Don Cornelius, ‘Soul Train’ creator, dead at 75

Posted on: February 1st, 2012 by

Soul TrainDon Cornelius, the creator of  ‘Soul Train’, was found dead in his home this morning.  Officers responding to a report of a shooting found Cornelius at his Mulholland Drive home at around 4 am, police said.  He was pronounced dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 4:56 am at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague, and business partner Don Cornelius,” said Quincy Jones.  “Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business.  Before MTV there was ‘Soul Train,’ that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius.  His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched.  My heart goes out to Don’s family and loved ones.”

With the creation of  ‘Soul Train’, Cornelius helped break down racial barriers and broaden the reach of black culture with funky music, groovy dance steps and cutting edge style.  It introduced television audiences to such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and Barry White.  It brought the best R&B, soul, and later hip-hop acts to TV and had teenagers dance to them.  It was one of the first shows to showcase African-Americans prominently, although the dance group was racially mixed.  Cornelius was the first host and executive producer.



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