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Arts and Culture

‘Soul Train’ Creator Don Cornelius Dies

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Posted on Feb 1, 2012
AP / Damian Dovarganes

Don Cornelius, the former host of “Soul Train,” at his office in Los Angeles in 2006.

In 1970, Don Cornelius set “Soul Train” rolling into American homes in Chicago, and soon the R&B-heavy weekly broadcast became a showcase for predominantly black musical acts and a fixture on TV sets around the country—and it didn’t stop for 35 years. Early on Wednesday, the pioneering producer was found dead in his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif., of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Later that morning, the tributes started rolling in.  —KA

Click here to see a long and entertaining list of “Soul Train” performers through the years.

Washington Post:

“He was a transformer,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson told KNX-Los Angeles. “ ‘Soul Train’ became the outlet for African-Americans.”

Jackson said he talked to Cornelius a few days ago and there were no signs Cornelius was upset.

Others also expressed their grief.

“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.”

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New and Improved Comments

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By Rodney, February 2, 2012 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He was a icon. He is the reason we knew the Isley Brothers. Shalamar the Bar-Kays and many other groups. He is the reason we have BET and TV one. He was black America’s entertainment and introduced white America to black music and culture.

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By Headshake, February 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow, this is huge.

I had heard that he was having trouble in his life, but man.

This is depressing.

He was the godfather of Black music.

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