Don Cornelius, Soul Train Founder Dies From Gunshot Wound

Don Cornelius, the man behind Soul Train, was reportedly found dead at his Sherman Oaks, CA home this morning. Police sources say that Cornelius appears to to have died from what  a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 75.

Music producer Quincy Jones spoke about Cornelius in a statement to CNN.

“Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business,” Jones said. “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.”

Cornelius created Soul Train and hosted the show from 1971 to 1993, giving black musicians a national platform to showcase their work. The show, sometimes described as a ” black American Bandstand”, went on to become a cultural phenomenon and one of the longest running syndicated television shows in history.

As the show’s writer and producer, Cornelius played a vital role in bringing stars like James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson to a wider audience.

Soul Train saw several reincarnations and several host before it stopped airing in 2006.