Don Cornelius, the founder and longtime host of the popular music and dance show "Soul Train," was found dead in Los Angeles at the age of 75. He died of a gunshot wound at a house on Mullholland Drive, according to Los Angeles police. The gunshot appears to be a self-inflicted. The show also showcased legendary R&B and pop performers including Al Green, Ike & Tina Turner, Sly & the Family Stone, David Bowie, Whitney Houston, Duran Duran, Stevie Wonder, Run DMC, Elton John, Kid N Play and Janet Jackson.
Cornelius closed every show with his infamous mantra of "Love, Peace and SOOOOOOUL" which became his trademark catchphrase. The theme song for "Soul Train," composed by legendary songwriters Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff and performed Philadelphia International house band MFSB became a #1 hit on Billboard in 1974 under the name "TSOP: The Sound of Philadelphia."
"Soul Train" left an indelible mark on American pop culture and helped introduce Black music and culture to audiences that had little exposure to it on national television. Don Cornelius leaves behind a significant legacy as a television and entertainment pioneer. Before the emergence of "Yo@! MTV Raps," before BET and before TVOne, "Soul Train" was America's first and most committed window into African American creativity in music and dance.