According to the celebrity crypt keeper site, TMZ, Soul Train creator Don Cornelius has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in an apparent suicide. He was 75.
He famously hosted and produced what became the longest running show in the history of television. First aired in 1971, Soul Train set trends in fashion and dancing. It’s also credited with giving white America a glimpse of black people, who at the time, had to be arrested or depicted in a disparaging way to make an appearance on network TV.
Even though Cornelius reportedly wasn’t a big fan of rap music—which was still an emerging genre back then—he did occasionally put rappers on the show, like this clip of him interviewing Run-DMC in the 80s when they were coming up.