On Monday (Apr. 29), director, producer, and screenwriter John Singleton was taken off of life support by his family after suffering a major stroke over a week ago.
“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,” said the statement, which was released by Singleton’s publicist around 10 am Pacific Time. “This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors.”
“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,” stated the Singleton family.
The famed director, 51, had just come back from a trip to Costa Rica. He began experiencing trouble with his legs and then checked himself into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
The stroke occurred on Apr. 17 while Singleton was in the hospital at Cedars-Sinai. The filmmaker was medically sedated after suffering the stroke in order to keep his blood pressure low and to allow the vessels in his brain to heal, according to Vibe.
Singleton, a native of South Los Angeles is known for his notable 1991 debut film Boyz n the Hood starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Morris Chestnut. Singleton was nominated for an Oscar for his directorial debut, making him the first African-American and the youngest person to ever be nominated for the award.
Singleton went on to direct more than 10 movies and television series, including 1993’s Poetic Justice starring Janet Jackson and the late Tupac Shakur, 1997’s Rosewood, a historical film about a white mob massacre against a small town of black residents in Florida, and 1995’s Higher Learning, about three incoming freshman at a fictional university who endure racism.
Singleton also recently directed FX’s crime drama Snowfall and episodes of Empire, American Crime Story, and Billions.
Prior to the announcement of Singleton being removed from life support, several celebrities took to social media to send the director well wishes.
Shonda Rhimes shared a heartfelt message on Instagram regarding Singleton.
“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,” she wrote.
“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.”
Filmmaker Ava Duvernay took to Twitter to share a few words about Singleton.
Actress Nia Long, who appeared in Singleton’s famed film Boyz n the Hood, shared a few words for the filmmaker on Instagram. “Praying hard this morning for my friend @johnsingleton PULL THROUGH BABY,” she wrote.
Actress Taraji P. Henson, who starred in Singleton’s 2001 film Baby Boy alongside Tyrese took to Instagram to share that she and Tyrese visited Singleton in the hospital. The Empire star wrote, “Visited you today. Me and @tyrese prayed so hard over you. You heard my voice and jumped up. I HAVE HOPE AND FAITH BECAUSE I KNOW THAT #GODIS. Keep praying EVERYBODY for our beloved @johnsingleton”
Singer and actor Tyrese who has starred in a few of John Singleton-directed movies took to Instagram to share several heartfelt messages for the filmmaker. He also shared how Singleton’s movie Baby Boy that Tyrese and Henson starred in came to fruition.
Actress Regina King took to Instagram to share a heartfelt message about Singleton. “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,” the actress wrote.
On Friday (Apr. 26), O’shea Jackson Jr., Ice Cube’s son sat down with WMMR and mentioned how the news has affected his family.
“We as a family owe so much to John Singleton. We’ve stayed close the entire time. My just dad recently went to go see him. I can see how it’s affecting my parents,” Jackson said.
“I can see how it’s getting to them. John wrote my letter of recommendation going to USC. It’s heavy on my family right now. He’s in our prayers, and as far as black people in cinema, John Singleton is our cream of the crop.”
Below, take a look at John Singleton over the years.
Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter.