Composer James Horner Dies in Plane Crash: Hollywood Reacts

James Horner Oscars P 2015
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The Oscar winner scored dozens of Hollywood classics including 'Apollo 13,' 'A Beautiful Mind,' 'Avatar' and 'Aliens.'

Oscar-winning composer James Horner died in a tragic plane crash on Monday at the age of 61. 

The man who composed classic films such as Aliens, Avatar and Apollo 13 touched millions of people around the world and especially those in Hollywood.

Celine Dion, who sang the massive global hit "My Heart Will Go On" co-written by Horner for the movie Titanic, released a statement expressing her grief. "Rene and I are deeply saddened by the tragic death of James Horner. He will always remain a great composer in our hearts. James played an important part in my career. We will miss him. We offer his family and friends our deepest sympathy." 

Fellow film composers have also been shocked by Horner's passing. French composer Alexandre Desplat, who won an Oscar for scoring The Grand Budapest Hotel, said: "It is a tragedy for all composers to hear about James Horner's accident. We have lost one of our most talented and respected colleagues. His music will remain always."

Songwriter Diane Warren wrote: "So sorry to hear about James Horner's tragic passing. He will be remembered in history as one of the greatest film composers of all time. It is sad for us that we couldn't hear all the great music that was yet to come."

Eight-time Oscar winning composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid) said: "I count James Horner among the very best film composers of our generation. His work is stirring, emotionally powerful and broadly evocative. Although we only met on a few occasions, I will always cherish the memory of him and his wonderful work."

Marco Beltrami, composer on The Hurt Locker, World War Z and 3:10 to Yuma said: "James Horner was one of the great film composer legends. I can't help feeling that his passing marks the end of an era." 

Marc Shaiman, Grammy, Emmy, Tony winning, and multi Oscar nominated composer of films such as Hairspray, When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers, said: "James Horner's music is filled with melody and emotion, and his passing fills my heart with both."

turned out, and no one knew at that point — it could have been a dog — I knew it would be a great score.""]

Richard Kraft, a film music agent and executive producer on a number of Horner's scores, including Aliens, said: "For me Horner was one of the masterful film composers who could switch from genre to genre with amazing easy because his dramatic sensibilities were flawless. He always went bold with his ideas. His melodies were strong and pronounced. His approaches were always filled with confidence and executed flawlessly. For film and film music fans, his output defined a generation."

Director Antoine Fuqua whose upcoming film Southpaw features one of Horner's final scores called him "magical to work with" and "a true filmmaker."

"I am very saddened to hear the news about James," Fuqua said in a statement. "He was a legend, an artist and a great friend. I feel for his family and know how much he loved them. He was magical to work with, and I feel blessed that we had the opportunity to collaborate together. James was not only a composer. He was a true filmmaker.  He cared about the music but also about the story as a whole. Working with him and discussing every detail of the film in great depth was such a wonderful experience for me. We have lost a special soul who touched so many people through his art. Rest in peace my friend, you left us with the gift of your incredible music."

Marc Webb, who directed The Amazing Spider-Man, for which Horner composed the score, released the following statement: "James Horner was a wonderful composer and collaborator as well as a generous and adventurous spirit. He lived his life like he wrote his scores, with an uncynical depth of feeling. He will be missed."

Many others in the entertainment industry took to social media to express their thoughts and condolences. 


Hilary Lewis contributed to this report.