Authorities from the Los Angeles Coroner’s office ruled the death of Don Cornelius, host and creator of musical variety show Soul Train, a suicide on Tuesday.
Cornelius was found in his Sherman Oaks home in California Feb. 1 by police. Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Cornelius was pronounced dead at Cenars Sinai-Medical Center dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was 75.
Officers said toxicology testing has been ordered and a final report will be released once the results are analyzed.
Despite health issues and divorce problems with his wife that surrounded the time of his death, the founder of Soul Train planned to bring the show back to the forefront. The Soul Train Awards was to make its television return on Nov. 29 after a two-year hiatus, according to the Associated Press. The show would have honored record executive Anthony “L.A.” Reid, and music legends Chaka Khan, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Charlie Wilson in Atlanta.
"We are overwhelmed with the news regarding the passing of Don Cornelius,” said Soul Train Holdings, LLC CEO Kennard Gibbs. “He was a true television visionary and his contributions to African American culture and music entertainment are immeasurable. The outpouring of affection and tributes to his legacy are a true testament to the profound impact that his life’s work had on many generations.” --Adelle Platon