Stars Pay Tribute To Oscar-Nominated Director John Singleton

Andie Manahan

May 1, 2019

Hollywood is in mourning as one of the entertainment industry’s beloved directors passed away yesterday.


On Monday (April 29), director John Singleton “passed away peacefully” after suffering a stroke earlier this month. He was 51. His family released a statement with the sad news.


“We are sad to relay that John Singleton has died. John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends. We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness and we again want thank all of John’s fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they showed him during this difficult time.”


The Oscar and Emmy-nominated director has been in a coma for over a week. Earlier on Monday, his family released a statement about their “agonizing decision” to take him off life support.


“It is with heavy hearts we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton will be taken off of life support today,” the statement read. “This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors.”


John has made momentous strides in film, TV and music throughout his 25-year career. He became the first black director to be nominated for an Oscar for his feature film debut Boyz n the Hood. He also directed Michael Jackson’s iconic music video for “Remember The Time.” Other directing creds include 2 Fast 2 Furious, Four Brothers, Billions, American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson and Empire.


Many Hollywood stars have gone on social media to pay tribute to the director.


Janet Jackson: “You gave me my first movie role, my first Oscar nomination and so much more. Thank you for all you have given to the world through your work and all you have done for Black culture, women and young filmmakers. I will miss you John. Keeping your family in my prayers. 💜”


Chance The Rapper: “Rest up John Singleton. We never met, but Remember The Time literally changed my life. Thank you so much. God Bless you.”


Quincy Jones: “RIP to my dear brother, John Singleton. Gone far, far too soon…your storytelling & contributions to our culture will endure forever.”


Ice Cube: “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.”


Busta Rhyme: “John Singleton was one of my big brothers in this fraternity of the entertainment industry. Gave me guidance, believed in me, and when it came to film he saw greater potential in me that I saw in myself. He effortlessly made you feel his interest and genuine concern in you especially if you were apart [sic] of him. When he blessed me with the opportunity to be in Higher Learning and Shaft those were a dream come true for me on unspeakable levels. I can’t thank John enough for the love, the lessons, the opportunities and the mentoring that have has given like what a real big brother would do. I salute you big bro and may your transition be the most peaceful King. We will keep your Legacy alive and strong beloved. Blessings and prayers up to the Singleton family.”


Jordan Peele: “RIP John Singleton. So sad to hear. John was a brave artist and a true inspiration. His vision changed everything.”


Spike Lee: “I Will Forever Miss My Brother John Singleton. We Met While He Was A Film Student At USC. Over Many Years People Have Told Me ‘I’m Going To Be A Filmmaker’, When John Said That To Me The 1st Time We Met, I Believed Him Right Away. It Was No Surprise. With His Passion, His Heart, The Way He Talked About His Love For Cinema And Black Folks I Could See John Would Make It Happen, And He Did. 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. John Singleton’s Films Will Live On Forever. Blessings And Prayers For His Family. May John Rest In Power. Amen.”


Regina King: “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 what you mean to me. Will always love you John! Your spirit will forever shine bright💜”


Gabrielle Union: “I really didnt want to believe I’d to have to write something like this about John. I am a believer of miracles. Alas…I met John when my older sister Kelly enrolled at USC in 1986 & quickly became friends with a group of fun loving, black, creative masterminds. They called themselves the ‘Black Pack’ I was 13 then and in awe of how loud and proud they were. Each friend contributing a different vibe and talent. By the time I turned 18 they chaperoned (yeah right 🤗) my birthday party. When I transferred to UCLA they promised my family they would look out for me & they did. The entire time I’ve been in Hollywood I knew I had big brothers who had my back & that knowledge gave me wings. While they all accomplished so much, there was John breaking barrier after barrier making dreams into reality and never losing that loud and proud, by any means necessary mentality. Flash forward decades and I’d run into him in the islands or Miami and we’d laugh in awe and glee at how far we’d both come. I will forever be grateful to the Black Pack & John Singleton. You showed me exactly what we can do when we stick together. Love & Light to all his loved ones and fans. Hold onto one another, we are greater together. Rest in eternal peace 🙏🏾🙏🏾”


Samuel L. Jackson: “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!”


Ava DuVernay: “There aren’t many of us out here doing this. It’s a small tribe in the grand scheme of things. He was a giant among us. Kind. Committed. And immensely talented. His films broke ground. His films mattered. He will be missed. And long remembered. Thank you, John. #RunIntoHisArms”


Michael B. Jordan: “Like many of us when I heard the news I wished it wasn’t true. John is a true visionary and social leader. Through his arts he shared many of our truths, and I can honestly say without his works I may have not been given the chance to express myself in this industry. I’m posting this not in his memory but to speak positive energy around his spirit. So we can have more time with him and his soul 🙏🏾”


Nas: “John Singleton put a very powerful camera lens on real life. What a good dude. I just think of chillin on the boat with ya that time. This pic reminds of that day. Rest In Power my Brother. Sail on.”


Shonda Rhimes: “There was a time when I was struggling to pay my bills in film school and not sure this town was for me. And one day, not long after Boyz N The Hood exploded on the scene, my phone rang. It was John Singleton. John did not know me at all. But someone at USC had told him I was talented and he was kindly calling to offer me some words of encouragement. He told me to keep writing. I never forgot it. Praying for him and for his family now.”


Jada Pinkett-Smith: “Gone too soon. We will miss you John… rest in love 💛✨”


Viola Davis: “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”


Kevin Smith: “Farewell my filmmaking friend! Your Boyz story and your laser disc commentary inspired me back before I shot my first film. You made me believe I might be able to be like you: heard. Thank you for leading, John. Wish we had one last chance to talk comics again… #JohnSingleton”


Rest in peace, John. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Singleton family in this difficult time.