Boxing champion and humanitarian Muhammad Ali passed away last night at the age of 74, leaving a heart-sized hole in many around the world. Suffering from respiratory issues in addition to his longtime illness of Parkinson’s disease, the living legend left the world surrounded by his friends and family.
As was the case with never-to-be forgotten trendsetter Prince, people the world over took to social media to pay their deepest respects, celebrities being no exception. Flooding the newly revamped Instagram with photos of the late great, they raised their voices in unison to honor his memory. Check out a few of their most touching posts below.
1. Miley Cyrus: Miley posted this adorable flashback pic of herself and Liam Hemsworth (who just recently broke his silence on their potential engagement) snuggled up to the late legend, writing, “#RIPCHAMP.”
2. Reese Witherspoon: No stranger to posting totally inspiring Instagrams, Reese said “You raised your voice for so many other people in this world. Promoting, educating, encouraging change. You will always be G-O-A-T.” Well said.
3. Zoe Saldana: Zoe used Ali’s own words to honor his memory, captioning her photo “’Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.’ — Muhammad Ali #rip.”
4. Sophia Bush: Sophia took to Instagram to thank Ali for his teachings. Opening with the boxer’s own quote (“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses — behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights”), Sophia added her own thoughts as well, saying, “Thank you for the lessons on greatness, faith, work, and activism. You taught us all.”
5. Raven Symoné: Child star Raven Symoné knew Ali way back when, as she proved with this adorable photo of her seemingly playing a game with the champion. “My magic man! Rest in piece #muhammadali. Sending love to your family!”
5. Ellie Goulding: Ellie didn’t hide her awe of Ali, penning “Best boxer in the world and later, a beautiful humanitarian. Rest in peace hero.”
6. Justin Timberlake: “The Greatest,” JT wrote. “Take a moment today to remember how inspiring this human being is…We will miss you… Thank you for changing the world. — JT”
7. Ciara: Ciara posted this old school shot of her fiancé (and vacay partner)’s grandfather and Ali in deep conversation.
8. Jennifer Lopez: In a gentle reminder that even our heroes have their heroes, JLo reflected back on how Ali inspired her directly, saying “Lying here at Ceasars after my show tonight in Vegas thinking about the #GOAT #muhammadali and thinking about how he inspired me and soooo many to want to be their greatest.”
9. Gina Rodriguez: “I woke up to the news that another angel got his wings,” Gina began. “Champ, you taught me so much about fighting. Not just in the ring, but out of it. Fly like a butterfly king of the ring.”
10. Halle Berry: Halle’s super touching photo of her sweetly placing her hand on Ali’s face as he clutches her arms is enough to make us tear up. “This was one of the strongest and sweetest men I ever met,” the actress said. “He elevated the sport of boxing and there will never be another!”
11. David Beckham: Fellow star athlete David Beckham paid his respects with this pic of him shaking Ali’s hand, saying “The greatest there will ever be…The biggest and the best…Rest in peace.”
12. LeAnn Rimes: LeAnn shared her personal admiration for the boxer with this sweet message. “Some people’s light shines so bright, that when they are gone, it’s noticeably forever darker. For me, there’s Maya Angelou and this incredible man! These two are at the top of my heroes list! His quotes have inspired me to keep going when I didn’t know if I had it in me. My heart breaks tonight to know that his soul has left this Earth, but his message and legacy will be with us forever. Thank you God for giving us this radiant beam of light for 74 years. Prayers for his friends and family.” SO MANY TEARS.
13. Selma Blair: Though Selma didn’t have a photo of herself to share with the great, she did have a pretty heartwarming story. “The greatest. Always a fan. When I was four, my mom and dad brought back a t-shirt from Vegas that said ‘I LOVE ALI.’ I wore it every day. They saw him and I wished I had. I loved Ali and will always see him as a great man who also warned kids about the dangers of sugar. Wish I listened.”
14. Justin Bieber: Even the Biebs gave a nod to Ali, posting this silly pic of him along with the caption, “This is the ALI we should all remember!!! The fun loving man who was fully himself!!! RIP CHAMP!!!”
15. Ryan Reynolds: Last but not least was Ryan Reynolds, who put things as only he could: “Such a powerful force of good. Not just for all of us at the Michael J. Fox foundation, but for everyone who came down the chute beating their own drum. And holy shit, this man could beat a drum. Rest in peace, Champ.”
Do you have a touching Ali tribute you’d like to share? Tag us on Instagram @BritandCo.
(Photos via Harry Benson, Hulton Archive and /Getty)