By G. Brown
His death was a shock for friends and fans worldwide. At only 51 years old, one of Hollywood’s most talented directors, screenwriters, and producers disappeared abruptly off the screen of our lives.
To some, Singleton seemed the definition of overnight success. His groundbreaking “Boyz n the Hood” almost thirty years ago started a groundswell in film making that brought the plight of Black Americans to the country’s consciousness. The then-unknown filmmaker uncorked a burning passion to tell the world what it was like to be a Black teen growing up in inner-city America during the height of gang warfare. The film was not only a box office hit but was critically acclaimed earning a 96% approval ratings on review sites like Rotten Tomatoes. The film also racked up award nominations including a nomination for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director making Singleton the first Black film director ever honored with a nom.
“Boys n the Hood” would change us culturally inspiring countless rappers and singers in a burgeoning hip hop genre to tell their stories in the arts. All of this birthed by a man who was only 24 years old at the time.
For naysayers who may have thought Singleton was a flash in the pan, he would prove them wrong releasing a string of box office over the next three decades including “Poetic Justice”, “Rosewood”, “Shaft”, “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Baby Boy”. His talent opened the door to his rubbing shoulders with Hollywood royalty like singers Janet Jackson, rapper Tupac and megastar Samuel L. Jackson many of whom lined up to play a role in his films.
The only thing greater than the impact Singleton had on filmmaking is the void his death leaves now that his voice is silenced.
Tweets from adoring fans and Hollywood celebs who couldn’t contain their sorrow and reached out via social media to comfort others…
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!
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) April 29, 2019
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. ..Us at Cannes ‘90 pic.twitter.com/CaRKjZtjgB
— Ice Cube (@icecube) April 29, 2019
Singleton had fallen into a coma following a stroke about two weeks ago. His family made the agonizing decision to take him off life support leaving him with mere hours more to spend in this world. Singleton was 51 years old.
Everyone here at TRN shares the burden of this grief and we wish to extend our deepest condolences to all Singleton’s family, friends and fans.