On the first day of Black History Month, Soul Train founder Don Cornelius was found dead in his Sherman Oaks, California home this morning at 4:56 AM. The 75 year old entertainment legend was killed from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot, according to Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.
The sources said there was no sign of foul play, but the Los Angeles Police Department is investigating.
Soul Train became the longest-running first-run nationally syndicated show in television history, bringing African American music and style to the world for 35 years.
Cornelius inspired by the civil rights movement, developed ‘Soul Train,’ a musical variety television program highlighting African-American musicians and music from several genres including R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel. He served as the writer, producer and hosted for over twenty years. Through his platform, artist like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Jackson were given greater national exposure, divulging them into households throughout the world.
As the host of the signature show, his sign-off catchphrase became popular, as he said “I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul.”
Many entertainers view Cornelius’ contributions as influential on not only African-Americans but all ethnicities as he exposed a culture into millions of living rooms.
R.I.P. to Don Cornelius
Love, Peace & SOUL!!!