Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

‘Boyz n the Hood’ director John Singleton dies

John Singleton, director of the groundbreaking 1991 movie about US inner city life Boyz n the Hood, died on Monday at the age of 51, his family announced, triggering a flood of tributes hailing him as an “inspiration.”

Singleton had been placed in a medically-induced coma after suffering a stroke several weeks ago, and his family had earlier made known their intention to take the filmmaker off life support.

“John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends,” they said in a statement quoted by media including USA Today and NBC News.

“Our hearts are heavier today… as we mourn this tremendous loss,” said Directors Guild of America director Thomas Schlamme.

Singleton directed Boyz n the Hood as a 22-year-old fresh out of film school. The flick described youth and violence in South Central Los Angeles, the bleak, gang-ridden neighborhood of his childhood.

The movie won Singleton Oscar nominations as best director and best original screenplay, making him the youngest writer-director and first African American to achieve the distinction.

“The youngest-ever Best Director nominee and an inspiration to us all. John Singleton, you will be greatly missed,” tweeted the Academy.

Starring the rapper Ice Cube and Cuba Gooding Jr, Boyz n the Hood was a breakthrough success that won special honors at Cannes and in 2002 was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” film.

‘Rest In Power’

The movie, featuring tunes from Miami collective 2 Live Crew and west coast hip hop pioneer Too $hort, helped to popularize the genre.

Singleton went on to a prolific career as a film director, with credits that included the remake of Shaft (2000) and 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003). His work on television included shows such as Billions, The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story and Empire.

Singleton’s death triggered an outpouring of tributes from across the entertainment industry.

“Rest In Power, my friend. One of the greatest to ever do it,” Regina King, who starred in Boyz n the Hood, wrote on Instagram.

“Will always love you John! Your spirit will forever shine bright.”

“Mourning the loss of a collaborator & True Friend John Singleton,” said actor Samuel L. Jackson. “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 . A GENIUS . Thank you for capturing US like no other,” tweeted the Grammy-nominated singer and actress Janelle Monae.

“RIP John Singleton. So sad to hear. John was a brave artist and a true inspiration. His vision changed everything,” wrote Oscar-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele.

Filmmakers John Carpenter and Ron Howard also praised his talent, with the latter noting that Singleton was “well regarded everywhere he went.”

The director’s family had provided few details about Singleton’s medical crisis, but said he has long suffered from hypertension. US media reports said he was hospitalised on April 17 after suffering a stroke.

Taking him off life support, they said earlier, had been an “agonising decision” made over a number of days, with the counsel of his doctors.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Catherine Ttriumph
Catherine Triomphe
Ms. Catherine Triomphe has been Chief Editor of The Europe-Africa Region at Agence France-Presse SA since June 2012. Ms. Triomphe joined AFP in 1990 as an economics correspondent before moving to the Moscow bureau. She joined Agence France-Presse SA's video service in 2001 before beginning a three-year stint in 2006 as news editor in the Brussels bureau. She later became deputy managing editor at Agence France-Presse SA.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

DA’s egregious sexual harassment case finally begins

The party is accused of protecting a councillor, who’s also implicated in R1.2m graft

The ANC, DA and EFF ‘oblivious’ to climate crisis —...

The Climate Justice Charter Movement has critiqued the manifestos of the main parties contesting the local government elections and found them ‘shallow’

More top stories

Former spy boss Fraser objects to Zondo’s nomination as chief...

The former director general of intelligence’s character assassination of the deputy chief justice is straight out of the Zuma playbook

Special Investigating Unit to oppose efforts to reject Mkhize report

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize seeks relief to declare the SIU’s conduct against him ‘unlawful and unconstitutional

Bird flu outbreak on Dyer Island causing mass deaths

The island hosts the vulnerable African penguins, endangered bank cormorant and roseate tern

Countries bear cross-border responsibility for harmful effects of climate change,...

The UN committee has been accused of ‘turning its back’ on the children who filed a groundbreaking legal complaint with it against five countries
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×