Celine Dion, Ron Howard, Russell Crowe and other stars are paying tribute to composer James Horner, who died in a plane crash Monday at the age of 61.
Horner produced more than 150 scores throughout his career, including ones for blockbusters like Apollo 13, Braveheart, Avatar, A Beautiful Mind and Titanic, which earned him two Oscars.
Dion, who sang the smash hit “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic (which was co-written by Horner), released a statement expressing her grief.
“[René Angélil] and I are shaken by the tragic death of James Horner, whom we considered a friend. We will always remember his kindness and great talent that changed my career. We send our prayers and deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Director Antoine Fuqua, whose upcoming film Southpaw features a score from Horner, also released a statement: “I am very saddened to hear the news about James,” Fuqua said. “He was a legend, an artist, and a great friend. I feel for his family and know how much he loved them. He was magical to work with and I feel blessed that we had the opportunity to collaborate together. James was not only a composer. He was a true filmmaker. He cared about the music, but also about the story as a whole. Working with him and discussing every detail of the film in great depth was such a wonderful experience for me. We have lost a special soul who touched so many people through his art. Rest in peace my friend, you left us with the gift of your incredible music.”
Director Marc Webb, who worked with Horner on The Amazing Spider-Man, said in a statement: “James Horner was a wonderful composer and collaborator as well as a generous and adventurous spirit. He lived his life like he wrote his scores with an uncynical depth of feeling. He will be missed.”
Speaking to EW, Titanic director James Cameron praised Horner for his work on the Oscar-winning blockbuster. “He was the heart of the film, absolutely. And you could say that literally, too, because he wrote the music for the song, ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ which was so much of the pop-culture propulsion of the film,” Cameron told EW. “The score album is still to this day the highest grossing instrumental soundtrack album of all time.”
Others, including Howard, Crowe, Josh Groban and songwriter Diane Warren, also reacted to the news on social media.