Bette Midler, Neil Patrick Harris & More React to News of Maya Angelou's Passing
As BWW reported earlier today, America's Poet LaureateMaya Angelou has passed away at the age of 86. The poet died last night, May 27th in a Winston-Salem, North Carolina hospital while recovering from an "unexpected ailment". She died surrounded by her family.
Angelou has received more than 30 honorary degrees from universities worldwide. She is perhaps best known for her 1969 book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", which tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim.
The poet was set to be honored this Friday, May 30th in Houston where she was going to be given the Beacon of Life Award.
Below, read how celebrities are reacting to the sad news on Twitter:
Cyndi Lauper: Maya Angelou has passed away. She was a great light in the world. I feel honored to live in a world she influenced and touched so deeply.
Bette Midler: The beautiful Maya Angelou died this morning. A big and radiant soul, at rest at last.
Neil Patrick Harris: Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou, for your wonderful words and wisdom. Rest in peace.
Josh Gad: RIP #MayaAngelou. Thank you for blessing us with your voice, your words and your strength.
Pharrell Williams: Saddened by the news of Maya Angelou's passing. A brilliant woman who contributed so much to the world. Her light will be sorely missed.
Mary J. Blige: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou.
Kristen Davis: @DrMayaAngelou Thank you for your beautiful words of wisdom and inspiration. They will live forever .....
Ellen Degeneres: Today the world lost one of it's greatest gifts. I'm sending love to the friends and family of Maya Angelou.
President Barack Obama: "Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time - a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman. ... Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya. With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God's children; that we all have something to offer. And while Maya's day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, "flung up to heaven" - and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring."
Oprah Winfrey: "I've been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my twenties. She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. 'When you learn, teach. When you get, give,' is one of my best lessons from her. But what stands out to me most about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it's how she lived her life. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds."
Bill Clinton: "With Maya Angelou's passing, America has lost a national treasure; and Hillary and I, a beloved friend. The poems and stories she wrote and read to us in her commanding voice were gifts of wisdom and wit, courage and grace. I will always be grateful for her electrifying reading of "On the Pulse of Morning" at my first inaugural, and even more for all the years of friendship that followed. Now she sings the songs the Creator gave to her when the river 'and the tree and the stone were one.'"
Beyonce: "Rest in peace phenomenal woman."