In a statement to ET on Monday, Boyz n the Hood star Cuba Gooding Jr. shared how he spent his final moments with Singleton, thanking him for helping launch his career.
"I was able yesterday to sit with John privately and whispered in his ear that I loved him and thanked him for starting my career," he said. "Then I was able to pray with his family... They are strong."
Frequent collaborator, Regina King, shared a slideshow of photos with Singleton, on Instagram, writing how she was struggling for words following the loss.
Chance the Rapper credited Singleton’s work directing Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” video for changing his life, while actor and filmmaker Jordan Peele described him as a “brave artist and true inspiration.”
Fellow director Spike Lee recounted meeting Singleton when he was a film student at the University of Southern California and how the two became close friends who had cheered each other on throughout the years, in an industry “that is not set up for us to win.”
“Over Many Years People Have Told Me “I’m Going To Be A Filmmaker,” Lee wrote. “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.”
Director Ava DuVernay shared a photo of her with Singleton while noting how "his films broke ground."
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. Kind. Committed. And immensely talented. His films broke ground. His films mattered. He will be missed. And long remembered. Thank you, John. #RunIntoHisArmspic.twitter.com/wKfOaCGFuA
Singleton also had an impact on younger stars in the film industry, with 32-year-old actor Michael B Jordan sharing how he felt his influence. “Like many of us when I heard the news I wished it wasn't true,” he wrote. “John is a true visionary and social leader. Through his arts he shared many of our truths, and I can honestly say without his works I may have not been given the chance to express myself in this industry. I’m posting this not in his memory but to speak positive energy around his spirit. So we can have more time with him and his soul ??.”
Actress Lena Waite pointed out that Singleton “influenced us all.” “You always had wise words to share with me. You were also real as f**k,” she wrote on Instagram. “Your work influenced all of us. Thank you for reminding us we can be as black as we wanna be and still get nominated for Oscars. But you didn’t do it for that. You did it for us. I’m gon miss you. We all are.”
Rapper Nasir Jones, aka Nas, shared a photo and memory of “chillin on that boat,” with Singleton.
Prior to his death, Singleton’s famous friends had shared tributes as they waited and hoped for him to pull through.
Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes posted about how Singleton had helped her through her early days struggling in Hollywood.
”There was a time when I was struggling to pay my bills in film school and not sure this town was for me,” Rhimes wrote. “And one day, not long after Boyz N The Hood exploded on the scene, my phone rang. It was John Singleton. 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 now.”
Actress Taraji P Henson was also praying for Singleton as she visited him a day before his death.
“Visited you today. Me and @tyrese prayed so hard over you,” she captioned a photo with Singleton. “You heard my voice and jumped up. I HAVE HOPE AND FAITH BECAUSE I KNOW THAT #GODIS. Keep praying EVERYBODY for our beloved @johnsingleton ?????????.”
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
Condolences to the family of John Singleton. His seminal work, Boyz n the Hood, remains one of the most searing, loving portrayals of the challenges facing inner-city youth. He opened doors for filmmakers of color to tell powerful stories that have been too often ignored.
The best life is when we leave a trail. We leave something on this earth bigger than us. John Singleton....you inspired a generation of Artists. We will shoulder on....'May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest". RIP
Farewell my filmmaking friend! Your Boyz story and your laser disc commentary inspired me back before I shot my first film. You made me believe I might be able to be like you: heard. Thank you for leading, John. Wish we had one last chance to talk comics again... #JohnSingletonpic.twitter.com/jZvCxNIIsw
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!
John Singleton has died. This is a big loss to the world at large. So smart, insatiably curious, and a cool dude all around. He took me to lunch twice in the last few years and was truly a gentleman. Thank you for your contributions and I’m so sorry your life was cut short