The man who wrote the love theme to Titanic was died following a plane crash in Cuyama, California, on Monday

By Drew Mackie
Updated June 22, 2015 10:50 PM
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Credit: Getty

James Horner, the award-winning composer for such films as Titanic, Aliens and Avatar, died in a plane crash Monday morning.

“An avid and experienced pilot, James was flying a single-engine aircraft that crashed in a remote area of northern Ventura County, California, shortly before 9:30am PDT on Monday morning,” his agents confirmed in a statement.

The crash started a one-acre brush fire, Ventura County Fire Department Public Information Officer Capt. Mike Lindbery tells PEOPLE.

“It is with the deepest regret and sorrow that we mourn the tragic passing of our dear colleague, long-time client and great friend, composer James Horner,” his agency said in a statement on Tuesday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with James’ family at this difficult time, and also with the millions of people around the world who loved his music. A shining light has been extinguished, which can never be replaced.”

“For more than three decades, his unique creative genius made an indelible imprint on each of our lives and on those of the entire Hollywood community,” the statement continued. “We express our love and sincere condolences to James’ wife Sara and his two daughters, Emily and Becky. And we take comfort in the belief that in his last moments, James was doing something from which he derived such great joy. His spirit will continue to soar, and he will be with us always.”

Horner, 61, won two Oscars for his work – one for the score to Titanic and a second for “My Heart Will Go On,” which he co-wrote with Will Jennings. Horner rose to prominence after scoring Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in 1982. His other scoring credits include Field of Dreams, Cocoon, Willow, A Beautiful Mind, The Amazing Spider-Man the remake of The Karate Kid and the Disney-Michael Jackson collaboration Captain EO.

RELATED VIDEO: James Horner Confirmed Dead After Plane Crash

On Monday evening, singer Josh Groban was among the celebrities Tweeting condolences in the wake of the news. Celine Dion, who voiced the Titanic hit “My Heart Will Go On,” also issued a statement mourning Horner.