Soul Train’s Don Cornelius Dead At 75, Hip-Hop Community Reacts

By Rob Markman

Don Cornelius, host and producer of the famed television show “Soul Train,” has been pronounced dead at the age of 75. TMZ reported that Cornelius was discovered in his Sherman Oaks, California home after committing suicide, delivering a gunshot wound to his head. His many fans and the legendary artists who appeared on “Soul Train” will always remember his warm sign-off “Love, peace and soul.”

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It was reported that police discovered Cornelius’ body at around 4 a.m. PT on Wednesday and he was later taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. A former radio disc jockey, Cornelius created, wrote and produced “Soul Train,” a popular dance/music show which spotlighted soul, R&B, and later, rap music. “Soul Train” was patterned after Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand,” but it helped to shine a light on black artists who many times didn’t get the recognition they deserved. James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson all appeared on the show as well as more contemporary artists like Chris Brown, Alicia Keys and Ludacris.

“Soul Train” was most famous for its dancers who would show off the newest moves while partying to the latest hits. The “Soul Train” line, where dancers would line up on the left and right of the dance floor, allowing for one performer at a time to shimmy down the aisle, became a staple in American pop culture. Cornelius would go on to host the show for 22 years, between 1971 and 1993. He eventually handed over the reins to new hosts. The show ultimately went off the air in 2006.

When news of Cornelius’ death broke, many artists took to Twitter to express their surprise and sadness.

Ice Cube
Rest in Peace, Love & Soul…Don Cornelius

Freddie Foxxx
Powerful, to introduce the world to a greater amount of Black Music.Don Cornelius was that dude. He made it happen. Without question.

Wyclef Jean
JUST WOKE UP TO SOME SAD NEWS , R.I.P. Don Corneliusfounder of SOUL TRAIN

Nicki Minaj
R.I.P. Mr. Cornelius

HiTek

R.I.P. Don Cornelius < so sad about Don Cornelius — RIP

Chase N. Cashe
Long Live the Don Dada Don Cornelius.
Don Cornelius shouldn’t ever be leaving the earth due to suicide man. That’s extra heavy s— Damn bruh.

DeviDev
WOW! R.I.P Don Cornelius!! we wish you love, peace… and SOUL. R.I.P Don Cornelius.

questlove
oh my god.

Fredro Starr
Onyx was blessed 2 receive a #soultrain award in 93.. best rap album!! RIP Don Cornelius

mackmaine
Wowwwww…..May God be with the legend

Estelle
RIP Don Cornelius

MYA
Condolences to the family, friends+ associates of Don Cornelius. So grateful4 his decades of innovative contribution to black music. R.I.P.