For those of you who who don't know, Don Cornelius was THE man back in the day. Don Cornelius was the creator of one of the most celebrated American TV shows of all time. The dance/music show opened the doors for Black American artists and musicians to showcase their talents to the masses when many mainstream doors were closed to them. It also helped pave the way for the BET show, 106th & Park, that urban youths watch today. Coming off the Civil Rights era, there were no shows that were featuring black artists and "Soooouuul" music. His show gave artists like Aretha Franklin, The Jackson 5, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, En Vogue, Boyz II Men, Rick James, Al Green and more! Anyone who was anyone, got featured on Soul Train.
He was reportedly found dead today in his Sherman Oaks, California apartment due to an self-inflicted suicide wound. There's still an ongoing investigation. Here's a snippet from the LA Times:
The article was later updated and read,"Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius was found dead at his Sherman Oaks on home Wednesday morning.Law enforcement sources said police arrived at Cornelius' home around 4 a.m. He apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing.The sources said there was no sign of foul play, but the Los Angeles Police Department was investigating.
I can remember watching Soul Train on Saturday nights with my siblings. I couldn't wait to see what new artist would be featured that night~ One of my favorite parts watching the show was watching the couples try to unscramble the words that were featured on this board. Soul Train is also where the infamous "Soul Train Line" came from that you do every year at your family reunions. It was a staple in black music and culture. I hated for the ending of the show to come signaled by Don Cornelius' legendary deep voice saying his signature ending, "...and you can bet your last money, it's all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!". You'd have to be born before the 90's to understand.Cornelius was 75 and had recently been divorced.The sources say he was discovered by a family member early Wednesday morning, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was rushed to a hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.