Photo Credit: John Singleton/Instagram
There’s been back and forth about Black Hollywood legend John Singleton’s health in the last few days from reports of him passing this morning to a statement from his publicist saying he’s still alive to his daughter saying the coma he was reported to be in was really just him being sedated. Unfortunately, it’s all ended today with a statement from his family announcing his death. “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.”
He broke into Hollywood by turning his college thesis into the film Boyz n the Hood, making him the first black director to land an Academy Award nomination. The film talked about a community that had been ravaged by drugs and crime in the 80s in his hometown of South Los Angeles, starring Ice Cube and Cuba Gooding Jr. He then went into music video directing, working on Michael Jackson’s Remember the Time with Eddie Murphy, Iman and Magic Johnson. He went on to direct films such as Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Shafter, 2 Fast 2 Furious, among others.
He first fell ill upon returning from a trip in Costa Rico when he reportedly had weakness in his legs. A stroke then caused him to be admitted to Cedars-Sinai Hospital on April 17th. If anyone wonders how this could happen to someone so young, his family said in a statement he “quietly struggled with hypertensions. More than 40% of African-American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe.”
Stars have been mourning his loss including Samuel L. Jackson and Jordan Peele with Jackson tweeting, 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!” Peele tweeted, “John was a brave artist and a true inspiration. His vision changed everything.” Director Ava DuVernay tweeted, “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,” she wrote. “Kind. Committed. And immensely talented. His films broke ground. His films mattered. He will be missed. And long remembered. Thank you, John.” He inspired and paved the way for many today in Black Hollywood and started conversations on what was really going on in black America that many simply weren’t privy too and likely would never have known had he not opened that door. A legend has been lost and will be missed.