John Singleton was an American director, producer, and screenwriter.
Singleton's film debut Boyz n the Hood (1991), an inner city drama starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., Angela Bassett, Ice Cube, and Laurence Fishburne, was both a critical and commercial success. For his efforts, Singleton received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director. At age 24 he was the youngest person ever nominated for Best Director, and the first African-American to be nominated for the award (four others, Lee Daniels, Barry Jenkins, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee, have been nominated since). The film has since attained classic status and, in 2002, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.
His directing ability led to the VFX-driven "Remember the Time" music video for Michael Jackson, which featured Eddie Murphy, Iman and Magic Johnson. His next films were Poetic Justice (1993) and Higher Learning (1995), which were similarly socially conscious and received mixed to positive reviews.
The film Rosewood (1997), Singleton's historical drama about racial violence, was entered into the 47th Berlin International Film Festival. Both this film and Baby Boy (2001) received very positive reviews and helped establish Singleton's critical reputation. Additionally, his adaptation of Shaft (2000), starring Samuel L. Jackson in the title role, was successful critically and commercially.
Singleton later turned to directing action films, such as 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and Four Brothers (2005), which received mixed reviews. In 2005, Singleton teamed with Craig Brewer and financed the independent film Hustle and Flow, once it was clear that most other major backers would not clear it for release.
After directing episodes of the critically acclaimed TV shows Empire and American Crime Story, he served as an executive producer of the crime drama series Rebel for BET and co-created Snowfall for FX.
Singleton died April 29, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. He was 51.