Bette Midler, Neil Patrick Harris & More React to News of Maya Angelou's Passing

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.

Ryan Seacrest: "I've learned that you shouldn't go thru life w/ a catcher's MITT on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back." -Maya Angelou