Don Conrelius Founder Of “Soul Train” Passes Away At Age 75
Don Cornelius who created “Soul Train” was found dead in his Sherman Oaks, CA home on Wednesday morning.
Police discovered the body at around 4 AM PT. They claimed that Cornelius died from a gunshot wound to the head and officials believe the wound was self-inflicted.
We’re told Cornelius was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“Soul Train” changed the landscape of television when it debuted in 1971 and ran until 2006.
Cornelius was 75.
During Don’s bitter divorce proceedings in 2009, he told an L.A. judge he was suffering from “significant health issues” and wanted to “finalize this divorce before I die.”
Cornelius was arrested in 2008 for beating up his wife. He pled no contest to misdemeanor domestic violence and was placed on 3 years probation. His probation just terminated.
The divorce was granted in 2010.
Sources close to Don tell us … the TV icon was plagued with health issues for years … including a stroke and a condition that required brain surgery.
HipHopRx was sent official statements from fellow friends of Don Cornelius.
As news of the death of Don Cornelius spreads, I wanted to send official statements from Soul Train Holdings CEO Kenard Gibbs and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Soul Train Holdings Chairman.
“We are overwhelmed with the news regarding the passing of Don Cornelius. Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with his family at this time. He was a true television visionary and his contributions to African American culture, music, and entertainment are incomparable. The outpouring of affection and tributes to his legacy are a true testament to the profound impact that his life’s work had on many generations.” -Kenard Gibbs, CEO of Soul Train Holdings
“Don Cornelius was a pioneer, an innovator, and a trailblazer. He was the first African-American to create, produce, host and more importantly OWN his own television show. Soul Train was a nationally syndicated show that paved the way for singers, musicians and dancers, giving them the ultimate platform to showcase their talents when no one else would. Every Saturday morning I looked forward to watching Soul Train, as did millions of other people. Soul Train taught the world how to dance! Don’s contribution to us all is immeasurable. He will truly be missed. I thank him for trusting me with his Soul Train brand and I will carry on his legacy through it. My condolences to his son and my good friend Tony Cornelius and the entire Cornelius family.” -Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Soul Train Holdings Chairman
Joint statement from ‘Sound Of Philadelphia producers and pioneers KENNETH GAMBLE & LEON HUFF
Gamble & Huff wrote and produced the #1 smash hit ‘TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” best known as the “Theme from Soul Train.”
“Don Cornelius and his creation of ‘Soul Train’ and its legacy had a great impact on American culture. Don’s vision allowed for African-American artists to be exposed to people all over the world through the power of television. We were glad to help Don Cornelius fulfill his dream and legacy by creating the theme song for his hit show. The ‘Soul Train’ and TSOP brands will forever be inseparable. We thank Don Cornelius for his tremendous contributions to the entertainment world.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to Don’s family and everyone he touched.”
We have lost yet another pioneer, our deepest condolences go out to Don Cornelius’ friends and family.