Don Cornelius, Soul Train Mastermind, Dead in Apparent Suicide
Another giant pioneer in music is gone. So sad. Don Cornelius was found dead of an apparent suicide in his home at the age of 75. I used to watch American Bandstand and Don on Soul Train. You wonder what goes through a person’s mind in order to be so distraught that they can’t go to anyone for help.
Don was a pioneer because I think he was able to get R & B music to the masses when radio wasn’t playing it. It was the first show to showcase hip-hop before it was a mainstream music, some of the actors and musicians that got a start on Soul Train were Rosie Perez, rapper MC Hammer, Jody Watley and Pebbles. Soul Train was so successful, that it spun off it’s own awards show, the Soul Train Music Awards.
L.A. County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter confirms to E! News that Cornelius was pronounced dead at 4:56 a.m. after law enforcement discovered his body at his Sherman Oaks home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
According to Winter, the coroner’s office has investigators en route to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where the body was taken, to conduct an investigation.
As the emcee of Soul Train from 1971 to 1993, the Chicago-born Cornelius and his silky smooth voice was responsible for bringing soul and R&B to the masses every Saturday morning. He helped further the careers of such legendary performers as Barry White, Smokey Robinson, James Brown and Aretha Franklin.