lost an incredibly talented artist, leader, activist, partner and friend — far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”
On Instagram, Pose showrunner Steven Canals wrote, "In my twenties I made a commitment to myself: if I’m fortunate enough to meet a hero - someone who has inspired me - I will tell them. No shame. 3 weeks ago I spent several hours with John Singleton. He had a childlike curiosity and asked how a boy from the Bronx wound up working in Hollywood. I told him how Boyz in the Hood inspired me. I told him how he gave an 11-year-old the hope and the courage to dream. I told him how he taught me to be unabashedly honest as a storyteller. He shook my hand and offered his number. “Call me whenever you need advice.” I'm sad I’ll never get to use it. I’m grateful that I told him in his final days what he meant to me. RIP John Singleton."
Boyz in the Hood actress Nia Long sent this statement through her manager: “John Singleton was my beginning...the first person to see [me as] special. He changed Hollywood, created stars and had a seemingly impossible vision. He manifested greatness. He made black actors feel like anything was possible. He knew what he wanted frame by frame...moment to moment. His films were groundbreaking and honest. His heart was big and beautiful. Nobody can pump a fist in the air like John. He was a lover of music, art and history. A lover of everything black. He’s our cinematic hero. He’s dancing in the light now. A shining star. Bigger and more powerful. He will forever be my beginning...I love you forever John Singleton. We got work to do y’all -- let’s make him proud."
As more tributes flowed on social media, Jordan Peele called Singleton "a brave artist and a true inspiration." Said Janelle Monae, "Thank you for capturing US like no other." Screenwriter Larry Karaszewski wrote, "I'm going to miss laughing, talking, watching movies, making movies with this amazing human being."
Writer and civil rights activist Shaun King said, "His movies populated my childhood."
Said George Heller, manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners: "He was the best professor I ever had in my four years at USC Film School. The first day he had us write down three questions: Who are we? What makes us special? What stories do we have to share that only we can tell? Twenty years later, I think back on those three questions often, and implore my clients to find their voice and point of view only they can share with the world."
Read on to see what others had to say about Singleton.
RIP John Singleton. So sad to hear. John was a brave artist and a true inspiration. His vision changed everything.— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) April 29, 2019
Rest up John Singleton. We never met, but Remember The Time literally changed my life. Thank you so much. God Bless you— Chance The Rapper Owbum (@chancetherapper) April 29, 2019
JOHN SINGLETON . A GENIUS .— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) April 29, 2019
Thank you for capturing US like no other .
John Singleton lived every minute of his 51 years. I’m going to miss laughing, talking movies, watching movies, making movies with this amazing human being. Love you buddy. Condolences to Justice and his whole family. pic.twitter.com/lkTIZGbHfU— Larry Karaszewski (@Karaszewski) April 29, 2019
#johnsingleton Needless to say we go way, way back... There are no words to convey the absolute loss and sadness I feel right now. John was there for his fellow filmmakers, always. All we had to do was look up and he would be there smiling and applauding our efforts. pic.twitter.com/gpPDQg1dGn— JulieDash (@JulieDash) April 29, 2019
John Singleton was brilliant.— Shaun King (@shaunking) April 29, 2019
His movies populated my childhood. He changed the game and told stories that showed 360 degrees of Black life...the beauty and the pain, the success and the struggle.
