Celebrities share their memorable Muhammad Ali snapshots, tributes

After news broke of Muhammad Ali's death, musicians, athletes, politicians and others have been sharing their thoughts of the boxing legend on social media.

From Paul McCartney to Barack Obama, many are mourning the loss of the late boxer

An old newspaper clipping with Muhammad Ali's wide grin.

A black and white photo of the late boxer pretending to knock out The Beatles.

Just a few of the poignant and moving snapshots that musicians, athletes, politicians and others are sharing following Ali's death Friday night.

Others have rallied behind the hashtag #RIPMuhammadAli. Here are a handful of those tributes.


Muhammad Ali and The Beatles quipped and mugged for the cameras in Miami in February 1964. (Associated Press)

"I loved that man," former Beatle Paul McCartney wrote on his website. "He was great from the first day we met him in Miami, and on the numerous occasions when I ran into him over the years."

McCartney also posted that iconic photo of his renowned foursome meeting Ali and hamming it up for the cameras back in 1964.

"Besides being the greatest boxer, he was a beautiful, gentle man with a great sense of humour who would often pull a pack of cards out of his pocket, no matter how posh the occasion, and do a card trick for you."

"You will always be my hero," musician Lionel Richie posted with a picture of himself singing to Ali at a large gathering. Richie performed at Ali's 70th birthday bash.

Grammy-winning Canadian musician The Weeknd posted a photo of a 1962 newspaper clipping after Ali knocked out Archie Moore in Los Angeles. "You put confidence in all our hearts," he wrote. Snoop Dogg posted a similar message.

Singer and former lead vocalist of The Supremes Diana Ross posted a video of her performance at Ali's 50th birthday celebrations in 1992.


Politicians and activists of all stripes weighed in on the loss. U.S. president Barack Obama said Ali "shook up the world."

"​And the world is better for it. We are all better for it. Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family, and we pray that the greatest fighter of them all finally rests in peace."

Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson also paid tribute.

"Ali was a defiant man of dignity who found his dignity non-negotiable. When he decided to change his name and affirm his religion and not to go to war in Vietnam, they took away his boxing licence. They took away his title. But they could not take away the crown. He was willing to sacrifice the crown and money and stature for his principles."

Film and TV

Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine filmmaker Michael Moore shared an anecdote, saying "when I finally met him I thanked him 4 inspiring me to sign up as a conscientious objector. He said 'That's bravery'."

Moore added in another tweet: "We will NEVER forget your courage, standing up to those in power."

TV star Al Roker opted to post one of Ali's quotes.

Actress Rita Wilson posted her tribute along with a photo when she and her husband Tom Hanks met Ali.

Canadian Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991, called Ali "a warrior for the cure."


Ali's largest impact was on the sports world, where he finished with a record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts — he was the first man to win heavyweight titles three times.

Many athletes and sports figures paid their respects, including Bob Arum, who promoted 26 of Ali's fights.

"He's the most transforming figure of my time, certainly. He did more to change race relations and the views of people than even Martin Luther King. It was a privilege and an honour for me to know him and associate with him."

George Foreman, Ali's opponent during in the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" fight, shared a few thoughts via Twitter. "Ali, Frazier & Foreman we were 1 guy a part of me slipped away "the greatest piece" Muhammad Ali," he wrote.

Basketball great Karim Abdul-Jabbar posted a tribute on his Facebook page, saying his mentor had "self-sacrificing" and "heroic qualities," and Ali might have been a "master of self-promotion" but could also "back it up." Abdul-Jabbar also posted a photo of himself on the drums as a young man with Ali playing guitar.

Retired boxer Floyd Mayweather, who went undefeated as a professional, said Ali inspired him greatly throughout his successful career.

"Not a day went by entering the gym that I didn't think of you," he posted in a lengthy message alongside a famous photo of Ali sitting on a pile of money.

Muhammad Ali's youngest daughter, Laila Ali, posted her memories as well. She followed in her father's footsteps and became a professional boxer, although she is now retired from competing. 

With files from the Associated Press