Visionary filmmaker John Singleton died on Monday, April 29 in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke 13 days earlier. He was 51 years old. The trailblazing director passed away peacefully at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center while surrounded by his family and friends. A private funeral will be held on May 6th in Los Angeles for close family and friends. But a larger memorial will be held in the upcoming weeks to celebrate his life, according to a family spokesperson.

Singleton took Hollywood by storm with his 1991 film debut Boyz N the Hood for which he received two Oscar nominations, one for Best Director and another for Best Original Screenplay. He was the first African-American as well as the youngest person to earn an Oscar nod for the best-director category at the age of 24. In fact, Singleton made the film just after he graduated from USC School of Cinematic Arts in 1990. A native of South Los Angeles, he captured the authenticity of the streets, depicting urban life with complex characters and making sure to represent a wide variety of point of views.

The prolific director churned out several celebrated films over the following 30 years including Poetic Justice starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, the coming-of-age film Baby Boy, the school battlezone film Higher Learning, the historical drama Rosewood, the action thriller Shaft, and the blockbuster 2 Fast 2 Furious. Singleton’s work in television includes the award-winning American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson and the FX crime drama series Snowfall.

The influential filmmaker introduced leading actors to audiences—actors such as Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tyrese, Taraji P. Henson, and Angela Bassett.

Many of Singleton’s industry peers and fans paid tributes upon hearing the news of his passing.

Laurence Fishburne wrote: “[John’s] was a unique voice in the cinema. The cinema was more than just Movies to John. It was his language, his expression, his art. His passion for cinema was as boundless as his imagination. His talent as a writer and director was extremely rare. I loved him like a brother … I am heartbroken …”

Ice Cube said, “There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved [to] bring the black experience to the world.”

Nia Long wrote: “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 …”

Janet Jackson posted to Instagram, “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 …”

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

Regina King wrote, “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.”

Filmmaker Steve McQueen wrote: “John Singleton was a trailblazer and an amazing filmmaker. With ‘Boyz n the Hood’ he made a classic in his first attempt. John did not stick to one way of making pictures and with varied projects, he was more than an inspiration. He was extremely generous with his time and advice. RIP my friend.”

John Singleton is survived by his mother, Sheila Ward, his father, Danny Singleton, and his children Justice, Maasai, Hadar, Cleopatra, Selenesol, Isis, and Seven.

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