Beyoncé and Oprah Winfrey are among celebrities paying tribute to late poet Maya Angelou.
News broke the beloved American author and civil rights activist passed away on Wednesday, prompting thousands to flood social media with messages about her inspiring legacy.
Beyoncé shared a photo of Maya early in the day, captioning it simply: “Rest in peace phenomenal woman.”
Oprah, in a more lengthy statement, remembered Maya as one of her greatest life influences.
“I’ve been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my 20’s. 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,” Oprah told Variety.
“She won three Grammys, spoke six languages and was the second poet in history to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. 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,” she said.
Other stars, including Beyoncé’s sister, Solange Knowles, followed with their own messages.
“Your words will forever remain deep within the skin, and in the souls of many,” Solange tweeted.
“The beautiful Maya Angelou died this morning. A big and radiant soul, at rest at last,” Bette Midler wrote.
“Today the world lost one of it’s greatest gifts. I’m sending love to the friends and family of Maya Angelou,” Ellen DeGeneres echoed, while Olivia Wilde remembered Maya as a “bada** woman who saw the impossible as merely a dare”.
“RIP to one of the greatest women this world has ever known,” Russell Simmons added. “Thank you Maya Angelou for all of the gifts and knowledge you gave us…”
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