On February 1, 2012, law enforcement officials released information stating that Don Cornelius, the creator and host of Soul Train, was found dead in his Sherman Oaks, CA home. Sources say Cornelius, 75, passed away from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot .
Soul Train debuted in 1971 and rain for a whopping 35 years. With the show, Don Cornelius helped define the decade’s musical identity. Transmitting parties to homes all around the country, fans of R&B, soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel were treated to a powerful set of music and dance as blasted their speakers (and angered their crotchety neighbors).
Cornelius hosted his show until 1993 and led a quiet life outside of the tabloids for nearly 15 years. In 2008, Don was arrested for beating up his wife. He pled no contest to misdemeanor domestic violence and was placed on three years probation.
Despite the reports that Don was amid bitter divorce proceedings and significant health issues, Cornelius found time to honor a better time in his life. He appeared at the 2009 BET Awards to present [lastfm link_type="similar_artist_radio"]The O’Jays[/lastfm] with the 2009 BET Lifetime Achievement Award.
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