John Singleton Remembered by Tyrese Gibson, Nia Long at USC Memorial Service

Friends, family members and former colleagues remembered John Singleton Tuesday at a memorial service on the campus of the University of Southern California.

The gathering, held inside USC’s Bovard Auditorium, honored the late director’s talent and legacy.

A program obtained by Urban Hollywood 411, showed the service included tributes from Don Cheadle, Tyrese Gibson, Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Regina King and Nia Long, just to name a few.

An individual who attended the memorial said Vin Diesel, director Taylor Hackford and his wife, award-winning actress Helen Mirren, were among the attendees. Around a thousand invites were also sent to USC alums.

Read More: John Singleton, Groundbreaking ‘Boyz N the Hood’ Director, Dies at 51

Singleton had deep ties to the university. The Oscar-nominated director grew up in South Central Los Angeles and graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in 1990. He later returned to the school, where he taught and shared his real-world writing and directing experience with eager students.

Coinciding with the memorial, the city of Los Angeles declared May 21 “John Singleton Day.”

“There is not enough that can be said about John Singleton and the profound impact he made in his 51 years of life,” City Council President Herb Wesson said in a press release.

“In a time and in an industry where all the odds were stacked against him, John overcame and became the best at his craft. And more than maybe anyone, he opened people’s eyes to a reality and an experience of South Los Angeles that had been overlooked by society,” Wesson added. “Now in Los Angeles this day is a time to celebrate John and his legacy. It’s far sooner than we should have to, but there is so much to celebrate.”

Tuesday’s service came less than a month after Singleton died at age 51. He had been in a coma after suffering a stroke on April 17, and his family ultimately made the decision to take him off of life support.

A private funeral service was held for Singleton’s close family and friends on May 7 in his childhood neighborhood of South Los Angeles, after which he was laid to rest at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills cemetery.