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Don Cornelius Dead at 75
Don Cornelius, creator and host of the television staple, Soul Train 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
Cornelius brought Soul Train from Chicago to Los Angeles in the late 1960’s to showcase African American talent. As writer, producer, and host of Soul Train, Cornelius was instrumental in offering wider exposure to black musicians like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Jackson, as well as creating opportunities for talented dancers. The Soul Train line can be found at almost any wedding, birthday party, or gathering within the black community.
“I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague, and business partner Don Cornelius,” said Quincy Jones. “Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business. 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. My heart goes out to Don’s family and loved ones.”
Besides his smooth and deep voice, Cornelius is best known for the catchphrase that he used to close the show: “… 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!”
Cornelius sold the show to MadVision Entertainment in 2008.