James Horner, who created the scores for iconic films including Titanic, A Beautiful Mind and The Amazing Spider-Man, died in a plane crash Monday morning, and celebrities have taken to social media to mourn and honor the Oscar-winning composer.
News of Horner’s death hit Monday evening after the plane registered to his name crashed in Cuyama, California, north of Santa Barbara, according to multiple reports.
“James was a close friend and an inspiring collaborator,” Titanic director James Cameron said in a statement. “When we worked together he drove me and I drove him to be the best we could be. With his music, he elevated my films and all those he scored. In the music of cinema he stands with a tiny group of masters.”
“His scores were soaring, majestic, pulse-pounding, richly textured and above all, emotional,” Cameron added. “He wrote music from the heart, and he had a big beautiful heart.”
“Our work together spanned 30 years, with the ups and downs of a married couple – and what was left in the end was love, vast admiration and a giddy excitement about doing it all again.”
“The only thing he loved as much as music was aviation. Just as he would soar among the clouds with his music, he did it for real in planes and helicopters. He was uncompromising in his pursuit of excellence, both in the creation of a new score, and in defying gravity with his aerobatics.”
“And although gravity sometimes wins, nothing will ever extinguish the soaring of James’ mind and heart, which will live on forever in his music.”
“I will miss his humor and intelligence, his genuine warmth as a human being. And I will miss the music that never gets written now, the scores I longed to hear. I will miss the give and take of two artists working together, as two opinionated guys who always managed to get the best out of each other and remain best of friends afterward.”
“Thank you, James. Fly brother.”
Mel Gibson, who starred in the Horner-composed Braveheart, also released a statement, saying, “[Horner] was a rare artistic genius. He did not merely augment the image he was presented with, he was able to transcend its matter and logic and travel straight to the heart and soul with his magical gift … a gift that truly reflected his own heart and soul. I will miss him.”
“James played an important part in my career,” Dion continued. “We will miss him. We offer his family and friends our deepest sympathy.”
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Horner received an Academy Award for the Dion-performed song, which he cowrote with Will Jennings.