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Sad news to report this morning… via TMZ:

Don Cornelius — who famously created “Soul Train” was found dead in his Sherman Oaks, CA home this morning … and law enforcement sources tell us it appears he committed suicide.

We’re told cops discovered the body at around 4 AM PT.  Law enforcement sources tell us … Cornelius died from a gunshot wound to the head and officials believe the wound was self-inflicted.

We’re told Cornelius was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Over the past few years, Mr. Cornelius was riddled with health problems that included a stroke, and an ailment that required brain surgery. It’s painful to hear that a man that did so much for black culture, and American music in general, was in so much pain that he would end his own life. This is a hard way to kick off the month America chooses to highlight the contributions of black Americans, but his legacy will continue to live on. If you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Cornelius, I encourage you to watch VH1‘s Rock Doc “The Hippest Trip In America”… it’s an in-depth look at Soul Train, and Mr. Cornelius’ groundbreaking influence on our culture.

Love, peace and SOUL Mr. Cornelius, your contributions will be treasured for years to come.