Titanic composer and trained pilot James Horner died in a plane crash in California on Monday (June 22), after the private plane he was flying went down near Santa Barbara. The cause of the crash is still unknown, but the wreckage left behind an impact crater and a fire that spread to more than an acre of brush.
The 61-year-old was an acclaimed Hollywood composer who won two Oscars for his work on the Titanic film score and its theme song, “My Heart Will Go On,” famously sung by Canadian megastar Celine Dion.
Celine was quick to share her feelings after the tragedy, taking to celinedion.com to say, “Rene and I are deeply saddened by the tragic death of James Horner. He will always remain a great composer in our hearts. James played an important part in my career. We will miss him. We offer his family and friends our deepest sympathy.”
James was nominated for another eight Oscars throughout his illustrious career for scores and songs he composed for films including Avatar, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13 and Braveheart. He was also responsible for composing the scores for Aliens, The Karate Kid, Troy and Jumanji among many others.
The musician’s personal assistant Sylvia Patrycja paid tribute to him on Facebook on Monday, writing: “We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart, and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road.”
Meanwhile Russell Crowe, who starred in A Beautiful Mind, tweeted: “My sincere condolences to the family, loved ones and friends of James Horner. #abeautifulmind”
My sincere condolences to the family, loved ones and friends of James Horner. #abeautifulmind
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) June 23, 2015
Another colleague to pay their respects to James was actor and director Ron Howard, who tweeted: "Brilliant Composer James Horner, friend & collaborator on 7 movies has tragically died in a plane crash. My heart aches for his loved ones.”
Meanwhile composer Steve Jablonsky, who wrote the music for the Transformers series, revealed the influence the composer had on him, tweeting: “James Horner, thank you for inspiring a young me to pursue a career in film music. Thank you for your music. Rest in peace.”