Justin Timberlake on Jonathan Demme: 'You Made Me Better At My Craft'

Singer remembers collaborating with "genius of storytelling" on concert documentary

Justin Timberlake paid tribute to the director Jonathan Demme in an Instagram post on Wednesday. Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Justin Timberlake, who worked with Jonathan Demme on the concert film Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids, wrote a tribute to the director in an Instagram post. Demme died early Wednesday morning from esophageal cancer.

Timberlake called Demme a "master of humanity, a genius of storytelling and a generous and warm man." "You taught me so much about life and art and about standing up for what you believe ... You made me better at my craft."

Demme and Timberlake worked on Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids to document the final stop of the singer's 20/20 Experience Tour in Las Vegas. Prior to working on the film, Demme was a fan of Timberlake's acting. "I was blown away by him in The Social Network – I just thought he arrived in that movie like a thrilling hurricane of a character," the director told Rolling Stone. "I really wanted to work with him, and from that time on, I was looking for a script that'd be right for him."

Demme later discovered he loved Timberlake's music as well. "Does everyone realize what a magnificent voice he has?" he said. "That he has an incredible range, without being show-offy? And what he cooks up with that amazing band of his, the Tennessee Kids, is just unbeatable."

In his Instagram tribute to Demme, Timberlake wrote, "the time I spent with you away from a camera and a stage made a better human out of me. You are truly irreplaceable."

Following Demme's death, David Byrne, Kenny Chesney and Bruce Springsteen all praised the director's ability to capture live performance on camera and incorporate popular music into his work.