Okayplayer is extremely saddened to report that music and Television pioneer Don Cornelius–creator of the immortal Soul Train show and franchise–took his own life this morning in his Los Angeles home. According to the Detroit Free Press:
Officers responding to a report of a shooting found Cornelius at his Mulholland Drive home at around 4 a.m., police said. He was pronounced dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 4:56 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.
Figures such as Quincy Jones have already stepped forth to express shock and regret at Cornelius’ death. “Before MTV there was `Soul Train.’ His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched,” said Jones of Cornelius, who took Soul Train from a local show on Chicago’s WCUI-TV to a national program which ran from 1971-2006 and is credited with introducing TV audiences to soul giants like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Barry White.
Some sources have speculated that the suicide may have resulted from Cornelius’ marital troubles, compounded by health problems which became public in his divorce case last year. He was 75 years old. At okayplayer, he will always be remembered for his soulful and positive impact on pop culture–a phenomenon that defined the way our generation thinks about music and dance (see the vh1 doc below). For all that you did, Don…Rest in Peace, Love and SOUL.
spotted at DFP