Don Cornelius, the creator and former host of the musical variety show Soul Train, was found dead at his home in the Los Angeles area early this morning. According to police, he had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, but as of now, an investigation is still ongoing. Sources told the Los Angeles Times that Cornelius, who was 75, had recently gone through a divorce. Soul Train, which aired from October 1971 to March 2006, was sort of an urban parallel to Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and eventually became the longest-running syndicated show in television history. Although the show had many unique elements, including the Soul Train Scramble Board and Soul Train Dance line, it was the musical performances that put the show on the map. During Cornelius' tenure as host, which lasted until 1993, the show was known for bringing in a who's who of R&B and Soul music artists to perform. Among those whose careers were helped by appearing on the show were Aretha Franklin, Aaliyah, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Destiny's Child, En Vogue, Jill Scott, Usher and dozens upon dozens of others. Don Cornelius: Sept. 27, 1936- Feb. 1, 2012. Rest in peace.
- "Soul Train" Creator Dies of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (Los Angeles Times)
- Don Cornelius Commits Suicide (TMZ.com)
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