Don Cornelius, the creator of the TV dance show ‘Soul Train’ has died at the age of 75 of an apparent gun shot wound. How tragically sad. It appears that Cornelius was found dead in his apartment around 4 am of an apparent suicide, self inflicted gun shot wound. He was rushed to a hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.
Cornelius died of a gunshot wound at a house on Mulholland Drive, said Los Angeles police Officer Tenesha Dodine. Police responded to the call about 4 a.m. (7 a.m. ET), Dodine said.
Cornelius was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to Lt. Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
Los Angeles police investigators reported to the coroner that Cornelius died from a “self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said. The coroner’s office will perform an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.
He was the black Dick Clark of the 1970′s. However, it was not just black America that watched ‘Soul Train’. I can remember Soul Train on the TV on Saturday and the amazing crazy dance moves performed that I could only dream of doing. As stated at the WAPO, long before BET or MTV, before cable television or the Internet, “Soul Train” taught a generation how to dance and let black America see itself having fun. At the center stood Cornelius in all his preternatural cool. Some singing greats provide comments of the dearly departed Don Cornelius.
Gladys Knight, who performed on the pilot of the show more than four decades ago, said Cornelius “opened up so many avenues for African-American artists.”
In an interview with CNN Wednesday, Knight said he appeared in ill health when she saw him recently.
“Last time I saw him, he was pretty sick,” Knight said. “He had lost a lot of weight, but he still had that thing about him.”
Singer Aretha Franklin called his death “so sad, stunning and downright shocking.”
Singer Smokey Robinson said it was “a musical tragedy.”
Music producer Quincy Jones expressed shock and deep sadness in a written statement to CNN.