Spike Lee leads flood of tributes to 'Boyz n the Hood' director John Singleton

Ben Arnold
Contributor
John Singleton (Credit: AP)

Spike Lee has lead a flood of tributes from Hollywood stars to the late John Singleton, who had died at the age of just 51.

Singleton suffered a major stroke two weeks ago, and was being treated in intensive care at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles.

But yesterday his family announced that they he had ‘passed away peacefully’ after they’d taken the ‘agonising decision’ to take him off life support.

Read more: John Singleton dies following major stroke

Do The Right Thing director Lee was among the first to pay tribute to Singleton, the first – and youngest – African American director to be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars for Boyz n the Hood, made when he was just 23.

Posting to instagram, Lee said: “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.”


Samuel L. Jackson said that Singleton was ‘gone too soon’.


Jordan Peele, director of Us and Get Out, called him ‘a true inspiration’.


Jamie Foxx added: “God blessings… you changed a culture with your art… and impacted the world with your vision… my prayers are still up… hoping for a miracle… R.I.P.”

Oscar-winner Regina King said: “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.”


Posting a picture of him with Singleton at the Cannes Film Festival, Ice Cube said: “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.”


Many more have left tributes on Twitter.





Singleton was born in the projects of South Central Los Angeles that he depicted in Boyz n the Hood, a tragic story of friendship and gang culture based on his own experiences growing up and starring Ice Cube, in his acting debut, Cuba Gooding Jr, Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne.

He went on to make Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson and the late rapper Tupac Shakur, as well as movies like Higher Learning, Baby Boy and Rosewood, with Ving Rhames and Don Cheadle.

Singleton also made the iconic video for Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time, bringing in Eddie Murphy, Iman and Magic Johnson.

In 2000, he rebooted the iconic 70s movie Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson and helmed 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003, before producing the Oscar-nominated Hustle and Flow, with Terrence Howard.

His final work included directing episodes of Empire, Billions and creating the crime drama Snowfall for FX.

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