White, who penned the screenplay for 2004 drama Ray, passed away on Thursday morning (23Jul15) at his home in Santa Monica, California following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Taylor Hackford, who directed Jamie Foxx in Ray, paid tribute to his late friend in a statement which reads: "Jimmy White was a lovely man and a terrific writer. His insights as a black man growing up in south Kentucky were an invaluable asset in writing the script for Ray."

White was slated to pen two scripts for upcoming biopics of two other African-American music legends, Dinah Washington and Bessie Smith, at the time of his death.