And marched to the best of his own drummer for 25+ years in film. pic.twitter.com/8E5bu9ucTW
Condolences to the family of John Singleton. A prodigy, a visionary, a trailblazer who made a huge impact on our culture. Let us mourn his passing as we celebrate his life, work and legacy #RestInPower https://t.co/dLDCFwcX2U pic.twitter.com/V6blGXWvnX— Phil LaMarr (@phillamarr) April 29, 2019
I was hoping he would survive this. Thinking of #LukePerry again. Same tragedy at the same age. Both gone way too soon. #RIPJohnSingleton and thank you for your artistry.— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) April 29, 2019
‘Boyz n the Hood' Director John Singleton Dead at 51 https://t.co/tJhytfmYUu via @TMZ
Rest In Power, my friend. One of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you GOD for blessing us with this gift better known as John Singleton. Having trouble finding enough words to share just… https://t.co/SlQGwDEHU7— Regina King (@ReginaKing) April 29, 2019
The youngest-ever Best Director nominee and an inspiration to us all. John Singleton, you will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/cMWrDz9633— The Academy (@TheAcademy) April 29, 2019
"I'm a director, but I'm also a teacher. I'm a lover of cinema, and I love working with people who are hungry and have the energy to really do better work." RIP John Singleton, a filmmaker who made history and refused to let the industry place limits upon his powerful creativity. pic.twitter.com/GSpXhozywv— Tribeca (@Tribeca) April 29, 2019
This is way too sad. The word 'groundbreaker' is thrown around too easily, but it applied to John Singleton, an inspirational, influential film-maker. While he had many accomplishments in TV and film, you felt he had still more surprises up his sleeve. 51 is far too young to go. https://t.co/pyxb11seS7— edgarwright (@edgarwright) April 29, 2019
The best life is when we leave a trail. We leave something on this earth bigger than us. John Singleton....you inspired a generation of Artists. We will shoulder on....'May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest". RIP— Viola Davis (@violadavis) April 29, 2019
Mourning the loss of a collaborator & True Friend John Singleton. He blazed the trail for many young film makers, always remaining true to who he was & where he came from!!! RIP Brother. Gone Way Too Soon!— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) April 29, 2019
John Singleton was a talented director and a kind man. He died too young. He will be missed.— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) April 29, 2019
RIP John Singleton. When I was at USC film school, I thought it was mad dope I could see someone from my city, school and fraternity who made it.— Prentice Penny (@The_A_Prentice) April 29, 2019
Boyz n the Hood was an inspiration and left an indelible mark on America Cinema. John Singleton is loved and will be missed.— Keegan-Michael Key (@KeeganMKey) April 29, 2019
#JohnSingleton was an innovator - he came with drive & a creative vision when people of color didn’t have the same visibility we do now. He will remain a beacon of light in our community, and today we celebrate his legacy. Rest well my friend, we’ve lost one of the good guys.pic.twitter.com/U3FhJkdRhC— Halle Berry (@halleberry) April 29, 2019
I was discovered by a master filmmaker by the name of John Singleton. He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker. There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved bring the black experience to the world. ..Us at Cannes ‘90 pic.twitter.com/CaRKjZtjgB— Ice Cube (@icecube) April 29, 2019
We’ve lost One of the great young masters of film,— William Friedkin (@WilliamFriedkin) April 29, 2019
John Singleton, who had so much more to do
And to give but will always be remembered
I cannot believe this man is gone at such a young age. He was always encouraging, supportive, and gracious to me. I will be calling his and his family’s name in my prayers tonight. Heartbroken and shocked. May God add peace and rest to your ascending soul Mr. John Singleton. pic.twitter.com/5PFug6LQJO— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) April 29, 2019
We are saddened by the passing of our friend John Singleton.— MarVista Ent. (@MarVistaEnt) April 29, 2019
He was a true visionary and we are honored to have had the opportunity to collaborate with him. pic.twitter.com/Uc8srqPtEz
We were fortunate enough to spend time with John Singleton on a couple of occasions. In the below clip from his 2008 GP appearance, he explains his selection process for picking films. John also attended #TCMFF a few years ago. He was a great friend of TCM & will be dearly missed pic.twitter.com/ELxYxKnVAc— TCM (@tcm) April 29, 2019
Rest in power John Singleton. Thank you. You paved the way for so many careers behind and in front of the camera. Condolences to the Singleton family.— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) April 30, 2019
John Singleton. Fly.!!Fly!!!! Thank you for your films! Thank you for expanding art!! I hope your family finds comfort in this hard time.— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) April 29, 2019
Sending love to John Singleton’s family. So much respect for him as a person and filmmaker.— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) April 30, 2019
Not only did John make movies for us and our culture, he made one of the most iconic videos ever! It showed the world what Egyptians really looked like! Again I say, THANK YOU! May God bless the soul of John Singleton. pic.twitter.com/RAEm61vw0a— COMMON (@common) April 29, 2019
RIP to my dear brother, John Singleton. Gone far, far too soon…your storytelling & contributions to our culture will endure forever.— Quincy Jones (@QuincyDJones) April 30, 2019