James Horner, the composer who wrote the Oscar-winning score for Titanic, has died in a plane crash.

The 61-year-old was a trained pilot and is thought to have been alone on a small plane when it crashed north of Santa Barbara on Monday morning.

One of Hollywood’s most legendary composers, Mr Horner worked on the films A Beautiful Mind, Braveheart, Troy, Apollo 13, as well as three James Cameron films.

He won two Oscars for Titanic which included the Best Original song award and the Best Dramatic Score award. He was nominated for another eight Oscars. The late composer boasts 158 credits for various TV and film projects.

In a 2009 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Mr Horner explained the importance of the nature of his work. “My job is to make sure at every turn of the film it’s something the audience can feel with their heart.”

“When we lose a character, when somebody wins, when somebody loses, when someone disappears – at all times I’m keeping track, constantly, of what the heart is supposed to be feeling. That is my primary role.”

Since the composer’s tragic death, tributes from Hollywood’s most revered have been pouring in.

Celine Dion, the singer of My Heart Will Go On has released a statement saying she is “deeply saddened” by the talented composer’s “tragic death.”