ETI salutes director John Singleton

In order to be a legend you have to learn from and study the legends.

A legend today is known for their noted celebrity and larger-than-life accomplishments, whose fame is well-known.

John Singleton, the first African American nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director — whose decorated career spanned nearly three decades in Hollywood — has died on April 24, 2019.

A Singleton family rep says he passed “peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends.”

Here is part of the family’s statement: “We are grateful to his fans, friends and colleagues for the (outpouring) of love and prayers during this incredibly difficult time. We want to thank all the doctors at Cedars Sinai for the impeccable care he received.

The family also said in the statement that Singleton “like many African Americans …quietly struggled with hypertension.”

Singleton’s family said that “in his private life, John is a loving and supporting father, son, brother, and friend who believed in higher education, black culture, old school music and the power of film.”

His family revealed he’d suffered a stroke on April 17.

“… Our beloved son/father, John Singleton, suffered a stroke while at the hospital…” said the statement, provided to ETInside on April 20 by spokesperson Shannon Barr. “We ask that privacy be given to him and our family at this time and appreciate all of the prayers that have been pouring in from his fans, friends and colleagues.”

Singleton was nominated for two Oscars for 1991’s “Boyz n the Hood,” becoming the youngest best director nominee and first black person nominated for the same award.

His other films include “Poetic Justice,” starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, “Shaft,” “Baby Boy,” “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Four Brothers.”

Singleton’s recent projects include creating and executive producing the FX Networks TV series “Snowfall,” as well as directing the fifth episode of the network’s “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

When news broke of Singleton’s stroke, prominent celebrities took to social media to wish him a speedy recovery.

“His films helped form me. His kindness lifted me up,” wrote Ava DuVernay. “I remember him coming to the premiere of my indie years ago. Showing love/support for a fellow black director from LA. He is a lovely man. Pray with me.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Snoop Dogg and Guillermo del Toro also sent well wishes.

He heavily guarded the project from start to finish … only allowing the ‘Breakfast Club’ director John Hughes to read his script. Raised in South Central L.A. and coupled with the fact ‘Boyz’ was set in the same area — John refused to let anyone else direct his film.

The move paid off … because in 2002 it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

John’s family said, “Like many African Americans, Singleton quietly struggled with hypertension. More than 40% of African American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe. His family wants to share the message with all to please recognize the symptoms by going to Heart.org.”

The family also revealed something we didn’t know. He kayaked in Marina del Rey every morning. They also said his greatest joy other than making movies was sailing his boat, J’s Dream, up and down the Pacific Coast.

The family added, “We who have grown up with John, made movies with him, sailed with John and laughed with John, know the universe of calm and creativity he created for so many. Now in the wake of his death, we must navigate the storm without him. It is, for us, heartbreaking.”

John dated Tyra Banks and was married only once to Ghanaian actress Akosua Gyamama Busia in October 1996. They divorced a year later. He’s survived by his mom and 7 children.

John was 51.

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