'Soul Train' Creator Don Cornelius Dies
A family member of Soul Train founder Don Cornelius found the icon in his Sherman Oaks, California, home this morning, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Cornelius was rushed to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead later this morning. Police, who arrived on the scene at approximately 4 AM, say they believe the wound was self-inflicted, but are still investigating.
Cornelius is survived by two sons, Anthony and Raymond.
Cornelius, 75, recently completed bitter divorce proceedings with ex-wife, Viktoria, after an arrest for spousal battery in 2008. During their legal battle, which lasted for over a year, Cornelius was also suffering from multiple health issues, including a stroke and undisclosed ailments that required brain surgery. The legal proceedings took an emotional toll on Cornelius, who made the statement within his divorce documentation that, "I am 72 years old. I have significant health issues. I want to finalize this divorce before I die."
Cornelius was known as a music legend for his nationally televised music program, which introduced many famous performers to American audiences, including Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson and Aretha Franklin. Rock acts, such as David Bowie and Robert Palmer, also made appearances on his stage. In memory of Cornelius, here's one particularly interesting clip from his show, featuring cameos from soon-to-be-famous guests.
Activist, Dancer, Songwriter, Singer / 1933 - 2006
James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul," was a prolific singer, songwriter and bandleader, as well as one of the most iconic figures in funk and soul music from 1956 to 2006.